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CalExotics' EVP Jackie White Heads Into Retirement After 30 Trailblazing Years

CalExotics' EVP Jackie White Heads Into Retirement After 30 Trailblazing Years

From creating more inclusive packaging to bringing more color to the market, CalExotics’ impact on the industry has been undeniable. Behind these accomplishments is the talented team that CalExotics credits for enabling the company to thrive all these years — and based on numerous testimonials from co-workers and industry colleagues, no one has had a more significant impact than Jackie White, the company’s executive vice president.

“White has been with CalExotics since day one,” the company said in a statement announcing her retirement. “She has been instrumental in the growth of the company, being involved in every aspect of the business, from sales to operations, and marketing to creative. Jackie adds a unique, special touch to everything she does.

Jackie has this amazing gift of making everyone feel special, she exudes warmth, compassion and joy.

“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 a trip down memory lane.”

White began her career in the adult industry in 1992. She was hired to be an executive assistant for Susan Colvin at an adult distribution company, California Publishers Liquidating Corporation. She quickly became an essential member of the team, and when Colvin founded CalExotics, White was the first person she asked to join her new company.

In the early days of CalExotics, every team member wore multiple hats, and White was no exception. She has done it all, from answering phones to stuffing mailers to picking orders. Any task that came up, White would step in and get it done.

Her hard work and dedication paid off and helped her become the company's executive vice president. CalExotics calls White the cornerstone of the company, and someone who has driven its success.

According to the company, “without her innovative thinking, go-getter attitude and customer-first approach, CalExotics would not be the company it is today.” Among White’s numerous achievements over the years are the development of many of the company’s bestsellers, including the Butterfly Kiss and the Clitteriffic, which features a versatile shape, and a patented design that can be seen across the CalExotics brand.

Most recently, White came up with the idea for a line of products that would pay tribute to CalExotics' home, sunny California. The West-Coast-themed line, appropriately named California Dreaming, launched in 2018 and continues to be one of CalExotics' most popular assortments.

In addition to White's impact on CalExotics' products, she has also been a mentor to her team. Often sought for advice, she has been known to always have an open door and be ready to listen. White has played a significant role in the growth and development of many team members and industry peers, and their gratitude toward her is evident.

"I've been under Jackie's guidance for 20 years and since day one, I've been in awe of her,” said Lupe Martinez, CalExotics’ international business development executive. “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!"

Another CalExotics international business development executive, Austin Ferdinand, calls White one of his biggest supporters and a true friend of over 19 years.

“When I started with CalExotics, Jackie really took me under her wing,” he said. “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.”

Roxana Mendoza, CalExotics international account executive, also credits White as more than a professional colleague and mentor.

“She believed in me and gave me the tools to grow, and I can't thank her enough for that,” Mendoza said. “Even during the most difficult times in my life, Jackie was there to give me the strength and courage I needed. Jackie is a kind, loving soul that came into my life to stay. I not only consider her my boss, but I feel lucky to call her my friend. I wish her the best in this new chapter of her life!”

Trist DeGooyer, who handles business development and white label for CalExotics, recalls the time she first met White over 25 years ago during a cocktail hour at Black Angus.

"Everyone was having an amazing time, and of course, Jackie was the life of the party,” DeGooyer said. “We have had so many fun memories together, but the one I love most was our sleepover. Jackie, Donna, Jennifer and I had a fun night of drinks, going to the beach and then a tattoo parlor. All havoc ensued after that, and the rest is history! I will never forget how Jackie opened her home to us and made it really special. Jackie, I can't put into words how much I'll miss you … with all my heart, I wish you all the happiness in the world."

CalExotics Director of Operations Jared Colvin adds, "Jackie, I hope retirement treats you amazingly! I am going to miss our little talks and your always spunky attitude. I will never forget the day I started; you were one of the first people to make me feel welcome. You and Susan took me to lunch and made me feel a part of the team. Thank you for everything. Good luck and enjoy. Now it's time to relax!"

Industry vet and CalExotics’ former marketing director Al Bloom said, "Jackie is an inspiration to women and men alike… hard working and always blazing new inroads, she is forever creating new and exciting products, guiding the marketing, and setting sales records that undoubtedly push the standards that make CalExotics the company it is today. I join the entire CalExotics team in wishing Jackie the best as she embarks on the next chapter of her adventure."

Also among the original CalExotics staff is Howard Metz, the company’s IT manager, who shares more fond memories of White.

"Since I was with the original company, CPLC, when Jackie started, our offices were right next to each other and we got to know each other well,” he said. “We have had tons of fun and laughs over the years, from the time F.Q. got stuck in her office chair to the fun time in Berlin when I had to get Jackie up to catch a very early morning flight back to L.A. with Susan. I still remember her saying over and over, ‘Whatever!’

"As we have about 30 years of history all I can say is: My best to you, darlin', I will miss you dearly! Hope your next chapter in life is as exciting as this last one has been to both you and the rest of us that were in your life! Love you tons!"

Nichole Grossman, director of marketing at CalExotics, calls White “a truly invaluable member of the CalExotics family.”

“She is always there to listen and bounce ideas off,” she said. “And she is the one person you want on your side when you need to ask for something from the boss! I will miss her funny stories and contagious laugh, but most of all I will miss the sense of calm and peace she brought to the office. Thank you for everything, Jackie. Enjoy retirement, you deserve it!”

Alongside White throughout her journey in this industry has been CalExotics founder and CEO Susan Colvin. Together they were among the first women in the pleasure products industry and their hard work and determination have helped pave the way for so many. For decades they have worked side by side on new product ideas, planned company events and traveled around the globe together.

“I've known Jackie for 30 years,” Colvin said. “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 Sexpo, we went on a safari at Kruger National Park and got up close and personal with the big five 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!”

Colvin continued, "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 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!"

White’s devotion to CalExotics’ customers is reflected in her personal touch with each one, the company says, noting that she would call them on their birthdays, remember their anniversaries and be the first to jump on a plane to visit no matter their location. White is recognized as having played a vital role in the success of many CalExotics customers. With her retirement approaching, several expressed their appreciation, gratitude and well wishes:

“Jackie has been an inspirational presence in our company for over 30 years,” said Liz Flynt, vice president and associate publisher of Larry Flynt Publications. “She has supported the growth of Hustler Hollywood since our first retail store opened in 1998 — and both me and my husband Larry have had the good fortune to call her a friend. Jackie, you will be missed dearly, and we wish you all the happiness in the world with the next chapter of your life. Happy retirement!”

Frank Koretsky, president and CEO of East Coast News, said, "Jackie, you have been Susan's rock for so many years. You have been an asset and we all love you to no end. You are one of those industry icons that can never be replaced. Very loyal and a fantastic right-hand woman. I'm sure you have had so many ideas behind the scenes and so many great meetings among company staff. There comes a time when everyone moves on and you will be missed dearly. I've known you a long time and always had good times and great, great business with you and the company. Wishing nothing but the best, fruitful and healthy future and retirement. Enjoy, relax and kick back, or enjoy the next adventure coming to you. Looking forward to seeing you and giving you a big hug and wish you nothing but the best."

Joel Kaminsky, the president of Barnaby Ltd., also shared his reaction to the news of White’s retirement. "OMG no! Jackie can't be retiring … she is everything that is right in our industry,” he said. “Professional, funny, good businessperson, honorable, and a wonderful personality. I have known Jackie for decades and have a deep appreciation for her immense contributions not only to CalExotics, but to our industry… and the help she has provided along the way in assisting in making my business more profitable. Good luck Jackie… to whatever comes next and to whatever you do."

Wanda Garland, the CEO of Eldorado Trading Company, said, "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, goodhearted people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. The industry is going to miss her! I wish her the best in her retirement and to enjoy it fully!"

Rondee Kamins, the CEO of GVA-TWN, added, "It feels that we all kind of ‘grew up together,’ especially this core group of women that have been in this industry for decades, primarily when it wasn't popular to have women in executive roles. I feel privileged to have been a part of this team with you, Susan and several others. In my opinion those roles bonded us for life. I will not say goodbye, just see you later. Wishing you all the best and sending you love!"

Samuel Barba and Guillermo Shiroma of Mexico-based pleasure products distributor Varta Mayoreo expressed their gratitude for White’s support over the years.

“We owe a large part of the growth of our company to you,” they said. “You were the first person who opened the doors and believed in this pair of crazy people. Thank you for sharing your time with us, for traveling to Mexico, for enjoying our adventures, for the support you always gave us, but above all thank you for your love and friendship. We love you! P.S., you have a pending trip to Mexico where, with a lot of love, your friends, the party, mariachi and tequila await you.”

Bob Pyne Jr., the president of Williams Trading Company, said, "I've always looked forward to seeing you at the trade shows, dinners and visits to Williams. All we do when we get together is laugh. Your smile and laughter are contagious. There are people that come and go in our business, but nobody can replace you. You are special and so happy I got to know and be a part of your life. I will miss you and I am jealous you get to retire. Enjoy and love you!"

Michael, Merilyn, Whitney and the Lover's Lane team added, "Dearest Jackie, to the best, most favorite person in the whole wide world. We love you — we'll surely miss you, and we wish you only the best in your next chapter ... smile."

Bonnie Feingold, the CEO and president of Honey's Place, reflected on how White has motivated her in her career.

“When I first entered the industry, I had no idea what I was doing,” Feingold said. “I had no experience and was grieving over the loss of my mother. There was a very small circle of people that I trusted and relied on. Jackie was a huge part of my support system. I consider her a friend and mentor. She was there for me as a friend during some of my most difficult times and there in times of laughter and fun. When I think of Jackie, I always think of her as being at the center of everything, and her laughter. She is someone who you can trust, she is honest and has a vibrant personality that truly cares about the industry.

“Jackie has been an important part of the industry for over 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 empty without her there. I wish Jackie all the best in her retirement.”

Fellow industry pioneer Ken Guarino, the CEO of Metro Distributors, noted White’s contributions to CalExotics’ success.

“Jackie was an essential part of the successful growth of CalExotics,” he said. “Whether a supplier or customer, she always made you feel special with her contagious smile. Jackie, keep smiling and enjoy retirement.”

Walter Kroes, Trudy Pijnacker and the rest of the Scala E.U. team also offered best wishes to White on her retirement:

"As we are your EU CalExotics family, we are going to miss your bold personality. When you are visiting, you are really here! Doing business, but also the jokes, nice words and making sure dinner in Hannover is arranged on time. Jackie, we want to thank you for being you! We are going to miss your vibrant personality. We are wishing you all the best!"

The CalExotics team shared a final message to White as she heads into retirement:

“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. Thank you for everything, Jackie! XO, the CalExotics team.”

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