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Women of Influence is an exclusive product of The Griffin Report and Shelby Publishing Co.

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Welcome

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Women of Influence in the Food Industry 12TH EDITION

The Griffin Report of the Northeast

March 2017

to The Griffin Report’s 12th Annual Showcase of

Women of Influence

We are proud to present the 12th edition of “Women of Influence in the Food Industry.” The 79 honorees this year represent companies coast to coast and include various backgrounds and experience. The categories include brokers, distributors, retailers, franchises, food stylists, organizations/associations, restaurants and universities. Meet these women trendsetters who are qualified for inclusion in this prestigious listing because their leadership, skills and dedication made—and are making—a difference in the food industry. The honorees were chosen for their highly visible contributions to our industry, their professionalism and the awareness they have generated for the potential of other women in our business. These women play a significant role in their companies through their leadership, expertise and dedication, and beyond their companies through their charity, philanthropy and civic work. These women are all passionate about their families, companies, customers and communities.

Kevin Griffin

Shelby Publishing Co. will continue to recognize women who make a difference. We welcome your feedback and comments, and if you know a woman leader, innovator, trendsetter or someone special that you believe qualifies for our Women of Influence in the Food Industry list, please contact me at kgriffin@griffinpublishing.com.

Kevin Griffin Publisher The Griffin Report of the Northeast A Shelby Publishing Co. publication

EILEEN ACELLO SAINT JOSEPH’S UNIVERSITY/ACADEMY OF FOOD MARKETING Years with university: Three

Current position:

Director of Fundraising & Recruitment

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

BS, Food Marketing, Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia; MBA, Marketing, Western International University, Phoenix; MS, Organizational Development and Leadership, Saint Joseph’s University. Member of the Network of Executive Women (NEW) Philadelphia Region; liaison for ASPIRE (student-run organization for NEW); Meals on Wheels of Chester County, Pennsylvania.

SARAH ALDERSON WALMART Years with company: Eight

Current position:

Dairy Department Merchandise Manager

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? The positive impact I’ve been able to have on people. Through my work in merchandising, I’ve had the privilege of saving our customers money so they can live better. It’s incredibly fulfilling to know I have the ability to positively impact the lives of millions of people. I’ve also had the privilege of serving on our corporate sustainability team, working to advance our sustainability goals and am proud of the positive impact I’ve had to reduce our

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

I am proud of keeping a balance between my professional and family life. Learning to make time for each one is my best achievement.

Do you have a defining moment in your career?

Yes. When I moved from Pennsylvania to Arizona, this took me out of my comfort zone and into a whole new area of my career that I would have never encountered if I did not take a risk. I discovered things about myself that surfaced because I challenged myself.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The most challenging part of my job, besides the commute, would have to be creating relevant educational programs for the food industry. Staying ahead of trends and finding interesting topics to educate industry professionals on while raising money for scholarships

environmental footprint. I’m additionally proud of the people I’ve been able to mentor, lead and encourage. It brings tremendous pride to be able to teach and train a future generation of leaders.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

Sustainability work that culminated in a presentation at a major sustainability conference inclusive of our entire executive leadership team, all the way up to our CEO. I had historically been very comfortable operating in a support function, influencing in the background. The opportunity gave me the confidence to take on more visible leadership roles and propelled a successful career in merchandising.

of muesli—the equivalent of over 8,000 bowls of muesli consumed every morning.

Current position:

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

BBA, Finance, with emphasis in Entrepreneurship, University of Iowa. Founder, Notes for Cliff (501(c)(3))

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

I started Seven Sundays with four muesli recipes, an old Raleigh bike and trailer, some rented after-hours kitchen space at a friend’s restaurant and a crazy desire to share a simpler and better breakfast with the world. Last year, we sold half a million bags

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for students studying food marketing at Saint Joseph’s University can be challenging.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

The advice I give to young professionals is to take every opportunity to move with your company now while you are young. Life gets complicated with a family, so do it while you have the ability to be flexible. No experience is wasted; it’s how you use it that counts!

Hobbies:

My hobbies include exercise, singing with my husband, writing my blog (The Gluten-Free Professor) and teaching marketing courses.

The world of retail is fast paced, exciting and ever changing. New, innovative ideas cross my desk every day. It takes discipline to stay focused and on strategy in an environment with so many distractions.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals? Don’t wait to be given an opportunity—create one.

Hobbies:

Enjoying beautiful Northwest Arkansas with my two daughters. We love to visit the Amazeum, explore the numerous trails in the area and swim at the community center.

Having the courage and discipline to say no to the “shiny object.”

Years with company: Founder & President

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What is the most challenging part of your job?

HANNAH BARNSTABLE SEVEN SUNDAYS Five

in the Food Industry

My defining career moment happened halfway around the world on my honeymoon. At the time, I was working in New York as an investment banker and had taken several weeks off to trek around New Zealand. Brady and I started each morning reflecting, refueling, planning and feeling grateful for the new day. I decided then and there that I wanted to bring this “simpler is better” perspective back to the U.S. Treat every day like a Sunday and start refreshed, energized and satisfied. Away with traditional cereal aisles and low quality breakfast options! Seven Sundays was born.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Conveying our authentic story and product benefits to consumers. Our world is congested with information—people are constantly

being marketed to. Ironically, we put a lot of work into making our products simpler. We visit the farms to source the highest quality ingredients and ensure they are sustainably grown. We spend endless hours in the kitchen crafting delicious recipes from real food ingredients vs. relying on food labs, flavorings and added fat and sugar. We rely on just-in-time production, fresh ingredients and resealable packaging to preserve our products, never preservatives.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Figure out what you love to do, what you are truly passionate about and then figure out a way to do that thing every day.

Hobbies:

I love to run around Minneapolis’ beautiful lakes, backcountry camp, endlessly stroll the aisles of my favorite grocery stores, entertain (especially brunch!) and make meals from scratch for my sweet family of four.

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Women of Influence in the Food Industry 12TH EDITION

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SARAH BAROW HP HOOD LLC Years with company: 10

Current position:

Director of Communications & Community Affairs

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

BA, Government and French, Bowdoin College. Professional and volunteer affiliations: CakeWalk Committee for Birthday Wishes; Bowdoin Alumni Student Interview Committee (BASIC).

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? I’m most proud of the relationships that I’ve worked hard to develop over the course of my career.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

I’m proud of what we have accomplished over the years. So much has changed over the last 10 years, and we’ve learned from both our successes and our mistakes. I certainly didn’t know where the social and digital landscape would take us when we first dipped our toes in, but it’s been a great adventure to find our way.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Three and a half

Current position:

Associate Social Media Manager

Education and professional /volunteer organizations:

MS, Broadcast Journalism, Boston University, 2013; BA, English & Mass Communication, Assumption College, 2010. Member, Sigma Tau Delta, Assumption College.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? I am proud of the long-lasting, genuine relationships I’ve built with the people we work with in the social space such as bloggers, influencers and content creators. These relationships are essential to tapping into different audiences and building awareness of our

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Current position:

Marketing Communications Manager

Education and professional /volunteer organizations:

BS, Community Health and Education; Leadership RI 2014; Rhode Island Food Dealers Board of Directors; high school mentor.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? I started working for Dave’s when I was 14 years old, left during college and a short time after, only to return. I am proud of how Dave’s has grown up, and so have I. From a cashier to mastering departments within the stores to buying and supervising our gift basket division to social media, marketing and website develop-

brand and have broadened my own network considerably.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

I am most proud of how my career has developed over the past three and a half years. When I first started, my role mainly consisted of managing our social communities and brand campaigns. Now, not only do I create and manage content and promotions for our social media platforms as well as the brand’s social advertising, but also have a hand in influencer marketing, PR and event planning for our brand activations at events like the Golden Globe Awards. This evolution has allowed me to push my boundaries and creativity and makes my job something I am truly passionate about.

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Current position:

Marketing Director

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

MGPA, Project Management, University of Montréal; BBA, Specialization in Marketing and International Management, University of Ottawa.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? When I joined Nature’s Touch a year ago, my mandate was to build the marketing department from the ground up. Like any challenge, it was both daunting and exhilarating, especially since

OLIVE CHASE THE CASUAL GOURMET

What is the most challenging part of your job?

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

I am most proud to have been able to build a year-round company that has lasted and thrived for 30 years on Cape Cod with our seasonal economy and the vast changes that technology has brought to our industry. We were early adopters of email and the internet. I

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this was a new category for me. Of course, as the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” but let’s just say that now, when I look back, I can honestly say that I have set the bases for success with our branded portfolio by developing the brand imagery, marketing strategies and action plans to support our brands in the various countries where we are distributed.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

Dropping my previous job in a larger organization when I realized the company values no longer resembled mine. I didn’t have another job opportunity lined up but instead of feeling like I was jumping into a void, I felt free. I took some time to enjoy everyday moments with my family and reflect on what I truly wanted as a next challenge in my career. When I joined Nature’s Touch, a

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

Current chair, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce; board member, Massachusetts Restaurant Association; past chair, Lighthouse Charter School; past chair, Sturgis Charter School; past board member and treasurer, International Caterers Association.

Find a mentor who really believes in you and your career. Their knowledge, insight and experiences can be invaluable to your own.

Hobbies:

Outside of my full-time job, I teach at a New Hampshire dance studio and am the head coach of the Southern New Hampshire University Dance Team. I also love to travel, cook, read and spend time with my husband, family and friends.

Be prepared for change. Accept that it is not always going to be a straight line. Put your head down and accomplish something every day but recognize it may not be what you planned to accomplish. Set goals.

Of all the defining moments, the one that has brought me to this position was probably the most defining. Our company was at a crossroads for growth; we needed someone who could orchestrate marketing plans, take community initiatives and master a social media voice that customers could respond to. I requested to move into this role that had yet to really be defined. I felt this was an opportunity to develop and stretch my wings in a different way.

Current position:

Education and professional and volunteer affiliations:

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Do you have a defining moment in your career?

had one of the first websites, and it expanded our marketplace far beyond Cape Cod, fueling tremendous growth.

Owner, President, Founder

The always-changing social media landscape is exciting but can also make reporting and analysis challenging when benchmarks are constantly shifting.

What I love about my job is that it is 24/7; the constant “juggling” keeps me motivated and focused. But at the same time, it is the most challenging. And the people—I love who I work with and who I meet.

Years with company: 30

What is the most challenging part of your job?

ment, the opportunities Dave’s has provided me has enabled me to learn and grow in so many directions. With the freedom I am given, we are able to take initiatives and develop plans for our company and community. I am so proud of the impact we are able to make.

ISABELLE CHARTRAND NATURE’S TOUCH FROZEN FOODS Years with the company:

Travel, cooking (with Hood products) and spending time with my husband and two boys.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

SUSAN BUDLONG DAVE’S MARKETPLACE Years with company:

Hobbies:

In today’s climate, I think as food professionals that we’re always watching and waiting to see what the next “hot button” issue will be for consumers. Trying to prepare for what that might be and having the resources to respond when it arises is what’s most challenging—and most interesting—about the job.

MARIE BUCKLIN LINDT CHOCOLATE USA Years with the company:

Recognize the resources you have around you, and take advantage of learning whatever you can from them. Always ask questions and think outside of the box, as those are the keys to problem solving.

There have been a series of challenges and moments, but the biggest was to take the leap, believe in myself and start my own business. Another big moment was finding Mike Roman and the organization that became Catersource. Through that affiliation, I gained not only peers all over the country but constant education in the best of the catering industry and have also been able to give back by mentoring new caterers and speaking at the annual conference that has grown to over 7,000 attendees.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Hobbies:

My best day is when I can take a long peaceful walk with no noise, no music; that helps me regroup. A great book can do the same thing. And I love to cook. Family time together with a house full of kids grounds me and reminds me how lucky and thankful I am.

fast-growing, medium-sized frozen fruit company, I felt that both the products and the company philosophy appealed to me and engaged not only my skills but, most importantly, my heart as well.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Making more with less in a fast-changing marketing environment.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

It doesn’t matter whether you are part of a large or small organization; only teamwork gets great things done. Plus, it’s way more fun!

Hobbies:

I enjoy cooking and baking with my kids, even if it involves cleaning up more than anything else. I love traveling but love planning the trip even more. A good house renovation is always fun; it brings novelty and change to the everyday.

so staying fresh, constantly reinventing food, service and ways of reaching clients is a tremendous challenge when you are the established market leader.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Figure out your passion, then educate yourself about what you love; read, join associations, find like-minded peers and try to give back as you go along.

Hobbies:

Board service, politics. I am a born wonk and love to delve deeply into policy and how things work. And tasting great food wherever I can find it.

Managing a diverse work force in a seasonal economy is always a challenge. I am in an industry that always wants something new,

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Congratulations!

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Christi Woodworth Vice President of Public Relations

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You’re worth a mint to us!

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Women of Influence in the Food Industry 12TH EDITION

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SARA CIOTTI GIANT EAGLE INC.

had a goal and achieved it. Seeing your ideas produce results is hard to beat. Also, watching team members that I have mentored or supervised be promoted is a great feeling. It is important to help grow the new talent and push and support them as they take on new responsibility.

Years with the company: 12

Current position:

Director of Procurement

Education and professional/volunteer organizations: MBA, Duquesne University BS, Finance, Penn State University Duquesne University, Women’s Leadership Program Embark Mentoring program Giant Eagle Diversity Council Giant Eagle Women’s Business Resource Group

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

Years with company:

Retail supermarket executive with over 40 years’ experience, including corporate strategy, marketing, innovation, retail operations and private brands management.

Current position: VP, Own Brands Product Management

Education and professional volunteer organizations:

BS, Business Administration and Marketing Network of Executive Women Advisory Board, PLMA Collaboration Summit Member of WISE (Women Impacting Storebrand Excellence) Board member, WIIN (Women’s Inspiration & Inclusion Network) FOCUS Resource Group—Focus on Cancer Understanding & Support Albertsons Chair, “Stepping Out for Cancer Cure” President, Board of Directors, Across the World Adoption.

I am a new mother, so balance has been challenging. Luckily, I have a great support system. I think the other biggest challenge is taking the time to set up myself and the team with the right expectations, priorities and support and to tackle everyday operations and continuous improvement for the business.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

I took a risk moving from HR to supply chain. That move forced me out of my comfort zone and challenged me to learn every area of the business. My mentors gave me the confidence I needed to make the switch. It opened up an entirely different career path my 25-year-old self could not predict.

Be curious about the work you do. It will lead to building relationships and learning.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

few years. As the landscape changes, shoppers needs change and our business changes, I am constantly challenged to look at our business differently and evolve my leadership skills to be effective in the changing environment.

When I started running a line of business was exciting for me. I

NANCY COTA ALBERTSONS COS.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

I am most proud of rising through the ranks of a male-dominated industry, helping to blaze the trail for other women to be acknowledged for their abilities and contributions, and the joy I have from mentoring others and seeing them succeed. I am proud of building my legacy in our stores by launching Starbucks kiosks; launching five separate private label brands; and leading huge innovation initiatives that have proven to be very successful.

Do you have a defining moment in your career?

A defining moment in my life and my career was when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had a double mastectomy and was out of work for many months. I had to recognize that high stress most likely contributed to my getting this disease and identify what changes I needed to make in my life if I was to return to a role with tremendous responsibility and balance my role as a mother of seven children.

Hobbies:

I am a new mother, so spending time with my family now fills my “hobby” time. I also love to read, hunt at estate sales for great pieces of history, and paint.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

You must own your own attitude; choose to stay “all fired up” and champion others. You will always get back more than you ever give. Work with a sense of urgency in everything you do and never, ever give up.

Hobbies

Family—seven children (four biological, three adopted) Support foster parent programs Support of adoptions for older children and children with special needs. Bocce ball.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The most challenging part of my job is to reinvent myself every

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KRISTINE COX THE NEWPORT HARBOR HOTEL AND MARINA, SHANER HOTEL GROUP Years with company:

mind to it, with constant hard work, loyalty to yourself and endless dedication, it’s all achievable.

Current position:

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

Three

General Manager

Education and professional /volunteer organizations:

Associate’s Degree, Hospitality AHLA board member representing Rhode Island; RIHA board member; Discover Newport board member; Marriott and Hilton GM Certified; AH&L Certified in Hotel Analytics.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? Starting from ground zero at $8 an hour and working my way to the top as a professional woman. Taking tremendous risks in life to dedicate to my career, which has paid off greatly. Showing young women in the industry, and around the world, that if you put your

ARIANE DAGUIN D’ARTAGNAN

Before joining the Shaner team, I had a very long, loyal tenure in my career with a previous company. Unfortunately, I had never won an award for my achievements. I had many successes, but I joined Shaner and chose to take a path outside of my comfort zone by running an independent hotel for the first time. I was awarded the General Manager of the Year in 2014 after my first year. Someone noticed me, and the support and recognition was exhilarating. It was great to know not only did I take the risk, but I delivered on my goals and was recognized for my success.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Learning from the Millennials. Being of the Gen X generation, I have had to truly study and understand our upcoming generation

Years with company:

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Current position:

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

Hobbies:

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City Harvest; Les Dames D’Escoffier; Who’s Who, James Beard Foundation.

in the industry. With their technological communication and endless commitment to a work-life balance, they have taught me a great deal. I pride myself in training upcoming stars in the hospitality industry. This challenge has opened many doors for me and my understanding of our future in hospitality.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

To stay as far out of your comfort zone as you possibly can. I have grown to push myself beyond what I thought I could do in my career. Much of this could not be achieved without this great piece of advice given by my mentors and truly believing in it and applying it.

Hobbies:

Running, painting, dining out, spending time with my son and running hotels.

The extreme perishability of fresh poultry, meats and mushrooms. Believe in yourself.

Cooking, traveling and eating.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? To have started D’Artagnan Co. from nothing, and today its sales are $115 million and 255 employees strong.

Do you have a defining moment of your career? In 2005, I bought out my partner.

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PEGGY DAVIES PLMA Years with company:

What is the most challenging part of your job?

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Maximizing my broad network to grow participation and interest in the store brand industry. I have recognized that there is nothing more rewarding than to see the private brand business grow and diversify with people and with products to reach and reflect the consumers we serve.

Current position:

VP, Association Relations

Education and professional/volunteer organizations: BA, Sociology, Wilkes University Women Impacting Storebrand Excellence (WISE)

on the next level. And know how to negotiate.

Hobbies:

Entertaining.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? First (and at the moment only) female chairman of the PLMA board of directors (2003-04); founder of WISE (2011).

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

Promotion in 1995 to VP of private label sales at Comstock Michigan Fruit.

SARA DAY KELLOGG CO.

Develop then foster your network; set goals and step back and analyze them periodically as to where you are now and where you want to be over the short and long term. Seek out new assignments that will stretch and challenge you; track your accomplishments throughout the year as they happen. “The only constant is change,” so one of the best ways to advance your career is to constantly be learning, no matter what new skill you decide to take

Years with company:

Every role I have had, whether a lateral move or a promotion, has helped shape who I am today.

Current position:

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

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Senior Director, Commercial Marketing

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

BS, Food Industry and Business, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; MBA, with specialization in Innovation & Technology, Benedictine University. Professional and Volunteer Affiliations: Women’s Foodservice Forum; Network of Executive Women; Women of Kellogg; District 58 PTA.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

I am proud to have worked for the same company for almost 17 years and have been afforded the opportunity to grow from within. eI have had roles across different channels (traditional retail, warehouse club, drug, dollar, discount, foodservice, convenience, vending and alternate retail) and different functions (product development, procurement, innovation, brand and channel marketing).

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In 2012, I was promoted to a senior channel manager role managing Kellogg’s largest foodservice segment, K-12. I started this role literally a few days prior to the implementation of the 2012 “Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act,” which required many possible changes to the Kellogg portfolio to maintain federal compliance. Everything that my predecessor provided me with in terms of regulatory training pretty much went out the window on day 3. With a federal document in hand and an outstanding nutrition business partner, we dove into the details to provide education to senior leadership across the company on the business impact, put plans in place for mitigating risk and, ultimately, drafted comments to rules that protected Kellogg’s industry leadership position and shaped final government rulings.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

I hate to sound cliché, but balance. My plate, like many, is rather full and I try to not only accomplish what I have on my to-do list but also make sure I am available for my team. At times this means

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Current position:

Seasonal Program Supervisor

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

Auburn Senior High; Professional Training Courses; Communication Skills Training. Activities Committee member at Imperial Former PTO member, volunteer at local churches and moms clubs.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? All of my career achievements have been with Imperial Distributors since I have been with them my entire professional career. I have held a handful of positions over the years, and would have

to say when I was given the opportunity to work in the buying/ purchasing department was overall a positive move in my career. I have worked with some amazing mentors who have also been my biggest advocates.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

In 2008, I was honored to receive “The High Performance Leader Award” and in 2012 I was presented with “The Distinction Award for Change Agent Leadership.” These were given to me by my peers and mentors, which meant the world to me as I was with a company for a number of years and was still being recognized for my achievements.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

That would have to be meeting our seasonal deadlines—coordinating and balancing everyone’s schedule and time. I do work with an

ADELINE DRUART VERMONT CREAMERY Year with company: 14

Current Position: President

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

Master’s, Biotechnology and Bio-industry, and BS, Biotechnology Bio-Industrie, Institut Universitaire Professionel–Alimentec, France; BTS, Dairy Technology and Science, Ecole Nationale d’Industrie Laitiere. Member, American Cheese Society (ACS) and Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR).

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Do not be reluctant to take lateral moves or stretch assignments in your career. I feel that taking lateral roles throughout my career has enabled me to become a more well-rounded and resourceful contributor. It has also allowed me to understand what I am truly passionate about and where I feel I can make a difference.

Hobbies:

At this time in my life, my No. 1 “hobby” is my kids and their activities. I have two very active boys (ages 9 and 5) who keep my husband and very busy with travel soccer, baseball, basketball and swimming. When free time permits, I enjoy outdoor activities, baking, fitness and traveling.

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SANDY DESAUTELS IMPERIAL DISTRIBUTORS Years with company:

prioritizing certain meetings over others or even the occasional “working lunch” meeting. I believe in empowering my team to make decisions on their respective businesses, but I always want my “open” sign flashing when they need someone to bounce an idea off of or work toward a solution.

speak the language when I arrived stateside. I built my career from the ground up, letting my passion for the people and products and the amazing mentorship I received from our co-founders guide me.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

Taking on a management team. I’ve realized how amazing and enabling it is to harness the talent of the individuals that have been the catalyst for our growth and innovation.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

amazing team of people, and they devote extra time and energy to get this done, and for that I am extremely grateful.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

The best advice I can give is always be kind and really listen to what people have to say. You can learn a lot from other people’s experiences. Work hard and always be open to change. Don’t be afraid to try new ideas out of your comfort zone.

Hobbies:

I love gardening. I also enjoy cooking and trying new recipes, spending time at the beach, exercising, long walks, playing with my granddaughter, Aria May, and entertaining at home for special events and holidays with family and friends.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Dream, but don’t be a dreamer. Find what you like and pursue it wholeheartedly. Be passionate; if you are passionate about something and you believe in yourself and what you’re making or selling, it’s going happen.

Hobbies:

Cooking, playing with my two kids, yoga, design and discovering places in Vermont and beyond.

As a small business leader, you have to be hands-on, nimble and entrepreneurial. My biggest challenge is balancing between high-level strategic thinking and jumping into the trenches with my team to guide and help them succeed.

I came to Vermont Creamery as a 22-year-old intern; I didn’t

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ILANA FISCHER SCHUMAN CHEESE Years with company:

well—new product development and strategy—and what I love, which is great food, especially great cheese.

Current Position:

What is the most challenging part of your job?

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VP, Innovation & Strategy

Education and professional/volunteer organizations: BA, Barnard College, Columbia University MA, MBA, New York University

Do you have a defining moment in your career?

For me, a defining moment was realizing that to pursue my passions meant to work in food. When I worked in the corporate sector, I would get my food fix working in cheese shops and taking classes on the weekends. When this opportunity at Schuman Cheese came up, I jumped at it. It’s a combination of what I do

KRISTINE FORD DEEP RIVER SNACKS Years with the company: Two

Current position: VP of Marketing

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

BS, Marketing, University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business. Active in several local community groups, including PTO.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? Doing more with less. Most of my career has been spent in entrepreneurial environments where we didn’t stand a chance of breaking through without breaking the mold. Nothing is more satisfying than outshining a competitor whose team and budget dwarf your own.

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Prioritizing projects and maintaining speed. My job is to innovate, so we need to be able to move quickly to stay ahead of the curve. At the same time, we have to do our homework before we decide to launch a product, as we have many more ideas than we can realistically execute. It’s a delicate balance and requires both a strong gut instinct about what will work and also a compelling and rigorous case to make internally and to customers about why it will work.

Years with company: 14

Current position: Managing Partner

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

American Taekwondo Association; NBMBA; NSHA; NEW.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

When I first transitioned from supermarket management to executive search, I learned early on that the biggest competitive advantage is a strong ethical foundation. When I opened Samuel J. Associates, this was the groundwork that the company was built on. I am most proud of the reputation we have established. I and our associates have worked hard to ensure that we are viewed as “partners” and that our integrity and ethics are demonstrated clearly in the way we interact with our clients.

Do you have a defining moment in your career?

I think the defining moment for me was in 1996. I had been recruiting for three years, and I was debating the value of this

BETH FORSTER BLUE APRON Years with company: Two and a half

Current position:

Director of Farm Partnerships

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

Master’s, City and Regional Planning, University of Pennsylvania; BA, English Literature, University of Puget Sound. Founding owner, Groundwork Group Consultants Advisory Committee member, National Farm Viability Conference Women in Tech.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? Building new supply chains that promote the viability of smalland medium-scale farms, even though Blue Apron is a large-scale

ing the problems that no one else wants to solve will demonstrate skill, dedication and leadership. It’s a win-win for both you and the company.

Hobbies:

I love to write and am currently working on a screenplay with a friend. I am also passionate about life in NYC, and love to try new restaurants, see plays and take long walks around new neighborhoods here. And, of course, I love to sample new cheeses!

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Raise your hand and volunteer for extra projects at work. It’s the easiest way to build great experience and a great reputation. Solv-

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

I suppose the moment that had the biggest impact on my career was the one that got it all started. Before graduating, I reached out to Annie’s—then an eight-person company based in Wakefield, Massachusetts—because I had fallen in love with their model for social responsibility (and had subsisted almost exclusively on their mac & cheese throughout college). They made room for me, and I enjoyed an amazing learning experience that allowed me to follow my passions while creating a strong foundation for the rest of my career. Many of the other moments that stand out have to do with mentorship. Helping someone realize their potential is a gift, and I’ve been honored to work with incredible people along the way.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Doing more with less. We run a very lean ship at Deep River, yet

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at the same time the business is growing so quickly that we need to continuously reinvent ourselves. Prioritizing and planning to maximize our resources yet maintaining extreme flexibility and nimbleness is critical but a big challenge.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

First, be authentic. It leads to deeper connections and much greater fulfillment. Second, never doubt the power of common sense and intuition. Data is an invaluable tool, of course, but it is a distraction if not bounded by strategy and reason. Further, being confident in your innate abilities also makes taking on new challenges less intimidating, which is important for advancement.

Hobbies:

Spending time with my husband and two children, preferably outdoors or exploring new places.

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career vs. returning to supermarket management. I was invited to a client holiday party during which the CEO gave a speech to thank his team for a great year. When he asked me to stand and gave me recognition for helping to grow his company from 10 to 35 employees and that he felt like I was part of the team, I was both surprised and honored. It made me truly realize that while it was different from my previous role, as a recruiter, I would still have the ability to help companies be successful.

What is the most challenging part of the job?

Each retailer has its own “fingerprint”—a uniqueness that needs to be considered during the selection/hiring process. The most challenging part of my job is the feeling of responsibility to deliver against that. Whether we are placing an individual at a store-level position or a CEO, that person will have an impact on the company and associates in some way, big or small. As the “gatekeeper” to the client, it is my responsibility to identify individuals that I believe will fit into the culture and demonstrate the leadership qualities and skills that will be most effective for the business. If it’s not the right match, the result of that could be a defining moment for either party’s future. Sometimes that means advising the client against the hire and other times convincing the client to interview

buyer. This has been key to our strategy of regenerating the soil through growing food.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

Every time I hear a farmer talk about how my work, dedication and innovation has impacted their farm, I am inspired to continue to find more ways to drive farm viability across the country.

when the resumé isn’t an exact match to what they considered “ideal.” While I don’t make the hiring decision, I and our associates do go the extra distance to make sure that we have covered every aspect of the qualification process that is within our control.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Having a successful career is a marathon, not a sprint. Learn as much as you can from each role and understand how to adapt and apply that to the next position. Have realistic expectations with your career growth and your employer. Becoming truly adept at something and to be ready for the next step takes dedication, persistence and perseverance. It’s not about immediate gratification; often, time is the best teacher.

Hobbies:

My favorite things to do include spending time with my three kids; training, competing and teaching Taekwondo; and working around our little farm.

done before.

Hobbies:

Cooking (comes with the job), running with my dog Maddie, anything outside, and photography.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Reversing the impacts of the industrial food supply chain that has prioritized consolidation, intensification managed through chemical inputs, reduced healthy soil practices and created high costs of entry for new farmers.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Don’t think that something can’t be done because it hasn’t been

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March 2017 Women of Influence in the Food Industry 12TH EDITION

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Women of Influence in the Food Industry 12TH EDITION

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March 2017

AMY GODIN DEAN FOODS CO. Years with company:

10 with Dean Foods; total of 21 in food/beverage marketing.

Current position:

Field Marketing Director, North Region

Education and professional/volunteer organizations: BA, Journalism

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

When I look back at my career, I am most proud of the depth of experience I have been fortunate enough to have over the years in the industry, from a Boston advertising agency working on a national quick-serve restaurant account to managing emerging product categories at both private and large public companies. Having these experiences have helped me develop as a professional

and as a person. One moment that stands out for me was when I managed the successful pilot market rollout of TruMoo, which today is the No. 1 national brand of flavored milk.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The most challenging aspect of my job is having the ability to anticipate and respond quickly to the ever-changing needs of the marketplace, as well as navigating through the changes in “how and where” we connect to consumers today vs. a decade ago.

Do you have any advice for upcoming younger executives: Challenge yourself. Be open to taking detours off your planned career path in order to find out what truly motivates you.

Hobbies:

Spending time with my husband and two children—proudly

ALLISON GOLDSTEIN STOP & SHOP NEW ENGLAND Years with company: 15

Current position:

Director of Human Resources

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

BS, Management & Organizational Behavior. Society for Human Resources Management; Network of Executive Women (NEW) College Mentoring Committee; Certified Labor Relations Professional and Certified Human Resource Professional, Michigan State University.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? In my career, I have had the opportunity to lead several high-

changing hats from working mom to “soccer/Little League mom” nearly every weekend and weeknights when I can. Traveling to sunny destinations to collect seashore treasures with the kids and hunting for unique finds at antique stores off the beaten path.

performing teams. Providing support and guidance to ensure the team is successful as individuals and as a whole is what I find the most rewarding.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

I have had several opportunities to be involved in activities related to collective bargaining. One of my most defining moments was leading a related project which demanded exceptional results under the most difficult of circumstances. Planning and collaboration were the skills I leveraged to lead the team to persevere and deliver on the target.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

proach to appropriately meet the demands of each circumstance. Within the human resources organization, I must leverage skill sets which allow me to coach, mentor, challenge, seek opportunities, deliver results and champion success. This poses a never-ending challenge, which ultimately keeps me highly engaged.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Hold yourself to a high standard and be prepared to challenge yourself to avoid shortcuts. Use that as the foundation to build networks that will open doors for professional opportunities.

Hobbies:

Travel, early education enrichment, mentoring.

As a leader in a dynamic industry, I must constantly assess my ap-

SUZANNE GRECO SUBWAY RESTAURANTS Years with company:

I worked as a sandwich artist as a teenager and I joined the corporate team 31 years ago.

Current position: President & CEO

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Evolving the company to meet the rapidly changing consumer expectations and providing innovative initiatives to continue to grow the business.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

What are you most proud of in your career?

Set your vision, keep an open mind. Listen to your customers. Be innovative and nimble. Surround yourself with smart people.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

Hobbies:

BA, Business Administration, Sacred Heart University. The work we have done to bring affordable, nutritious food to our customers around the world. Becoming president and CEO and carrying on the family legacy,

HANNAH HABES MATCHAFUL Years with company:

Two; more than eight years in the food and beverage industry.

Current position:

Founder & Chief Matcha Officer

Education and professional/volunteer organizations: BA, Economics, University of Washington. Network of Executive Women.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I started my matcha company, Matchaful, as a side project while working full time. Because of my work obligations, I was only able to dedicate a handful of hours at night and on the weekends to Matchaful. Those handful of hours on nights and weekends quickly began a full-time second job. Before I knew it, I was in

DIANE HICKS STOP & SHOP Years with company: 25

Current position:

VP of Sales & Merchandising

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

Associate’s, Criminal Justice. Volunteer, Johns Hopkins neurology department and neurosurgeons, supporting patients with trigeminal neuralgia.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

I have held various roles throughout the organization in my 25year career. I started as a part-time cashier, front-end manager, held all store management roles, human resources manager, HBC sales manager, district director, produce director, center store director, and, most recently, VP of sales. I have earned credibility that hard work can lead to a successful career. Throughout different

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while transforming the business to be the No. 1 quick-service restaurant in every market we serve.

Supporting my two daughters in reaching their personal goals.

an enviable position where I was able to turn my passion into my career. Being able to turn my true passion into a sustainable, mission-driven business is what I am most proud of and is also the defining moment in my young career.

lot to learn and a lot to prove. That said, I would embrace the opportunity to mentor and work with other up-and-coming female entrepreneurs who are looking for guidance in starting their own companies in the food and beverage space.

What is the most challenging part about your job?

Hobbies:

In the interest of preserving the company’s vision and to maintain full control of strategic decisions in the company’s early stages, we have declined any outside investment to date. Thus, I am forced to be fully accountable for the company’s budget, reinvest every dollar back into growing the business and make sure that I actively manage our cash flow.

I love to go for runs, travel, meditate and play mother to my adorable two-year-old aussiedoodle.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

I would argue that I am still an “upcoming professional” with a

roles, I have mentored many people across organization. While I moved to different roles, I always continued my mentorships, even when I no longer had direct responsibilities to those people. I take great pride in being a role model and mentor. People development is my top priority.

Do you have a defining moment in your career?

I have had a successful career and worked very hard to earn every promotion I received. I followed the traditional path, moving to a different part of the organization for my husband’s career, where I was promoted several times to director-level positions. In 2016, in my current organization, I took a risk and blazed a trail for my career, accepting a job in the New York Metro division. This was my defining moment, as my family followed my career for the first time. I have now come full circle; I am back in the division where I started 25 years ago. Not only did my family support me—they

knew how hard I worked and that this was my dream job—but they put my needs before their own. Here I am six months into my new role and I couldn’t have made a better decision.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Creating exciting and stealthy sales and marketing plans to compete in today’s market. It’s important to drive sales and create excitement, week after week. While challenging, it can be rewarding.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Never make excuses and never change who you are for any job. Be yourself and know that you can be successful at work. It can be very rewarding when you achieve both.

Hobbies:

I enjoy spending time with my husband and three children. We love being together and having quality family time.

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The Griffin Report of the Northeast

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Women of Influence in the Food Industry 12TH EDITION

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March 2017

PATTY HOLT FOOD LION Years with company:

2010. DMs were recognized at a company meeting for achieving sales budget. There were 93 DMs at this time in the company.

Current position:

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

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Regional Execution & Implementation Specialist

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

Criminal Justice, UNCC. Food Lion Feed; Carrington C.A.R.E.S.; Millgrove United Methodist; past board member, Time Out Youth.

Keep your eyes on the horizon and aim high—know in your heart you can do it. Success is certain because your failure is not one of the options.

Hobbies:

Salt and freshwater fishing, horseback riding and traveling.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? “Count on Me” Award recipient from Food Lion, 2015.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

I received Top 19 District Manager recognition from Food Lion in

HEIDI HUFF IGA USA Years with company: Eight and a half

Current position:

Director of Marketing

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

Luther College, Trinity School of EMS, Supermarket Executive Leadership Program WGA board member; Palatine Youth Baseball/Softball Board; active church member and volunteer.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

Where I am today. I did not “grow up” in the grocery industry, but I think it’s going well. It has been fun to bring outside knowledge to the table as well as learn and grow here.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

I think there is not one overall career-defining moment, but a moment in each job I’ve had, for each company I have worked.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Making sure all of our partners are successful and happy. Every day I want to make sure that what I am doing benefits our retailers, manufacturing and service partners, and wholesalers.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Be strong and be bold. Own the decisions you make and stand by them, but listen to those around you. Praise your teammates for both big and small accomplishments.

Hobbies:

Spending time with my family, traveling, sports.

SHELLY EVERETT JACOBY ADVANTAGE SOLUTIONS Years with company: Six

Current position: Director of Sales

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

BA, Marketing; BS, Business. NEW, NEWFDA, Merrimack School District Budget Committee.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

I am most proud of how I have helped others to excel in their career. By doing so, our client brands have expanded, our business has expanded and our associates are thriving. I believe that I create an engaging and supportive work environment for all.

ALICE JOHNSON BUTTERBALL LLC Years with company: 10

Current Position:

SVP, Food Safety, Animal Care

Education and professional/volunteer organizations: BS, Biology, DVM. AVMA, Old Domion Hound Pony Club.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

The friends and associates that I have made and the opportunity to work within my career.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

Joining Advantage Solutions was a defining moment of my career, because I quickly learned what an amazing company we are and what terrific services we provide to our clients and customers. Advantage Solutions has inspiring leaders who generate a lot of energy and excitement about our future.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The most challenging part of my job is managing and thriving through all of the industry changes—customer acquisitions, client mergers, etc. I have a solid commitment to create “raving fans” of our clients and customers. I also believe it is important to always maintain a positive outlook, as having the “right” attitude is key to long-term success.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

I tell our high-potential associates to explore and learn something about all avenues of the CPG industry, such as marketing, technology, sales and finance. This will truly make you highly valued and well rounded.

Hobbies:

I enjoy spending time with my family, especially watching my two daughters who are very active athletically—golfing and playing tennis. My family gives me a lot of joy and happiness.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Handling the many different opportunities that are present between facilities.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Enjoy your work experience and always do what you believe is the right thing. Do not compromise your values.

Hobbies?

Equestrian sports.

Do you have a defining moment of your career? Moving from a trade association to a company.

SEPIDEH KASHANI GIANT OF CARLISLE Years with company:

then follows. I am especially proud of the times I have helped women succeed and build their careers.

Current position:

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

One; 15 in the industry. District Director

Education and professional /volunteer organizations:

BS, Pharmacy, University of Connecticut; Outreach and Online Education Advisory Board member, Penn State University. Pittsburgh Diversity Conference panelist; Annual Women in Leadership Conference keynote speaker, Walmart.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

I am most proud of helping others achieve their goals. My focus as a leader is the people on my team. I continually work to lead my team in ways that promote their success: the success of the business

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I am trained as a pharmacist and worked in a variety of leadership roles in that industry for the first 15 years of my career. I had the opportunity to move into operations and saw this as a path to broaden my professional horizon. Although I was eager to make the move, I had some understandable doubts about making such a transition. Taking that risk was important because it proved to me that my leadership skills were transferable. Not only was I successful in managing a $750 million-plus business but achieved success surpassing many of my peers who were indigenous to operations.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

that some of my peers took for granted. I find that my collaborative style and decisive mindset in all phases of leading my team— setting clear and achievable goals, expecting appropriate results and instituting accountability when necessary—results not only in a team that follows my leadership, but also respects my decisions.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

While it is important to follow the leadership of your superiors and to acclimate yourself to the corporate culture, you must regularly reflect on how you can impact your business. A true leader not only directs those below them but also influences those above them.

Hobbies:

Reading, poetry and writing.

I found it challenging to be a woman director in a male-dominated field, especially earlier in my career. I worked to earn the respect

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The Griffin Report of the Northeast

CATRINE KELTY CATRINE KELTY FOOD STYLING Years with company 20

Education and professional volunteer organizations:

My background in the fine arts from Concordia University in Montreal (BFA with a specialization in film studies) as well as my culinary experience working in restaurants in the mid-’80s and catering in the ’90s have allowed me to express myself through food styling.

What are you most proud of in your career achievement? I am very proud of the collaborations and connections with different clients and photographers on multiple projects—mostly cookbooks I have had the opportunity and pleasure to style.

Do you have a defining moment in your career?

with this career; think about it once in a while but don’t obsess about it. Make connections with photographers and do some testing for your portfolio. Then one day, you will turn around and realize that you are where you wanted to be. Then think about what comes next.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Hobbies:

When I decided to pursue an editorial career as opposed to a commercial one. Magazines and cookbooks have always appealed to me, so I made the decision to focus my time and energy to market my skills for those type of projects. The most challenging part of my job is finding the right ingredients. We often photograph out of season, so finding stone fruits in February can be tricky. Sourcing ingredients becomes a treasure hunt where you get to learn so much about said ingredient and get to meet very interesting people.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Like most jobs, you need to be a team player, think fast, leave your ego at home and love what you do. Decide where you want to go

JADE LAFRENIERE THE MUFFIN MAM INC. Years with company: Three

Current Position: President

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC); Woman Owned Logo and Branding Development Committee, Greater Women’s Business Council (GWBC); board member, Mentor for the Mentor/Protégé Program; WBE Connect committee co-chair; Greenville Chamber of Commerce, South Carolina economic/ workforce development; IDDBA; The Triune Mercy Center.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

Developing better-for-you and clean-label product lines that are aggressively competitive with traditional products on shelf stability, taste and cost for the fresh bakery section and private label assortments. I love creating products that are affordable and parents can feel good about serving their children.

Do you have a defining moment in your career?

When my mother (Muffin Mam’s founder) died, I left the spa world of health and wellness and took over the family business, selling cakes and muffins, in 2014. On day 2 at Muffin Mam, I fell in love with my team, manufacturing and the opportunity to serve others with a purpose. I got involved with WBENC through the recertification process, and my regional partners (GWBC) connected me to programs that gave me the community support and confidence I needed to speak up and cultivate change.

PENELOPE LAMANNA IMPERIAL DISTRIBUTORS Years with company: Two

Current position:

Category Manager, HBC

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

BS, Interior Merchandising (major) and Art (minor), Framingham State University; Phi Upsilon Omicron honors. GMDC member under Imperial Distributors.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

I have been in category management for over 15 years, and I what I am most proud of is driving increases in sales in my product categories—especially in lines which may be declining or flat in the market—by truly understanding the product I am working with and the customer’s needs.

CHERYL LANNI FERRERO USA Years with company: Three

Current Position:

Senior Trade Marketing Manager

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

MBA, Wake Forest University Babcock School of Management; BS, Marketing, Villanova University; Certificate in Design Thinking for Innovative Business Problem Solving, Wake Forest University; Network of Executive Women (NEW) member and NEW Rising Stars Leadership Program.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? I am most proud of the ability I have had to adapt and overcome

JANELLE LEMAY DANNON Years with company: Three and a half

Current position:

Senior Category Insights & Strategy Manager

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

BS, Business, Saint Joseph’s College; MBA, University of Central Florida. Network of Executive Women (NEW).

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? I am most proud of the team that I get to work with every day at Dannon. Dannon empowers each and every one of us to truly own our business and have a voice at every meeting. I have never worked with such an amazing team that is so committed with a true desire to win. We continually challenge each other to think

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March 2017 Women of Influence in the Food Industry 12TH EDITION

Do you have a defining moment in your career?

When others questioned my choices because I thought outside the box and created merchandising decisions based new ideas and the data I had available. I made significant changes that ultimately created success for my customers.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

I previously worked as an online category manager making all of my own final decisions. Now as a distributor, I have many customers who have their own final buyers. And my customers all have different demographics, various store sizes, ways to go to market and individual needs. Even within each customer, there are unique differences with every storefront. In today’s market, the demographics are changing and merging and there is more and more competition for the food channel (from) mass marketers and online. These are all things that create everyday challenges

the challenges life has presented to me, personally and professionally. Going back to school for my MBA while working full time and now relocating my family for a new opportunity, I have always worked to challenge myself and explore new opportunities. I am fortunate and thankful for the guidance and mentorship senior leaders have provided along the way, not only keeping me on track through life’s surprises but motivating me to find opportunity and personal growth in each challenge that I encounter.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

As the mother of two young toddlers, with the support of my husband, I recently decided to take on a HQ role and relocate my family from North Carolina to New Jersey. It has been a challenging few months being away from my family, traveling weekly and searching for a new home, while also taking on the responsibilities

Believe it or not, even after styling all week, I love to cook and entertain. I love being in nature—gardening, hiking, foraging. I am also a big collector, so you will find me in antique shops and flea markets. My work also has led me to my own search and exploration by taking photographs behind the scenes with my iPhone on photo shoots. This exploration of the moments I stumble upon have become sketches that help me on my day-to-day work.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

As the youngest member of my leadership team, I am also the newest member. My team has been working together for 15 to 20 years. So cultivating a culture that is focused on growing leaders who grow leaders during a season of high growth presents many challenges for me, as an outsider on the inside of my own company.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Focus on growing and serving others; you will grow by default. And never be afraid to ask questions.

Hobbies:

I love and played roller derby for many years. I also enjoy yoga, painting and traveling with family.

for me to ensure that each of my customer’s stores is successful in competing against what is happening in its area while maintaining current devoted buyers and attracting new buyers so they do not purchase elsewhere.

Do you have any advice for new upcoming professionals? Make sure you have your eyes and ears open to what is happening in the industry and all over the world. And make sure you learn about the various products you are buying, selling, marketing, etc. Do not be afraid to ask questions and take risks.

Hobbies:

I enjoy running/hiking, Pilates and playing and spending time with my boys.

of my new role. The opportunity to take on a headquarter role, with a senior leadership team that supports my professional growth and development is a critical stepping stone in my career progression, and I am confident in and excited for the long-term career benefits that will ultimately benefit me and my family.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The most challenging part of my job is maintaining focus on top priorities and long-term visions while also ensuring that we are providing our customers with what they need. Streamlined communication, accountability and teamwork are critical for long-term success.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Take ownership of your career; ask questions, step out of your comfort zone and develop your network.

outside the box to develop new and better ways of working, while in turn developing ourselves. Watching other develop based on your feedback is very rewarding and makes you feel proud to be part of this amazing company and team.

based solutions that the customers, and even internal teammates, implement to solve business issues is extremely rewarding. Seeing your hard work and insight solutions appear on shelf is one of the best feelings.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Hobbies:

When I learned to not only embrace but encourage change. Everyone has their “comfort zone,” but only when you step out of it is when you really define and develop yourself into something better than you were yesterday. The most challenging (and rewarding) part of my job is handling all that is thrown my way. From internal meetings and requests to customer appointments and presentations, not to mention emails, texts and phone calls. It can all be a bit daunting to take on. However attacking and diving into the data to pull out insights and fact-

There are four words that you should never use—“that’s not my job.” Get involved in as much as you can; that is the way that you will learn and develop new skills. Step out of your comfort zone and embrace change. I love to cook and spend time outside gardening and landscaping. Spending time with my husband and my two dogs is also very relaxing. And, of course, shopping for some retail therapy.

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Women of Influence in the Food Industry 12TH EDITION

The Griffin Report of the Northeast

March 2017

MARGARET (MEG) LEVENE ADVANTAGE SOLUTIONS Current position: Division VP

Education and professional volunteer organizations:

BS, Finance and Accounting, California State University–Chico; Executive Certificate, Simmons College Consortium; Executive Certificate, Smith College; National Charity League (NCL); Young President’s Organization (YPO) spouse; GMDC.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? I am proud of building strategic and collaborative partnerships with both retailers and manufacturers that deliver profitable growth. I am proud of the breadth of career and professional experiences that I have had across sales, marketing, strategy, innovation and global markets. These experiences truly enable me to be the strategic leader that I am today. I am especially proud to see

KRISTY LEWIS QUINN SNACKS

the associates that I have hired, trained and mentored throughout my career continue to grow in their own careers and transform this industry.

Do you have a defining moment in your career? Early in my career, I initially turned down a promotion because I didn’t feel I was ready. My mentor “walked me off the ledge” and gave me the confidence to believe in myself and not be afraid of a steep learning curve. That job led to many other promotions, leadership opportunities and experiences that have kept me happily engaged in this industry for my entire career.

What is the most challenging part of your job? Keeping my team focused on delivering client and retailer expectations and driving profitable growth through the “high seas of constant change.” The Northeast market does not disappoint if

Years with the company:

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

Founded the company in 2011

After 10 years of thinking about it, the defining moment was when I just went after my dream.

Current position: Founder & CEO

Education and professional/volunteer organizations: BA, The New School of New York City Naturally Boulder

My three little boys.

Education and professional/volunteer organizations: BS, Business Administration, University of Maine.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? I am most proud of the opportunities I’ve had to take on roles and projects in varying parts of our business. Many times I was not the expert, but in every instance I was fortunate enough to be working with amazing people who helped me grow and learn both personally and professionally.

SHEILA MAINS BROWNIE BRITTLE LLC Years with the company: More than 24

Current position: Founder

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

Network of Executive Women (NEW); IMPACT of the Palm Beaches; National Council of Jewish Women; NEW Futures Fund; mentor, Specialty Food Association; Palm Beach County Food Bank; Cookies for Kids’ Cancer; Miami Children’s Hospital; Canine Companions for Independence.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? Bringing a product to market that no one had ever heard of before and, with that, creating an entire category of thin, crispy, sweet snacks that didn’t exist prior to that—and overcoming tremendous challenges and setbacks in the process.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

In my case, it would have to be when I knew Brownie Brittle was

PAM MATTHEWS QFC Years with the company: 36

Current position: President

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

I have supported and volunteered with various Susan G. Komen chapters throughout my career. I also was a board member, chair and president of the Julian Center in Indianapolis over a seven-year span.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? I am most proud of working my way from bagger to president by having a strong work ethic, an eagerness to learn and a passion for people and results.

WOI GR 2017 1.indd 16

Snow skiing, cycling, hiking and traveling; cooking and entertaining; family and friends and hanging with our kids.

Hobbies:

NICOLE DEVOE LEWIS HANNAFORD SUPERMARKETS Director of Deli, Bakery, Kitchen Category, Merchandising & Pricing

Hobbies:

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Creating our Pure Pop Microwave Popcorn bag and the success this product line is having in Target.

Current position:

Know what you personally value and never stray far from your “true north.” Create a detailed plan for where you want to be in five years and then work back, step by step, including projects, assignments and accomplishments you will need to get there. This is scary, because if you are ambitious, you may realize that there are steps you can take today to get there.

There is no work/life balance. It’s my life.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

19

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Love what you do, because this will become your life if you are lucky.

Years with the company:

you get bored easily. It is easy to take your eye off the prize when retailers are constantly merging, stores are closing and clients are selling brands. It takes a special team to stay focused and continue to win for our clients and retailers. I am truly blessed to lead such a team at Advantage.

Do you have a defining moment in your career?

Do you have advice for upcoming professionals?

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Hobbies:

going to be a winner. It was in July 2012. I was in NYC doing an editor’s event trying to get the word out there about the product when I received a call from our SVP of sales. He asked if I was sitting down, and then proceeded to share some exciting news. He told me that Costco’s Texas Region, who had ordered Brownie Brittle only two weeks prior, had placed a reorder. I burst into tears. Brownie Brittle was a hit. Soon, other regions started ordering, and Brownie Brittle took off.

negative experiences. I still stand in the trade show booths and at consumer events to shake the hands of people purchasing our products or wanting to learn more. And I still bake products in my own oven for innovation. No product goes out without my seal of approval.

I can’t think of one specific defining moment. I’ve had the opportunity to work in a lot of different areas. The times where I’ve grown the most were those times when I was working on a project or entering into a role that was outside of my comfort zone. When I look back over my career, I can point to those opportunities as the ones that helped me grow and develop the most. Balance. It’s always difficult to juggle everything I have going on personally and professionally, wanting to be a good mom, wife, friend and leader. It requires me to be constantly reprioritizing, as in each of those roles unexpected priorities can come up on a daily basis.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

There was a time when I was the CEO, CFO, CMO and SVP of sales and was in charge of every decision. Releasing that control in order to allow the business to grow was difficult. My name is on every single bag, and I want every aspect of the business to reflect the terrific product and experience I know it needs to be. This is my product, these are my customers and this is my reputation. And while I know loosening the reins is the right thing to do for the business, it can be a daily challenge for me. To this day, I often respond to customers personally who have had both positive and

I also take pride in being a strong advocate and mentor for women in the grocery industry. I have initiated the company’s Women’s Edge group in Kroger’s Central and Delta divisions and relaunched it here at QFC. To be named...one of the Indiana Fever’s “Inspiring Women” (was a) great honor.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

When I found myself focusing less on me and more on how I can develop, grow and advance others. It’s a great feeling.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Keeping up with the rapidly changing trends in our industry. Our customers expect us to be innovative, to have friendly customer service and to provide great value, and that is what we are constantly striving for at QFC. Our world is changing every day and we must

Take the time to really understand who you are and what things are most important to you both personally and professionally. Use this as a filter throughout your career as you are considering opportunities. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone from time to time. Those intimidating experiences can offer you the best development. Following my kids’ sporting and school events, cooking (especially trying new recipes), music and exercise. I also like to travel and experience new places, preferably warm destinations.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Remain humble throughout your journey. Don’t ever allow yourself to become too comfortable with growth; listen to feedback from others (including your own customers) while trusting your gut instincts. This is a very fast-paced market today and things can change in an instant. You can go from zero to hero and back again. Keep your edge and continually look out for opportunities to improve your products and your processes. Complacency and overconfidence open up the door to competition, so humility with a dose of paranoia is critical.

Hobbies?

Ummm…what are those?

be quick to recognize, develop and implement new elements to the shopping experience in order to remain relevant.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Establish mentors and peers early in your career that you can confide in, and don’t be afraid to reach out to them for assistance. Always stay true to your values while striving to be recognized as someone who will go above and beyond.

Hobbies:

I consider myself a foodie and love good food and wine, so Seattle is a great place for me. On the weekends, you can find me participating in outdoor activities and spending time with my family.

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The Griffin Report of the Northeast

GINGER MCCULLOUGH BROOKSHIRE GROCERY CO. Years with company:

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

33

I am proud of the team of employees that work side by side with me in the Training and Change department. I started with one intern, and over the course of six years I have had the chance to hire, train and lead an amazing team of training/change professionals.

Current position:

VP, Training & Change Management

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

BS, Business Management. Professional and Volunteer Affiliations: Professional Human Resources (PHR) SAP Insight Executive Board FMI Future Leaders Planning Committee SHRM ATD

I have a background in store operations and was working as an assistant store manager for our company when I was approached by a division manager and asked if I would take a position in human resources. I thought about it for several days before giving my answer, and decided to make a career change and accepted the position in HR. Looking back, that was a defining moment in my career.

ANITA MCPOYLE AHOLD USA Years with company:

and comfortable leading void closure discussions with merchandising/planogram teams.

Current position:

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

One and a half

Director, Portfolio Insights

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

Master’s of Business Administration (MBA). Network of Executive Women (NEW); Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Benton County.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? The opportunity to guide personnel development has been my proudest achievement. Knowing that I have had the chance to influence growth and assist in advancing careers has been extremely rewarding. For example, one individual went from limited sales/ category management experience to a highly trusted advisor in less than 18 months. My current team is another example. Their experience/skill set was not aligned with expectations/deliverables assigned. With my guidance, growth opportunities in professional knowledge/leadership skills delivered for all members. For instance, they are now experienced in identifying assortment voids

I N

My current role has been a pivotal stage of my career. Below are examples: 1. Lead/train team of 15 analysts with multifaceted deliverables. 2. Develop custom assortment tool that combines data from multiple sources, i.e., POS, loyalty card, planogram and market information. New tool enables better understanding of assortment and shopping behavior intersection in stores. 3. Assist in creation of new planogram reset timeline/approach. Timeline identifies deliverables and promotes increased collaboration. 4. Single product hierarchy project business lead (967K items involved). Previously, two product hierarchies were utilized, one for operations and another for business reporting. Project eliminated inefficiencies/confusion regarding which hierarchy was used. 5. Creation of new reporting/measurement tools for planogram opportunities and test/control scenarios. Creation of planogram reporting required joint effort with IT since it involved multiple

T H E

F O O D

Years with the company: 17

Current position:

VP, Corporate Social Responsibility; VP, Policy & Industry Relations; Executive Director, UNFI Foundation.

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

Master’s in UOL Board member, Organic Trade Association; trustee, The Organic Center; chair, California Organic Products Advisory Committee for the California Department of Food & Agriculture. Additionally, I have volunteered overseas on multiple agricultural projects with International Executive Service Corps and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

I am grateful for the many different roles I have been able to fulfill over the course of my career. From being a retailer, importer, broker and blogger to working on policy issues and forming the UNFI Foundation as executive director, it has been an amazing journey of “right livelihood” in the organic sector. I am privileged to be advancing sustainability efforts at UNFI, reducing our carbon footprint and helping to mitigate climate change. Lifelong learning is my greatest achievement that continues to serve me well.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

When I cast aside self-doubt and realized I had something to give back through my work in the organic food sector. Simultaneously, I realized the path to success is to make everyone thrive through your business partnerships and create win-win situations every step of the way.

ROBIN MORAN GIANT OF MARYLAND LLC Years with company: 36

Current position:

Director of Human Resources

Education and professional /volunteer organizations:

BS, Business Administration, Towson University; Network of Executive Women (NEW) Mid-Atlantic Region College Outreach Committee Chair; Women Adding Value (WAV), Steering Committee; co-chair, WAV Regional Hub Committee and a Mentoring Circle Leader. Volunteer/support: The Children’s Cancer Foundation; Maryland Food Bank; USO; National MS Society.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Constantly working on new programs and ways to keep our top talent engaged which, in turn, helps with retention.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Never turn down an opportunity to broaden your knowledge. Sometimes opportunity comes in many shapes and sizes. For example, I have taken opportunities that others have turned down. Opportunity is not always wrapped up with a bow; it can be covered with some ugly paper. These opportunities have been turning points in my career. Also, be yourself. Be proud of who you are and where you came from.

Hobbies:

I love to golf. I also enjoy traveling.

systems data consolidation. 6. Data warehouse business owner collaborated with IT to optimize integrity of data, improve user knowledge and create new capabilities.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Being the catalyst for change management has been the most challenging. The ability to develop plans that outline benefits/rationale for change is a skill that I have had to enhance. The results have led to adoption by early supporters to assist in communicating the benefits of the project.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Don’t be afraid to accept opportunities that will stretch knowledge/ skills. Today’s business environment requires professionals to have an open mindset and a willingness to learn diverse skills and new perspectives.

Hobbies:

Time with family is priority. We enjoy outdoor activities such as boating, fishing and bicycling.

I N D U S T R Y

MELODY MEYER UNITED NATURAL FOODS INC. (UNFI)

WOI GR 2017 1.indd 17

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March 2017 Women of Influence in the Food Industry 12TH EDITION

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Balancing the urgent with the strategic in my daily routine is a high-wire balancing act I perform with some grace and a bit of stress.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Being a true leader means creating inspiration in your employees and associates. You must inspire through clear communication, setting high attainable standards and supporting individuals with tools and training to achieve success. Your job is to create leaders who can be their best for the company and world. A great leader not only communicates what to do and how to do it but why we do what we do.

Hobbies:

I am an adventuresome traveler, an intrepid culinary wizard and a curious writer who knows a few moves on the dance floor.

I have built strong relationships throughout the organization and know I am seen as a trusted and respected advisor and partner. This has allowed me to persuade colleagues, obtain buy-in from key stakeholders and influence business partners on issues that matter.

Supporting a large organization with over 18,000 associates makes it challenging to be accessible to associates, business partners and other facets of the business. Sharp time management skills are essential to ensure I never make others feel they are interrupting.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

Women supporting/championing women is imperative, especially in a traditionally male-dominated industry, therefore I encourage all new women leaders to establish an affiliation with a women’s networking group. It’s a great way to interact with others who share similar challenges, learn from those at different stages of their career and build a strong professional network.

When I became the mother of twins, my career had to take a temporary back seat. Rather than take a leave of absence, I helped my company create a job share program, and I put it to the test. The success of that program allowed me to contribute to the company in a professional capacity for seven years until I could return full time. Soon after that return, I was promoted into a higher classified position.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Hobbies:

Entertaining and time with family and friends.

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Women of Influence in the Food Industry 12TH EDITION

The Griffin Report of the Northeast

March 2017

AMY MROZINSKI DEAN FOODS Years with company: Three

Current Position:

National Account Manager

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

by my customer was an incredible experience.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

What is the most challenging part of your job?

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

Remember where you came from and those that have believed in you and helped you along the way. In this business, relationships are the foundation of success.

PASHON MURRAY DETROIT DIRT

Family, cooking, traveling, Purdue sports and music.

One of the go-to-market strategies that I refined and implemented with my team was presented as a best practice at the organization’s national sales meeting.

BS, Food Industry Marketing & Management, Purdue University. Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF); board member, Michigan Restaurant Association Education Foundation; Association for Foodservice Distributor Representatives (AFDR); The Oasis Church; Purdue Selling and Sales Management Program mentor. I am most proud of winning the Cornerstone Vendor Award at Gordon Food Service. To have my efforts and passion recognized

Hobbies:

The pace of this industry can be overwhelming at times. I try to keep my priorities organized, learn something each day from those I work with and celebrate both the small and large victories.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Years with company:

was one of those companies. We were extended the opportunity to showcase our business.

made up of food waste. We need to manage our waste stream and practice sustainability for the next generation.

Current position:

Do you have a defining moment in your career?

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Founded in 2011 President

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

BA, Marketing. I travel around the country talking to K-8 and K-12 schools and colleges, inspiring them to be environmental advocates and teaching about waste reduction and climate resiliency.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? I’m most proud of inspiring the next generation; the next generation gives me purpose. When the White House and the UN recognized our efforts it really encouraged me and touched our hearts; contributing to humanity is most important. The White House invited 30 companies to its first-ever Demo Day, and Detroit Dirt

The defining moment occurred when I was asked to be in a Ford ad; that ad went viral in a few days. It was also ranked by Time as the top 10 Ads of 2014, and Ad Forum ranked it number one in the world for one week. Ford...showcased it at conferences around the world.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Raising funds and being a woman. I have peers all over the country that receive more support financially. When you’re pioneering a movement, it’s difficult to get people to understand the importance. The second challenge is advocating for waste diversion. My objective is getting our country to change its practices; we have to eliminate landfills. We’re burying precious resources. We waste over $200 billion of food annually; 20-25 percent of landfills are

MARISSA NELSON RETAIL BUSINESS SERVICES, AN AHOLD DELHAIZE COMPANY Years with company:

One month at RBS; 16 years at Ahold USA

Current Position:

SVP, Sustainable Retailing & Healthy Living

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

BS, Finance, Bentley College. FMI Sustainability Executive Committee; board member, Produce for Better Health Foundation; Girly Girl Parts (ovarian cancer pre-awareness screening).

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? In 2011, I had the opportunity to work for Ahold’s then-new global CEO, Dick Boer. While working with him, we developed the Reshaping Retail Strategy and Better Every Day promises,

PATTI OLENICK WEIS MARKETS Years with the company: Six

Current position:

Sustainability Manager

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

BS, Agronomy, Delaware Valley University. International Society of Sustainability Professionals Sustainability Associate Certification; member and past president, Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Sustainability Executive Committee; lifetime member of the Pennsylvania Association Sustainable Agriculture; board member, Sunbury Revitalization Inc.; Business Council member of Pennsylvania Envirothon.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

which led our strategy and our success over the past five years and are also the foundation of our new company’s “Better Together” strategy. A more recent accomplishment that I am extremely proud of relates to work I have done over the past year with our Giant Landover Division and the Capital Area Food Bank. Our focus has been to have Giant Landover become the Capital Area Food Bank’s inaugural retail partner for wellness. Collectively, our organizations are implementing activities and programs that increase access and affordability of healthy food and educating consumers and associates on how to use healthy product and prepare healthy meals.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The most challenging part of my job is working with my multiple business partners on the business opportunities that come hand in

I would advise upcoming entrepreneurs to understand their industry, constantly do research, keep a good/great accountant or lawyer near to ask questions. There’s no specific guideline or map to success, so you’re constantly going to embark on challenges and obstacles. Don’t give up; keep knocking down the hurdles. You can learn from all of your experiences—they’re preparing you for the future.

Hobbies:

I love reading, researching, movies, exercising and creating visions for the future—creating challenges and visions and allowing timelines to define the accomplishments.

hand with doing the right thing for the environment and for driving healthy eating habits; getting them to understand the financial and perceptual benefits of our Sustainable Retailing & Healthy Living efforts and getting them to take a risk to see the benefits that will be achieved.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

My feedback is to always be passionate about what you do, focus on results for the company and your success will come. And always treat people the way you would like to be treated.

Hobbies;

Life is busy, so I like to spend as much time as I can with my husband, my family and friends, preferably outdoors riding our bikes, eating good food, playing on the beach or gardening.

I am most proud of the commitment Weis Markets has made to reduce its impact on the environment and being entrusted to lead that charge.

while demonstrating business success. While “green is good,” any program must have a positive business case before it can be put into place.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

I worked in state government for 20 years before coming to the grocery retail space at Weis Markets. The transition has enabled me to develop programs, implement operational changes and learn about business, which has given me a broader experience and knowledge base in the environmental field.

Hobbies:

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Educating associates and customers about sustainability and the importance it has on our lives and the lives of future generations. This involves planning, developing and implementing programs with set targets and initiatives that incorporate sustainable ideals

Be passionate about your profession and always hear what others have to say. Whatever career path you choose, work hard, learn everything you can. Be respectful of others, build long-lasting relationships and surround yourself with positive people. I enjoy cooking for family and friends and preserving foods from my organic garden, travel adventures and biking.

HEATHER THOMPSON PAQUETTE HANNAFORD SUPERMARKETS, DELHAIZE AMERICA Years with the company: 17

Current position:

VP, Retail Operations, Eastern Division

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

BS, Business Finance, University of Southern Maine, 1999. Professional and volunteer affiliations: Board member, March of Dimes; board member, Boys & Girls Clubs; member, USM Athletic Advisory Committee.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? I’m very proud that I have intentionally surrounded myself with leaders that have different experiences and skills than mine and that I have upheld my commitment to always learning from them.

WOI GR 2017 1.indd 18

I’m also proud of my ability to identify and develop talent, which is work that has paid dividends for me. The best investment of your time, energy and money you can make is in your people. I’m always proud to watching people I’ve worked with reach their goals.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Last year, I embarked on an industry program with the NEW Executive Institute. There were 15 women in the program who spanned the entire industry. The extensive travel and time away was intimidating to me, and I almost said no. I’m so grateful for the experience. I met incredible people, learned volumes about my industry and traveled the world. More importantly, I gained confidence in my abilities to grow and curiosity about work outside of my functional area—two things I was lacking before the experience.

I’m extremely committed to being both great at my job and a great mom. It is very challenging to achieve both of these at times, but I do not waver in my commitment to them. Find work that you are genuinely enthusiastic about. When you do this, you find your hard work more rewarding and you are able to stay strong during the hard times that are present in any job. Hiring managers often say that there is nothing that compares to this in a candidate.

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The Griffin Report of the Northeast

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March 2017 Women of Influence in the Food Industry 12TH EDITION

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Women of Influence in the Food Industry 12TH EDITION

The Griffin Report of the Northeast

March 2017

SUJIE PARK H MART Years with company: Six

Current position:

Senior Marketing Manager

Education and professional/volunteer organizations: BS, Advertising/Psychology, University of Miami. Member, American Marketing Association

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

I am most proud of building a team. (We are) very team-driven, and we have grown very quickly. We develop new ideas over time without losing sight of who we are and what we stand for as a marketer. It is great to work in multicultural environment and interact with my lively, driven and fun team. We laugh, talk and get creative

CORINNE PATTEN PEPSICO Years with company: 16.5

things done together.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

As a company, H Mart was recognized as one of the fastest growing retailers, and as such, it becomes more challenging to build customer loyalty and develop more possible ways a customer can interact with our products, benefits and cultures. I can rise to any challenge I may face, so I will continue to succeed.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals? Don’t be scared; just be open.

Hobbies:

I love to travel. Going out on a trip brings me lots of good memories and makes me to learn a lot of new things.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

Current position:

Securing a very challenging renewal of a top five national account in the foodservice division after growing the business 25-30 percent over five years.

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Senior Director, National Recreation & Specialty Retail Sales BS, Agricultural Economics Undergraduate Business Program, Cornell University. Women’s Foodservice Forum; executive board member, Cornell Varsity Club; board member, Connecticut Junior Soccer Association; board member, New Canaan Soccer Association.

Removing current barriers to enable my team to best support our customers and deliver objectives.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

Hobbies:

I have a very strong track record of delivering and exceeding objectives and developing future leaders.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Work hard and persevere always; have a passion for what you’re doing; listen carefully; and make work/life balance a priority. Spending time with my family (three daughters, husband, dog); running, skiing; avid sports fan, particularly my children’s events.

REBECCA PHILBERT BEST MARKET INC. Years with company: Five

Current position: President & CEO

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

Mentor, Silberman College of Business, Fairleigh Dickinson University Association of Hispanic MBAs Muscular Dystrophy Association City of Hope Children’s Health Fund Amnesty International

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? The arc of my career overall makes me prouder than any one

TIFFANY PRATT CLIF BAR & CO. Years with company:

More than 10; 25 in the industry

Current Position:

Director of Sales, E-commerce

Education and professional volunteer organizations:

BS, Management and Marketing, University of Oregon. City of Hope Oregon Food Industry Group—VP for last three years and board member since 2001; Inspirators member since 2001; past member, Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC).

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? The connections I make along this journey are one of the most important things to me. The opportunity to have mentored, coached and/or inspired someone to reach their goals is incredibly

achievement: I started as a cashier at Safeway in California, and from there became a store manager, district manager and eventually corporate VP, which led me to even bigger opportunities on the East Coast. I’m very lucky, and I’ve worked hard, to build my experience and knowledge in the industry.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

The most recent expansion at Best Market has been enormously rewarding, for all its challenges. We’ve more than doubled the number of stores we operate, and we’ve brought fresh, affordable food to communities recovering from regional store closures, food deserts and natural disasters.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

In a position of leadership like I have, an immense number of people depend on me to execute the right decisions and move the company forward successfully, customers and team members

humbling and rewarding. I am so thankful and proud of the fact that I can be a professional in an industry I love and work with amazing people while also working to be the best mom, wife, family member and friend I can be.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

After 15 years in corporate America, I had the opportunity to work for CB&C. After 10 years here, I can honestly say I do not regret the decision for a minute and am so proud to represent a company that does things the right way and sells amazing products.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

E-commerce truly challenges the way you traditionally think and approach business in every way. You have to push yourself to look through a different lens. It has been refreshing (and frustrating at times) to be challenged while remaining in the same industry.

SOPHIA PRICE IMPERIAL DISTRIBUTORS Years with the company:

ables me and my team to better understand how we can efficiently address their needs.

Current position:

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Three

Manager of Planogram Development; Account Manager

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? I take great pride in my customer relationships. Taking the time to really get to know each of our customers individually and the intricacies of their business/expectations makes it much easier for both myself and Imperial to be successful.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

I do not think there is one single moment that defines my career, but rather a series of moments. These are the moments when I have earned the respect and trust from our customers, which en-

WOI GR 2017 1.indd 20

alike. It makes being hands-on and present in stores even more important.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

No matter where you are in the organization, make yourself seen and put in the work. Solid work—and an attitude open to hard work—gets you noticed at all levels. When we are renovating or opening a new store, I spend time doing everything I ask team members to do. That means anything from chopping salads for customers to cleaning up construction debris.

Hobbies:

I love cooking and entertaining, and every few months, I turn my kitchen at home into a version of our test kitchen at headquarters for a weekend. I’ll work on ideas for new items we’re developing: sauce for our prepared foods department, platings and pairings for take-home deli items, gourmet cheese boards, you name it.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

I would encourage them to have self-awareness and humility. These two traits will lead them to success, in my opinion. Another piece is to search out opportunities that align with your personal and professional goals. It is important to have patience; it may not be your first job but it should be something to strive for. I don’t call it work/life balance; it is a work/life cocktail—a blend of the two so you don’t have to be two different people.

Hobbies:

Enjoying all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer with my two daughters and husband—from skiing to biking, with some great food along the way.

Hobbies:

Outside of work, I enjoy playing the piano, reading and spending time outdoors traveling and exploring.

The most challenging part of my job is often figuring out how to prioritize/organize the current workload whilst still meeting customer expectations. I have found that learning to effectively communicate both internally and externally has been a huge help on a daily basis.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Always remember that you can only control what you can control. Building and strengthening relationships with your own team members and your customers will set up the proper channels to utilize for addressing the things you can’t control.

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The Griffin Report of the Northeast

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March 2017 Women of Influence in the Food Industry 12TH EDITION

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Women of Influence in the Food Industry 12TH EDITION

The Griffin Report of the Northeast

March 2017

HEIDI REALE SPARKSHOPPE LTD. Years with company: One

Current Position: Founder & CEO

Education and professional volunteer organizations:

BS, Public Communication, Cornell University; MBA, Concentration in Marketing, RPI. Marketing Professor at the University at Albany; MDA; StartUp NY; Capital Region Chamber of Commerce.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? I am most proud of my passion to mentor and grow individuals, whether it be in my current role as founder of SparkShoppe or as an advisor to my students over the years. I graciously remember my influencers who took time out of their busy careers to help me build my skills and professional reputation. As SparkShoppe, we believe in real-world experience and work with local colleges to employ interns as part of our way to pay it forward.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

A little over a year ago I left a long career with Price Chopper/ Market 32, where I held a number of different positions as I grew with the company. My most recent role was the director of shopper and digital marketing, which allowed me to establish a shopper marketing platform for Golub and gain great insight into that segment of the business. My team and I had an idea to take our expertise in shopper and digital marketing outside of Golub Corp. and set up a marketing firm specializing in the retail industry, with Price Chopper/Market 32 as our first client. We proposed the business plan to executives at Golub Corp., who were very supportive of the entrepreneurial venture. In May 2016, four of us left our marketing positions at Golub and started SparkShoppe. I am so proud of the team for being brave enough to follow their dreams and start a company using their tenacity and expertise. In a little over eight months, we have four clients—two in the grocery industry and two in the hospitality industry.

KIM RICHARDSON-ROACH CVS HEALTH Years with the company: One

Current position:

Senior Marketing–Loyalty Technology Portfolio Manager

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

BS, Northeastern; MBA, Suffolk; LSS Black Belt, Master’s Certificate in Project Management from Boston University. Treasurer, Network of Executive Women New England Region; treasurer, New England Food Foundation; Have a Sammi Kind of Day committee member.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? I am most proud of seeing an associate that has worked for me or that I have mentored get promoted and become a leader in the

AMY RIPPER SOUTHEASTERN GROCERS Years with the company: Seven

industry. Knowing that there will be great leaders to continue to advance this industry and hopefully do the same for someone is what makes it all worthwhile.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

A defining moment for me was when I had my first 360 evaluation. Understanding where I thought I was compared to my leaders, peers and team members was very sobering. It was not that it was awful, but things that I thought I did well is where they felt I could do better and what I thought I needed to improve on they thought I did well. I realized that I was not giving much attention to the things that I thought I did well and overcompensated on the things I felt were not my strengths. Realizing that I need to find balance in all areas was that “aha” moment and has helped me ever since.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

Current position:

When a natural mentoring relationship was formed with a really inspirational woman. Her candid conversations with me led to a great amount of professional and personal growth.

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Human Resources Business Partner BS, Clothing, Textiles and Merchandising, Florida State University Volunteering in the nursery of my church.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

I am so proud of the amazing group of women I have been able to mentor through growth in their careers. When you invest time in helping others grow and see them thrive, it is so rewarding.

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Current position: Regional VP

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

Boston Food Bank Food Industry Council; Westford Business Association, Westford, Massachusetts; Manchester, New Hampshire, food bank volunteer; UTEC Lowell contributor, mentorship program collaborator; partnering with Commonwealth Kitchens on funding, mentoring and whatever opportunities arise to support them.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? I am very proud of the team I work with and the achievements of my team. We spend several meetings a year volunteering. My team

I didn’t anticipate the amount of work it takes to start a business from the ground up. The day-to-day business operations challenge me the most, as I am a marketer first. I don’t have in-depth expertise in accounting, finance and IT, all of which are needed to start up a business of any size. I am learning a lot of useful lessons and meeting great folks who specialize in these fields. I am grateful for those who have helped me along the way.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Learn as much as you can from tenured professionals. Your career experiences, especially the challenging ones, will build your character and resumé. Also, remember you will perform at your best when you surround yourself with people who want to succeed and who want to see you achieve success as well.

Hobbies:

I raise two teenage daughters. And I like to keep active outdoors, especially biking and skiing.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

My entire role is about change, and everyone has some resistance to change. Helping associates through the change can be the most challenging but also the most rewarding—when you are on the other side.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Networking is one of the most critical parts of being successful and even harder in this world of technology. Having professional relationships are necessary in every role even if you are an individual contributor. You need to build your support system; that will be the best tool in your toolbox.

Hobbies:

Volunteering, traveling, spending time with family and friends—especially my 10 grandkids.

Hobbies:

Spending time with my family and sharing about mom life on my blog, “Two Little Rippers.”

The most challenging part of my job is to find great talent that is passionate about the grocery business and help them have the vision to see a long-term career path. This can sometimes be the most rewarding as well. When you find talent and see them flourish on a career path you have helped build, it’s very exciting.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Do what you love. Work with people you love in an industry you are passionate about.

KIMBERLEY ROSE WHOLE FOODS MARKET Years with company:

What is the most challenging part of your job?

is involved in the community wherever possible and together we are very far reaching. I am proud of the work we do to support producers local and far reaching to provide healthy, ethically sourced, transparent and traceable food and products. 

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

A defining moment in my career was about 10 years ago, when I really began to see how much impact to the world we were creating. Through local loans Local partnerships Whole Planet Foundation Whole Kids Foundation Salad bars in our schools Providing healthy options for people Providing meaningful work for nearly 10,000 people in New

England alone

What is the most challenging part of your job?

I never sit still. In retail, continually improvement and innovation are keys to success. Keeping on your toes is important and knowing what is new in the industry is critical to moving forward.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Do what you are passionate about and do it the best you can.

Hobbies:

I am a certified yoga teacher, and yoga is part of my life. I love to ride bikes, hike and be outdoors. I love to eat! Cooking and healthy eating are a big part of my daily life.

JACQUELINE ROSS RETAIL BUSINESS SERVICES LLC, AN AHOLD DELHAIZE COMPANY Years with company:

One month RBS; two years with Ahold USA

Current position:

Senior Director, Own Brands Product Development, Innovation & Integrity

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

University of Reading (UK), B.Sc. Honors in Food Technology. International Advisory Board member, British Retail Consortium; Advisory Board member, Carlisle Theatre, Pennsylvania; member, Network of Executive Women.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? I’m particularly proud of the work my team and I have been involved with over the past two years. I refer to it as Health by

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Stealth, focusing on reducing the salt and/or sugar in our Own Brand foods without impacting the taste; it helps our customers as they can continue to eat what they love.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

Most recently, moving to a new country has been life-changing. I’ve had to learn a new way of working, a different culture and building a completely new social group inside and outside work. Any time I change my role are key moments...I broaden my perspective every time and learn new skills.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Part of my job is to ensure the safety of all Own Brand products, including ensuring we meet our commitments around sustainable products. Unsurprisingly, my priorities can conflict with others, and managing these conflicts can be challenging, especially with tough time constraints. Maintaining a good network and strong relation-

ships is key to ensure the best outcome for our customers.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

My advice would be to continue to learn and accept that you will never really know everything. I always make an effort to ensure I have a good network across the business, not just in my area of focus. The world of business is constantly changing, but if you embrace the change instead of working against it, you’ll find opportunities to grow. I always embrace change even though it can be uncomfortable and puts me outside of my comfort zone. But those are the times where I find myself growing and learning the most.

Hobbies:

I spend a lot of my time traveling, both within the United States and widely around the world. I love learning about new places and different cultures; food is a fantastic way to get to know an area and country.

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The Griffin Report of the Northeast

CATHY SAVCHICK IMPERIAL DISTRIBUTORS Years with company: One and a half

Current position:

Director of Category Management, General Merchandise

Education and professional/volunteer organizations: MBA, Boston University; BS, Business & Economics, University of New Hampshire. National Association of Professional Women; Massachusetts Food Association; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

During my tenure at BJ’s Wholesale Club, I was twice awarded Buyer of the Year and received the Best in Class Award in General Merchandise (GM) for my work in seasonal categories. As a merchant, my goal was to differentiate BJ’s from other retailers by offering exclusive, high quality product at a value that could not be purchased elsewhere. By collaborating closely with artists, designers and factories and paying attention to every detail, we got over 50 percent penetration in BJ’s private brand “Living Home,” the high-

est penetration of any GM category in the company. At the same time, I worked to offer differentiation on branded product as well. One of my favorite categories is beach, where BJ’s was one of the first to offer the Tommy Bahama brand. To this day, I enjoy sitting at the beach and spotting beach chairs that I helped to develop. The strategy of product differentiation leads to doubling online sales of seasonal merchandise in a two-year period, growing ecommerce sales to 10 percent of total sales. The ultimate recognition came in the form of reviews on BJS.com. I recall one instance where the customer gave a 5-star review on Handcrafted Christmas Gift Tags, commenting on how she appreciated the design, quality and level of detail on each individual tag and how she looked forward to what the next season would bring.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

After many years with Bradlees, I took the position of category manager of GM at Stop & Shop. One of my first observations was that the product offerings in seasonal were stereotypical supermarket offerings—low price points and lacking any fashion appeal— yet the demographics of the Stop & Shop customer were much the same as those of the Bradlees customer. I took a good-better-

NICOLE D’AMOUR SCHNEIDER BIG Y FOODS

and its employees in a way that would make my grandfather proud.

Years with company: 27

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

Current position:

Director of Pharmacy

Education and professional /volunteer organizations:

BA, History/Secondary Education, Connecticut College. Currently I am in my eighth year serving on the Board of Trustees for Canterbury School in New Milford, Connecticut.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? That I am an active, contributing member of the third generation of our family-owned business. It is an honor to be able to help perpetuate the legacy that my grandfather started 80 years ago. To work alongside my father, brothers and cousins is a unique and humbling experience as we all strive together to serve the company

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When I was asked to take over as director of our pharmacy operation. Having a background in store operations and customer service, my path to becoming the director of pharmacy was unconventional. However, over time, the ability to bring a new perspective to our pharmacy division has been both challenging and rewarding. I have worked with a fantastic team to fully integrate our pharmacies into Big Y’s culture and vision focused on professional care, engagement and value-added services. This new approach has resulted in open collaboration across all departments within our stores that emphasizes to our customers that a shopping experience at Big Y can encompass all aspects of one’s health and wellness.

best approach, offering on-trend merchandise in core categories working with higher quality suppliers. Sales grew as a result of the upgraded approach to merchandising. It was also during this time that I began to do more product development, recognizing the benefits of differentiation and the enjoyment that I got using my creative skills.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Time is the biggest challenge. Imperial has many retail partners, and priorities change on a daily basis.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Strive to exceed expectations. As a merchant, this became my objective for customer satisfaction, but it applies to all constituents, from team members to managers to suppliers. The customer review on the gift tags is an example of the feeling of reward one gets when expectations are exceeded.

Hobbies:

I enjoy reading, relaxing and entertaining at my summer cottage on the Maine coast; training at the gym; and cheering on the Boston Bruins and Red Sox.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The most challenging part of my job is working to model a healthy balance between work and family. For me, a strong work ethic, solid communication skills, the ability to prioritize and the importance of teamwork are all fundamental to being a good leader, a good mother and a good spouse. We can’t be everything to everyone at every moment, so figuring out how to balance each role, ask for help and remember what is most important are essential to success.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Take risks, challenge yourself and keep learning. Most importantly, as Abraham Lincoln once said “Whatever you are, be a good one.”

Hobbies:

I enjoy running, swimming, and spending time with my husband and our three children.

I N D U S T R Y

Congratulations Jean, We are proud of your accomplishments. -Jack, Jeannie, Jolyn Jean Forney.indd 1

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Women of Influence in the Food Industry 12TH EDITION

The Griffin Report of the Northeast

March 2017

CHRISTINA SCHOON ORIGINAL PHILLY CHEESESTEAK CO. Years with the company: Eight and a half

Current position:

Director, Business Development

Education and professional/volunteer organizations: Studied psychology at Drexel University.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? The relationships I’ve built with our long-standing customers. Maintaining these relationships, especially during a crisis in the beef market, reminded me how much loyalty is still relevant in not just this industry but in all business.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

Being a woman in a men’s industry has had its challenges. I sell meat. It’s not glamorous. Early on in my career I was often overlooked as someone that could be taken seriously. I recall going to a meeting that I was told I was too young and inexperienced to attend. In the car on my way home, I got a call from the president of our company. The customers had already commended my efforts and shared that they were impressed with my knowledge. It was the first time I felt confident in my position. It felt amazing.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

I’m always surprised when I hear, “it’s business, it’s not personal,” because I believe business is personal. The reputation you cultivate, the impressions you make and the networks you build are personal, so always make how you present yourself a priority.

Hobbies:

Trying to visit every country in the world and see how others live. Also, yoga, great restaurants and movies.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Contract negotiations when everyone is cutting costs, or trying to regain a customer we had lost.

GRETCHEN SELFRIDGE CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL Years with company: 21

Current position:

Restaurant Support Officer

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Hiring and retaining excellent people with all of the competition that is out there.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

AA, MSU Denver Hospitality School.

Don’t chase a paycheck—the best-paying job isn’t always the right fit. Go after what you are passionate about.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

Cooking.

Education and professional volunteer organizations:

Being able to change people’s lives every day.

Hobbies:

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

When I was the first female in my company to be promoted to an officer position.

CAITLIN SEWALL BLOUNT FINE FOODS Years with the company: Three and a half

Current position:

Sales Director, Northeast

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

BA, International Business (major), Italian (minor), Assumption College. Active with Bob’s Big Give, a 501(c)(3) charity serving people in our community when they need it most. I am also active with JOH’s “Kids 360” charity.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? I am especially fulfilled by the solid and enduring relationships I have been able to form with customers, which are a tribute to their willingness to engage us not only for our premium products, but in

problem solving as well. I find that customers seeking more than product from me tend to sell more, which is a win-win that makes our company more valuable in the short and long term.

I love that I get to see a side of him that I don’t think the rest of my family fully understand exists. Working together in this industry has given me so many new reasons to look up to him.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

I try to have these kinds of moments all the time, but my career really began to make sense to me as I came to realize that my work is all about the people I work with out in the field, and the balanced partnerships we form over time. I work hard to earn the trust of my customers, and even harder to reward that trust once I’ve earned it.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The hardest part of my job might also be what I love best about it. My EVP of sales and marketing is also my father. As with the rest of his employees, he cuts me no slack, gives me nothing I haven’t earned, and holds me to a very high standard. On a personal level,

MARYGRACE SEXTON NATALIE’S ORCHID ISLAND JUICE CO. Years with company:

Founded the company 28 years ago

Current position: CEO/Founder

Education and professional /volunteer organizations:

Women’s Business Enterprise National Council; Florida Citrus Processors Association; Juice Products Association; Produce Marketing Association. In 2016 we gave away more than16,000 gallons of juice to local organizations and gave 13 percent of our profits to over 49 different charitable organizations.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

Growing a company to $40 million in sales YTD free from debt, investors, capital infusions, etc.—only hard work and tenacity. Sixteen percent growth in sales and volume for 2016 in a category that is declining. Expanded product line from two juices to 13 juices. For over 28 years we have continued to produce high quality, clean label juices that have minimal ingredients and are sourced from Florida or American farmers, whenever possible, despite the declining citrus industry and changes in the marketplace.

Do you have a defining moment in your career?

When my daughter, the namesake of the company, chose to come into the family business four years ago as our marketing director. She respects the principles, work ethics and employees that have built and sustained the company. Knowing that only 33 percent of family-owned American companies make it into the second generation of family, having my daughter work alongside the people that have built this company for the past 28 years is an honorable moment for a mother and CEO.

What is the most challenging part of your career?

As a child I grew up in a family that was very, very poor—hours away from homelessness. Opportunities to succeed were not

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something available, we simply struggled to survive. After years and years of relentless hard work and dedication, I was blessed with the opportunity to be an owner and CEO of a company. With that being said, as business owner who started from nothing, the greatest challenge I face is igniting passion in employees. I think in today’s society, people are exhausted by personal issue, social issues, governmental issues, the list goes on. As people become burdened by these things, they oftentimes don’t understand or don’t care about how important their role is to a company’s success. People were created to utilize the gifts they were given, whatever they may be. When we all come to work, it should be our responsibility to our families and the company to dedicate ourselves 100 percent to our job; it is our livelihood. Until I was 45 years old, I always devoted myself to inspire all my employees to be a CEO. I felt if I was given that opportunity then I should make that opportunity available for others. I want people to feel a sense of passion, attachment and dedication to the company or position they hold. Today, people look at it as a job that occupies eihjy hours of their day instead of looking at it as an opportunity given to them to exceed and grow in. With all the corporate politics that exist today, I feel as though people’s attachment and excitement for their jobs dwindles. People at times don’t feel inspired or hopeful to dedicate more of their skills and talents because in return they don’t feel appreciated or recognized. I want employees to push the envelope, work hard, give back to the company all they have; the livelihood and success of the company depends on the effort you give. Lastly, understanding when it’s time to update, modify or change one of the business principles that’s historically been a contributor to your personal success. It can be a real challenge, because I think we truly honor the hard work and strategy that have served us so well in the past, but because of market conditions or the size of the company or shift in business focus, may no longer serve you or the

Realize that it’s not enough to just know your products. If you really want to be valuable to your customers, take the time to understand them and their business, because that is where the insights that really matter come from. Honesty is also very important to me. I think being authentic in your business relationships builds trust and translates into a better understanding of your customer and their needs.

Hobbies:

Like everyone who seeks balance in their life, I greatly value my downtime, which I fill with sports, cooking, reading and relaxing with family and friends. I love traveling and anything fitness

company’s next level of growth as well as other, equally honorable, tenets might. It can be tough to let go and change, but also totally necessary. The challenge is doing it at the right time and for the right reasons.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

1) Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Learning a company from the ground up can be an invaluable experience. It’s something I had to do when I started this enterprise, and it’s something I stress to everyone at Natalie’s; get to know all aspects of this business. You can’t really be an effective top manager without having a real feel for the nuts and bolts of it. I think today too many professionals join a company, at various levels, without having a thorough knowledge of the product or service. That can really come back to bite you. You need to know where your company’s strengths and weaknesses are, both internally and in the marketplace as a whole. Make an effort to learn your whole business, not just the component you manage. 2) Get a hobby! I’m serious. I find the best-rounded and most effective professionals have a “play hard” side that they are equally passionate about and which complements their ability to be great leaders. Too many ambitious employees I met today have made their careers their sole obsession. I know this firsthand, because, as I was building Natalie’s, I was one of those obsessive people. My world changed, and I became a better leader, when, admittedly at the request of my concerned family, I took up competitive cycling. In immeasurably positive ways, cycling has opened my eyes to a whole new way of viewing my business. So...make time for an activity or hobby you really love and then see how the skills acquired at that directly apply to and benefit what you do on the job. Lastly, do not doubt yourself, strive for success, genuinely care about the people you work with, work harder than everyone else and nothing can stop you.

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The Griffin Report of the Northeast

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Women of Influence in the Food Industry 12TH EDITION

The Griffin Report of the Northeast

March 2017

JOY SGRO C&S WHOLESALE GROCERS, ROBESONIA, PENNSYLVANIA Years with company:

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

Two

Current Position:

VP Merchandising and Marketing

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

National Frozen & Refrigerated Association chairman; American Legion Auxiliary member.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? Working with the independent retailer every day of my career to ensure they remain vibrant and competitive in our marketing area. Seeing the merchandising teams ideas turn into increased sales for these retailers.

There have been many moments throughout my 35 years in the food industry that have allowed me to gain understanding of my customers and team members. Many great people have influenced and helped me along the way. The best moments of my career have come when I could help mentor fellow associates and have them advance in their careers.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

I believe it is an ongoing task to always be aware of the changes that will affect our marketing area and adapt to those changes. Our goal is to manage through those changes effectively so that our customers excel.

PAMELA GIUSTO-SORRELLS PAMELA’S PRODUCTS INC.

time when no one knew what gluten-free foods were.

Years with company: Founded April 1, 1988

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

Current position: President

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

AA, Dramatic Arts Pamela’s Products contributes to celiac awareness and autism support groups.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? I am proud of being the first female in my family to have started a company in the natural foods industry, following the three generations in my family before me that had natural foods businesses. My company has grown larger than my father’s and my grandfather’s businesses, while having a woman-dominated work environment where many women have roles traditionally held by men. Finally, I am very proud that Pamela’s Products was one of the first companies to put a gluten-free food line on the market in the 1980s, at a

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A defining moment that stands out to me was showing my dad the huge building I had just signed a lease for my business and both of us crying.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

In some ways, it’s the technology-driven world we now live in that is the most challenging. In 1988, all orders were taken over the phone. You knew your buyers and retailers by name, and you could call him or her whenever you had a question, thought or comment. Relationships were built and spanned years. There was a bigger sense of being a part of the natural food “family” among the other company founders who owned and ran their businesses, and this was one of the aspects I enjoyed the most—the creative, interesting, crazy individuals who made up our industry. Today, the industry has been taken over mainly by large corporations, and every bit of communication is done electronically. The success is

F O O D

Five

Current position:

Corporate Chef/Manager of Innovation

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

Culinary Arts, Johnson & Wales University; Business Management, Community College of Rhode Island Women Chefs & Restaurateurs (WCR); Research Chefs Association (RCA); Appetites & Innovation Collaborative, Culinary Institute of America (2016 to present); American Culinary Federation (ACF); Go Red for Women, co-chair, 2015-16; Johnson & Wales Alumni Association, 1996-present; Generation W, 2014-present; sports booster, Pedro Menendez High School, St. Augustine, Florida.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? I’m most proud of successfully making it to corporate chef.

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While there are many ways I could respond to this question, I keep coming back to three basic but important things: No.1: Listen intently. If you listen to your customers or fellow associates—really listen—you will learn everything that is important to them and what they need from you. No. 2: Seek advice from the people around you. I have been fortunate to have very intelligent people around me during my career. I value their advice and direction as well as their friendship. No. 3: Finish the task. Many people start the project, but very few put final stamps on them.

Hobbies:

I enjoy anything involving friends and family, and golf and reading.

in figuring out how to continue to build my business with all these obstacles and still find the passion in what I do.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Hire smart. The right person for the job will save you money and countless hours of extra work. Also, having a support system and people around you who not only celebrate the good times but also huddle with you in the bad is what has kept me sane and happy. Those people who share my vision have helped me continue fulfilling my dream.

Hobbies:

I like to frequent bookstores and enjoy reading. My favorite books are mysteries. I also take time to drink wine and eat with family and friends. When everyone in your family is a baker and great cook, everything is about enjoying food. And travel—I love going anywhere. Every country is a new experience, and there is something wonderful in every corner of this earth. Life for me is about living with passion and laughter.

I N D U S T R Y

DEANNA STEPHENS SOUTHEASTERN GROCERS Years with the company:

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Knowing that only 15 percent of executive chefs in America are women, I know that I have worked hard to establish myself among a small elite group. It is my responsibility and my commitment to help blaze the trail for future young women chefs to have a more achievable path. Being able to mentor other chefs, both men and women, is a responsibility and accomplishment for me.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

When you graduate culinary school, you are given the tools and knowledge to go become a chef. The first time I was addressed as “Chef ” was the day that I knew that I truly honed my skills and had confidently become “the chef ” of the kitchen. That moment allowed me to make decisions and recommendations without second guessing myself. This built the confidence and trust of my superiors and myself in my choices and actions.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

I don’t look at any part of my job as challenging. I look at every day as an adventure and an opportunity to problem-solve and create. Some days are more difficult to juggle multiple projects, from

chocolate chip cookies and frozen pizza to condensed soup, but I love every minute of it. I embrace every new project and challenge myself to not only achieve the goal but to establish a process and produce the very best product I can.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Always stand behind what you know is right and in your heart with confidence. Never be intimidated by professionals in a position that you are striving for. They were where you are once and are always willing to mentor and guide you along the way. You just need to ask.

Hobbies:

Watching my children in dance, modeling, photography and sports. Anything at the beach. Writing short stories and perfecting recipes for my book, “A Chef ’s Adventure.” Preparing a great meal for my friends and family every Sunday.

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The Griffin Report of the Northeast

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March 2017 Women of Influence in the Food Industry 12TH EDITION

TAYLOR STUMP LITTLE MISS CUPCAPE Years with company:

Company established June 2014

Current position:

Owner, baker, counter girl and janitor

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

BS, Business Marketing (major) and Communications (minor).

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? Making it through another year on this amazing cupcake journey.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Follow your gut and heart instincts. People will always tell you how they think something should be done or run, but in the end you need to follow your own instincts. Also, always look at the glass as half full, not half empty. Even through the struggles, I always think positively rather than dragging on the negatives. We all hit bumps in the road; it’s how you handle them that makes the difference.

Hobbies:

Baking, traveling, being with friends and family, boating and skiing.

Starting my own company right out of college.

What is the most challenging part of your job? To not eat all of the goodies in the shop!

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MELISSA SUNGELA WAKEFERN FOOD CORP. Years with the company:

Nearly one (joined May 9, 2016)

Current position:

VP, Corporate Finance & Tax

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

BS, Business Administration, Accounting (major) and English (minor), Honors Program and cum laude; CPA. AICPA, Habitat for Humanity, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, Special Olympics of New Jersey.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? Taking the leap from serving as the principal accounting officer of a public beauty company to a broader role in the grocery industry that I love. I like knowing that when I go to work every day I

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can help our cooperative members—the families that own and operate ShopRite stores—serve their customers. Our members are committed to their communities, from helping their customers buy fresh, affordable groceries to supporting food banks and pantries that serve those less fortunate. I’m proud to be part of a company that cares so deeply.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

My defining moments are all part of a continual journey. They come whenever I am able to internalize the sage advice I receive from a friend or peer or take some life lesson from; going from knowing it in my brain to living it in my heart.

ment regulations that impact the business world in both the tax and accounting areas have become so complex in the past few years. It is a very different environment from when I first began my career.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Manage your own career. Be passionate about what you do, be willing to take risks, volunteering for challenging projects and bringing your best to the job every day.

Hobbies:

Reading, running, church Handbell Choir, volunteering, spending time with friends and family.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Navigating the ever-changing regulatory environment. Govern-

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DANIELLE VIRANT ABBOTT

ter prepare promising young leaders for their first leadership role.

Years with company: 24

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Current position:

Division VP, Commercial Services

Education and professional volunteer organizations: BS, Marketing, Ohio State University.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

At Abbott, we strive to foster a culture of innovation, leadership and continuous learning. I was interested in developing future leaders and started an inaugural leadership development program for my team. The program helped identify where to focus talent development efforts, outlined key leadership competencies and helped anticipate the future leadership needs of our market. The program was successful, and we launched it to the larger organization to bet-

Globally, families count on Abbott every day to deliver trusted, science-based nutrition products, such as Similac and Ensure, to nourish their families at every stage of life. Excellence is key. My job is to ensure we are delivering on our support of the business— keeping my team focused on the big picture as we are challenged with day-to-day operations, obstacles and problem-solving. Even with the best planning, there will always be something that throws you a curve. The key is being prepared, remaining flexible and coming up with creative solutions to get back on track and moving in the right direction. The best leaders deliver on the day-to-day business while having an eye to the future and the big picture.

DEBORAH WHETSTONE WAHL DEBBIE WAHL FOOD STYLING Years with company:

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

35

Leaving the corporate world to start my own business was the most pivotal. In the past decade I have moved from working regionally to travelling weekly to various renowned food photography studios across the United States and Canada. It is enormously satisfying to meet the challenges of styling when expectations are set at a high level.

Current position:

President/Food Stylist

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

BS, Commercial Foods (major) and Communications (minor), Ohio University (with honors).

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

I am proud that many times throughout my career I have been part of a creative team who helped clients achieve positive sales growth through the use of our food images. My food styling can be seen on packaging, menus, menu boards and multiple sales pieces as well as in national magazines. I am equally proud of the strong working relationships I have established with clients, colleagues and photographers over the years.

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What is the most challenging part of your job?

Traveling to various cities on a weekly and sometimes daily basis is the most challenging part of my job. There are times when I am in three different cities in the course of a week. Collaborating with different photographers and clients for each new project requires that I be adept at quickly discerning their expectations, goals and preferences. In addition, often I am working with new products that come to the studio in limited quantities or in raw form and I

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HEATHER WHALEN BUTTERBALL LLC Years with company: Eight

Current position:

Regional Sales Manager

Education and professional/volunteer organizations: BS, Business Administration. Florida Grocery Manufacturers’ Representatives.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? The respect and reputation I’ve earned with my customers. The recognition I’ve received within each company I’ve been a part of for my work ethic, knowledge, and positivity, as well as being a successful female in a male-dominated meat industry.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

When I switched from category management at a $25 billion company, Sara Lee, to a $1 billion company, Butterball, which

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33 and a half

Current position: VP & COO

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

BS, Business Administration (emphasis in Marketing), San Diego State University Vice Chair, United Fresh Produce Association Wholesaler Distributor Board; board member, United Fresh Produce Association; former chair, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Parent Advisory Council; former VP of operations, Temple Beth David Board of Trustees; former publicity chair, Temple Beth David Board of Trustees; former auction event chair, Westerly School of Long Beach fundraising gala.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? My parents were incredible role models. They instilled the value of a strong work ethic and holding true to your guiding principles.

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Never sell yourself short. There is no magic path for your ideal career—it is about the journey and your accomplishments along the way. This includes lateral moves and special projects that interest you. When it gets tough, which it will at times throughout your career, you need to step back and think about what is important to you. If you know your priorities, this will always guide you in challenging situations and key decision points.

Hobbies:

I love spending time outdoors, cooking, reading and walking my dog. I also enjoy anything that involves time with my family, including an occasional golf game.

have to create a beautiful yet accurate representation of what it will look like when it is introduced nationally.

Do I have any advice for upcoming professionals?

I will address this to those who want to pursue food styling. Get a strong culinary foundation through formal schooling so that you understand the science of food along with proper techniques. Take art classes and marketing courses so that you understand design elements and “marketing speak.” Supplement education with actual work experience through working in restaurants or similar foodservice situations. Then, work as an assistant or intern with an established professional and be willing to take on any task!

Hobbies:

I love to travel internationally and explore wine regions and food markets. When time permits, I also take drawing and watercolor classes.

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would be the smallest company I would work for in order to transition into sales. Change and the unknown can be scary, but I’ve found stretching beyond where I’m comfortable brings the greatest rewards. It was the hardest decision I ever made in my career but ended up being the best decision. Butterball has been the company I’ve worked at the longest, had the most professional and personal success. I’ve continued to grow through challenges and opportunities, which has made it the most enjoyable organization I have been associated with.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Multi-tasking; every day is different and there’s so much to accomplish. Juggling multiple customers and brokers, each with unique personalities and goals, can be challenging to make sure there is a mutually beneficial result, while achieving the company’s goals. Balancing the responsibilities of family and career is also a challenge. Most of my supervisors have been understanding about the responsibilities as full time working mother so I’ve been able

JACKIE CAPLAN WIGGINS FRIEDA’S, INC. Years with the company:

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

From them, I learned to be an independent thinker, have compassion toward others and be open-minded to opportunities—some of the qualities that I believe make up a good leader. Therefore, it was with great pride and humility that I received the Timothy Vaux Outstanding Alumni Leadership Award in 2014. This award honors individual graduates of the DuPont/United Fresh Produce Association leadership program that demonstrate exceptional leadership achievements in the areas of Produce Industry Leadership, Industry Service & Outreach, and Community Service.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

The defining moment of my career was when I transitioned from sales to operations. I have always been a process-oriented person. My sister Karen, president and CEO of Frieda’s, is a natural-born sales and marketing person. After almost 30 years of holding various sales roles (it is a natural entry point for our industry), it became obvious that the area where I would be the biggest asset to company growth and profitability would be by overseeing operations (distribution, procurement and IT).

to care for and help my daughter blossom into a successful student and young lady who is about to go to college.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Believe in yourself and stand for what you believe. Take risks and learn from mistakes while taking responsibility for your actions. Instead of complaining about problems, offer solutions to them. Accept challenges and change as a way to grow and learn. Your job is what you make of it. Although I’m not a director, I’ve taken a leadership initiative with my category management expertise to assist companies. Network with peers inside and outside your company. Treat others as you would like to be treated even if they don’t reciprocate. Always try to find the positive in every situation. Work hard.

Hobbies:

Spending time with family and my friends, working out, shopping, boating and volunteering.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Staying focused on strategic issues vs. day-to-day activities (i.e., staying “out of the weeds”).

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Be honest and open with your communication. Make time for yourself, your family and your friends. Do the things that make you happy (personally and professionally), cut out the things that don’t (even if it means changing your career). Always be learning, always be teaching. Listen to your gut.

Hobbies:

I enjoy working out at the gym, both with my personal trainer and by myself. Soccer. Although I am not a player (never was), my husband and I have season tickets to the LA Galaxy and love attending games. Fun fact: I send out over 600 birthday and anniversary cards every year.

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March 2017

DEBORAH WILLIAMS DAYMON INTERACTIONS MARKETING Years with company: 13

Current Position: Director, Ahold USA

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

When I realized the best approach to business is to be of service to our associates, peers, customers and leaders.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Education and professional/volunteers organizations:

Balancing my work and family life.

Business degrees: Antioch University and University of Phoenix.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

Understand the importance of teamwork; be confident in your skill set; and listen to learn.

I am most proud when I can mentor my team and see them accomplish more than they can imagine. Secondly, I am proud of playing a pivotal role in jumpstarting a demonstration program for a Midwest retailer and grew it to become one of the largest demo programs in the United States.

Hobbies: Cooking, solving crossword puzzles and spending time with my family.

MICHELE CONKLIN WILLIAMS TAYLOR FARMS Current position: VP of Sales

Education and professional /volunteer organizations: BS, Food Marketing, Rochester Institute of Technology MBA, Marketing, University of Tampa Professional Member, Produce Marketing Association Member, Network of Executive Women

What are you most proud of in your career accomplishments?

My alma mater, Rochester Institute of Technology, recognized me this past October. I was selected for the Sarah Margaret Gillam Award, which is the oldest and highest award given and presented to alumni who has achieved excellence in a career in the food management and hospitality service fields.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

A moment that stands out was earlier in my career. I was approached with an opportunity to manage a national retailer. Our business was significantly down, and the relationship with the retailer was not positive. My peers discouraged me, saying it would be difficult and a potential career killer on other opportunities if I could not turn it around. I accepted the challenge. It took time and persistence, but was able to turn things around to positive growth and partnership with the retailer. Due to this turnaround and growth, I was recognized at our national sales meeting with a sales performance award.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

My job consists of sales and new product development. At any given time, I could be working on more than 50 different new products, each one at a different stage in the development process. It is a lot to juggle and prioritize/reprioritize on a daily basis with

JORDANN WINDSCHAUER BASE CULTURE Years with company:

bought in stores across Florida, I learned what entrepreneurship and perseverance mean.

Current position:

Do you have defining moment of your career?

Four and a half

CEO and Founder

Education and professional/volunteer organizations: BS, Public Relations/Image Management Junior League WBENC Member Certified CrossFit coach

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?

When we hit the shelves in Whole Foods, it hit me: I started my company. I realize that when people think what you’re doing is crazy and impossible, then you’ve made it. After seeing my products

When I was in college, I took a goal-setting class with a few friends. One of the questions the instructor asked us was, “If money didn’t matter, what would you do with your life?” I wrote down, “own a paleo bakery.” It’s a rare and unique thing to have a job that’s the same one you’ve been dreaming about for years. My job is every bit the dream job. As a young game-changer, I quickly realized that the workday never ends. There are no weekends. Work really never stops. It’s a good thing for me I love my “work” and wouldn’t change one minute of the joy and terror it brings. I was fearless in forging my career, and I love it. It’s pretty much the dream.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

CHRISTI WOODWORTH SONIC, AMERICA’S DRIVE-IN Years with company: 11

Current Position:

VP of Public Relations

Education and professional/volunteer organizations:

MBA, BS degrees; PRSA; Women in Communications. Board member, Angels Foster Family OKC; Oklahoma Contemporary, capital campaign committee; Junior League of Oklahoma City; Central Oklahoma Teen Pregnancy Prevention Steering Committee.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? There are any number of initiatives that have helped defined who I am professionally; what I most proud of, however, is that I have

often chosen to say “yes” to opportunity. The affirmative choice to change a job or career or expand my knowledge has led to a very fulfilling professional life.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

Five

Current position:

Director, Shopper Strategy & Engagement

Education and professional/volunteer organizations: BBA degree Network of Executive Women Volunteer Center of Enriched Living

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? While I am proud of the times that I could show that I impacted sales or the business in a measurable way, I am most excited when I am able to get people to think about the business (or an approach to the business) in a different way than they are used to thinking about it.

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Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Be sure to have a mentor. My mentors have provided relevant and immediately actionable advice. Be decisive; people who respect your opinion will ask for it, so offer it with confidence. Be sure you love the company and what you do. I finally found a company where I truly thrive.

Hobbies:

I love cheering for my kids at their sports events. Running, boating and cooking. My husband and I own St. Pete Brewing Co. in St. Petersburg, Florida, so I love having the opportunity of being a part of the idea generation and tasting new products at the brewery.

Ask any entrepreneur how they got to where they are today, and you’ll hear about their journey full of diversions and wrong turns. It’s a never-ending journey of big risks and leaps of faith. Today, the challenges I face are learning how best to give my Millennial consumers an experience with my products they want.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Think bigger, dream bigger and give yourself the confidence to know your passion and drive will get you there. Don’t be afraid to work hard. Remember: Tomorrow depends on you. And one other thing—don’t give up, don’t ever give up.

Hobbies:

I was a competitive gymnast growing up, so continuing to take care of my body and mind through CrossFit training and other zen-like activities like paddleboarding. to accomplish.

Hobbies:

I love to read, am a musical theatre junkie and enjoy scuba diving.

I believe it’s hard to define a career with a single moment; however, taking the leap 11 years ago from the nonprofit sector to the corporate sector had led me to incredible professional opportunities and growth.

What is the most challenging part of your job? There are never enough hours in the day.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Within appropriate boundaries you establish for yourself, say “yes!” to new opportunities. Often, people will see strengths and leadership in you that you weren’t aware you had, or have potential

DEBBIE ZEFTING BARILLA AMERICAS INC. Years with company:

the management of the projects with my internal team as well as the teams at our top retail customer.

Do you have a defining moment of your career?

At a mid-point in my career, I wanted to move from a “marketing” role to a “sales” role. The company I was with did not encourage or typically allow this kind of move. I had a manager who was willing to fight for me to make this career move. I never forgot how she was willing to go against company norms to help me get the new position.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The shopping experience is changing so quickly there is no longer a linear “path” or set of behaviors. Keeping current and ensuring that we are keeping the shopper experience as a priority is a big part of the complexity in this role.

Do you have any advice for upcoming professionals?

Learn from every experience you have, even those that do not seem relevant at the time. It is amazing how many times you can to reference back to something you once did in order to help you in a later job.

Hobbies:

I enjoy traveling with my husband, as well as gardening, reading and running.

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Congratulations to Michele Conklin Williams 2017 Women of Influence in the Food Industry Honoree For all your hard work, your dedication, professionalism, and innovative spirit. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of our associates and our customers. Your friends and colleagues at Taylor Farms

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March 2017

The Griffin Report of the Northeast

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Women of Influence 2017  

Women of Influence 2017

Women of Influence 2017  

Women of Influence 2017

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