(Note: This story appears in the December 2021 issue of SE Magazine)
*Story by Nichole Grossman
CalExotics’ Jackie White is retiring after an impressive three decades with the company. Here, friends from CalExotics and fellow industry professionals offer words on her behalf.
When you think of CalExotics, you think of the incredible impact it has had on the industry. From creating more inclusive packaging to bringing more color to the market, CalExotics has a legacy in the adult novelty industry that is unmatched.
With all of these incredible accomplishments, we look to the amazing team behind it all. CalExotics thrives because of its incredible team, and no one has had a more significant impact on CalExotics than its Executive Vice President, Jackie White.
Jackie has been with CalExotics since day one. She has been instrumental in the growth of CalExotics. Jackie is involved in every aspect of the business, from sales to operations, from marketing to creative. Jackie adds a unique, special touch to everything she does.
Jackie is irreplaceable. Her infectious smile, warmth and wit make her a person that people love, respect and admire. This year, with great sadness and admiration, we pay tribute to Jackie as she retires after 30 years in the industry.
With such a long history, Jackie’s impact can be felt throughout CalExotics and with industry partners and friends, several of whom offer sentiments on her behalf.
“I’ve known Jackie for 30 years. She is truly one of a kind and an amazing person in every way. She’s creative, hardworking, genuine and most importantly she puts up with me. I can’t believe that she will retire and I won’t get to see her every day. I will miss her dearly, but I am happy that we have had so many wonderful memories together over the years.
“One of my all-time favorite memories is when we went to South Africa. After working at the Sex Expo, we went on a safari at Kruger National Park and got up close and personal with the animals. It was so exciting, but the most memorable part for Jackie was getting chased by the baboons. Those baboons were so insistent on chasing Jackie; we even had to switch rooms to keep them away. We also went to a lion preserve and played with the baby lion cubs. Overall, it was a great experience, but Jackie said, ‘I loved the trip, but one safari was enough for me!’
“Some of my other favorite memories include our trips to Asia, our European train adventures, countless events, award shows, coordinating Halloween costumes and so much more. But no matter where we were, we would always find time to shop for shoes, bags and clothes. Even if we only had one hour to spare, we would make use of every minute, even in the airport.
“Whether it was one of our adventures, a project, or an event, Jackie and I would tackle it all together. We had great teamwork and we would make it fun. Each of us would work on a different task to ensure everything was accomplished.
“Jackie has always been my right-hand person and someone I can count on no matter what. She has been with me through the good times and bad, as a friend and as a CalExotics’ Executive Vice President.
“Jackie, I would like to thank you for being my rock for so many years. You are truly irreplaceable, and I can’t thank you enough for 30 incredible years together. You deserve nothing but the best in life, my friend. I love you!”
— Susan Colvin, Founder and CEO, CalExotics
“Congratulations on an amazing career at CalExotics. Personally, you have been such an amazing person to work with; as well as instrumental in contributing to the success of ECN. Your passion over the years and love for the company will be hard to be replaced. I wish you an enjoyable retirement filled with health and happiness!”
— Michael Koretsky, President and CEO, East Coast News
“I’ve been under Jackie’s guidance for 20 years and since day one, I’ve been in awe of her. Jackie has this amazing gift of making everyone feel special, she exudes warmth, compassion, and joy. Anyone can be a boss, but it takes a special person to be a leader.
“Jackie, you’ve been my biggest cheerleader and I can’t thank you enough for inspiring and encouraging me to work hard and be better. I owe so much of my success to you. There are no words to explain how grateful I am for having you in my life. You’ve been a huge part of CalExotics. Your dedication, hard-work and commitment to our customers is unmatched!
“There are so many things I will miss about you not being with us including: our daily pep talks, your fashion sense (maybe my credit card bills won’t be so high now, smile), our jokes, but most importantly I will miss YOU!!!! Jackie, it’s been an amazing 20 years. With much love, congratulations on your retirement and enjoy your new life to the fullest!”
— Lupe Martinez, International Business Development Executive, CalExotics
“I have been at Williams for 20 years and have known Jackie for most of them. As a woman, Jackie has inspired me to be a stronger woman in this industry. She is an incredibly hard worker and an asset to CalExotics. I am sure she will be missed by all. Good luck in your retirement, and I will miss seeing you.”
— Bethann Smith, Vice President Purchasing/Owner, Williams Trading Company
“It has been a great pleasure and honor to know and work with Jackie. She always has a beautiful smile on her face and her quick laughter is so contagious. She is one of the most welcoming, good-hearted people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. The industry is going to miss her! I wish her the best in her retirement — enjoy it fully!”
— Wanda Garland, CEO, Eldorado Trading Company
“Jackie has been one of my biggest supporters and a true friend for more than 19 years. When I started with CalExotics, Jackie really took me under her wing. She taught me so much and was always there for me, both personally and professionally. I’ll never forget one of my first sales presentations. I completely bombed it, and Jackie was right there to coach me through it and help me become a better salesperson. I owe so much of my success to Jackie, and I can’t thank her enough for that. Jackie is more than just my boss; she is my friend. I wish her nothing but happiness. Congratulations on your retirement.”
— Austin Ferdinand, International Business Development Executive, CalExotics
“Jackie has been an important part of the industry for more than 30 years. When she entered the industry, it was quite different. There were few brands and almost no women. She is part of the small group of women who paved the way for women now, an integral part of pushing the industry forward to what it is today. Jackie is an industry staple and will be greatly missed. Shows will feel a little more empty without her there. I wish Jackie all the best in her retirement.”
— Bonnie Feingold, CEO/President, Honey’s Place
“There are truly no words to describe how much Jackie means to the CalExotics family and the adult industry. Her loyalty, professionalism and charm will not be forgotten.”
— Nichole Grossmann is the Director of Marketing for CalExotics