Forty Under 40: Amy Terjak

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 2,612 views 

Class of 2019 Forty Under 40 Amy Terjak Vice President/Divisional Merchandise Manager-Apparel, Jewelry & Accessories Sam's Club

Amy Terjak has enjoyed an upwardly mobile corporate career in 15 years working for Sam’s Club.

As an undergrad at the University of Arkansas, she had an opportunity to job shadow a Walmart buyer and was intrigued by the experience. Just a few months after earning a business degree in May 2004, Sam’s Club hired Terjak for an entry-level merchandising job.

In 2013, while working as a senior buyer in the ladies apparel category, the retailer presented Terjak with its annual Merchant of the Year Award. In 2016, Terjak was appointed to her current job — her sixth promotion. She manages eight different categories across the large-volume business of apparel and jewelry, overseeing a team of about 40.

The work is fast-paced and encompasses a variety of responsibility including merchandising, planning and replenishment. The work is also of high quality. In 2018, Sam’s Club recognized Terjak and her team with the Merchant Team of the Year Award.

She describes her work to deliver new brands and new items as a mixture of art and science. The art part has an eye for fashion and the changing trends. The science part is being savvy enough to make demand projections for a given product and applying that to the business.

“Year after year, you get to reinvent the business,” she said. “Seasons and [fashion] trends change. Developing new strategies and getting better at the way we do things is what drives me.”

Married with two children, Terjak is a graduate of Walmart Leadership Academy. She was recently selected to join the inaugural cohort of The Leadership Consortium, a business accelerator that focuses on leadership and diversity.

She enjoys spending time as a mentor to develop future leaders at Sam’s Club, whether the conversations are about work-life balance or how to be a better merchant.