When Elisa Garcia stepped into the top legal role at Macy’s Inc. two years ago, she called it kismet. She had been leading the legal function at Office Depot Inc. for nine years when she was approached by a recruiter for Macy’s just as she was working on a deal that would have merged Office Depot with Staples Inc. “The merger was not consummated,” Garcia says, “but my move to Macy’s was.” Now she leads a team of 50 attorneys and 40 paralegals and support staff at the New York-based retail chain.

Garcia spoke to reporter Stephanie Forshee about why Macy’s holds a special place in her heart.

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