First Movers: Gloria DeCoste

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GLORIA DECOSTE is Director of Omni-channel Marketing for Nestle USA.

A sought-after speaker, Gloria has presented at YouTube’s VidCon & Sundance Digital Storytelling. She holds a BA in Social Science from Michigan State University, and MBA from Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Gloria’s past lives include brand and product management at Nestle-Purina, account management at Young & Rubicam and Doner, and entrepreneurship when she envisaged and launched a kids’ multi-sport complex. As a former gym owner and fitness expert Gloria is acutely aware of how sedentary her current desk job is, but is thankful to be in such an engaging and ever-changing landscape of eCommerce today. 

She lives in Virginia with her husband Dave, their two daughters, dog, and vicious beta fish.

Why did you choose to pursue eCommerce in your career? I LOVE to explore and lean into new spaces. So lucky to pursue this passion in my career!

What is your biggest strength, and how have you used it for your success in eCommerce? Candor. I can get straight to the heart of the matter.

What is the weirdest skill or talent to come in handy in your eCommerce experience? My adolescent acting skills! Learning to speak to the back of the house and dealing with stage fright have come is very handy for my career in general.

How have you most successfully influenced change within your organization (or with your clients)? By saying “no.” Sometimes, that brutal honesty is just what’s needed for folks to see the breadth and depth of new work.

What was your most “valuable” career failure, and why? There’s always a new one to this. I had a moment when I confused my “candor” with being arrogant. Luckily, I got immediate feedback and a second chance….and a new mentor! 😊

In the last five years, what new belief, behavior or habit has most improved your life? Keeping better in-touch with friends and family.

What are you learning right now? French!

What are the 1-3 songs that would make up your career soundtrack today?

What a fun exercise! And so challenging (ugh). 

We could do this in multiple genres: pop, rap, indie, broadway, jazz, classical. 

If I HAVE to pick just a few, the ebbs, flows, joys, pains, losses and wins are best captured in Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Nina Simone’s Feelin’ Good.

What are the 1-3 books you’ve gifted the most or that have greatly influenced your life, and why?

  • Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates: Speaks to the power of women in lifting entire people, and facing the challenges in 3rd world countries (I’m part of a startup non-profit, idemandaccess.org, which helps girls in Malawi, so this hits close to home!)
  • I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou: The power of reading can transcend nearly anything.
  • Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway: Brevity masterpiece!

If you could have a gigantic billboard for the world to see with anything on it, what would it say, and why? “Be kind.”

What are the worst recommendations or advice you have heard related to eCommerce? Build everything for Amazon.com, then cut and paste for all other retailers.

What advice would you give to a future leader of change about to enter business, or specifically the eCommerce field? Don’t try to know it all. Let others learn alongside you, then let them educate you. You’ll have way more streams of intelligence, and you’ll all be a smarter team. 

What specific, industry-related change do you believe will happen that few others seem to see? I believe there will be an increase in more manufacturers entering direct-to-consumer (D2C) in the short-term.

What is the last thing you bought online, and why?  I just bought new water pitchers with high hopes of hosting big groups one day again, soon!


First Movers is a change leader interview series featuring select industry pioneers who are boldly driving the evolution of digital commerce, the consumer and everything in between.

Categories: First Movers