Betsy Owens is a brand-builder and innovator with an extensive background in driving strategy for some of the world’s leading organizations — across sectors, channels and geographies.
Since 2013, she has served as Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer and Senior Vice President at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. In this role, she oversees several key areas, including the organization’s marketing and communications, market and referral development, technology and innovation commercialization, educational outreach, and Advisory Services (providing strategy, design and training services to organizations nationally and internationally). In 2017, Betsy led a rebranding that drove the 66-year-old organization’s renaming (from Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago) and move into the new $550 million, 1.2 million-square-foot research hospital.
Previously, Betsy was President and Chief Operating Officer for Farley’s & Sathers, a top confectionery manufacturer. Before that, she oversaw Sears’ Kenmore brand, with profit-and-loss responsibility for the multibillion-dollar business. Her overhaul of Kenmore’s product design, brand positioning and marketing strategy restored Kenmore to the No. 1 appliance brand based on unit and dollar sales. Prior to Sears, Betsy served as Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President at Rand McNally, the leading source for maps, navigation and travel content, where she directed strategy, marketing, brand and product development for five of the company’s businesses. Earlier in her career, she held leadership roles in both North America and Asia for SC Johnson. She also worked in brand management and sales for Gillette and Procter & Gamble.
Betsy earned her MBA and BA, cum laude, from Harvard University. In 2020, she served as the keynote speaker for the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Chicago’s premier event. In 2019, she was a featured speaker at Modern Healthcare’s Women Leaders in Healthcare Conference.
Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
355 East Erie
Chicago, IL 60611
Education & Professional Associations
- 2011 - 2012President & COOFarley's & Sathers Candy Company
- 2009 - 2011General Manager - KenmoreSears Holding Corp.
- 2003 - 2009Chief Marketing Officer & Senior Vice PresidentRand McNally
- 1990 - 2003Division Director, Home Storage and Other RolesS.C.Johnson
- 1984 - 1990Assistant /Associate Brand Manager, Brand Manager, Senior Brand ManagerThe Gillette Company
- 1980 - 1982Sales RepresentativeProcter & Gamble