2020 Star Women in Grocery winner Angie Kim (Q&A)


Rising star

Angie Kim
Senior Director, Finance
Loblaw Companies Ltd.

How did you get into the grocery business?
I worked as a consultant for the Canadian Convenience Stores Association for a number of years, which opened my eyes to the greater retail industry. By stroke of luck or fate, I stumbled upon a booth hosted by Loblaw in one of the retail trade shows when they were looking for a business development representative for their wholesale division. Even though I was new to the grocery business, Loblaw valued my ability to make authentic connections and brought me into the team. The rest is a wonderful history.

Proudest moment?
My first promotion as a merchant that brought me into the head office. On my first day when I found the desk with my name on it, I was overwhelmed with so much pride and gratitude. It felt like I was part of something big, something special—and I still carry the feeling to this day.

What's your leadership style/philosophy?
Lead with service, not your title. You can’t lead without people who are willing to follow you, and you won’t win their trust if you don’t put them first. I have been inspired by many leaders before me who practiced their servant leadership, and I will continue to pay it forward to empower our future generation.

Career highlight/greatest achievements?
I spent close to four months volunteering on the front line to help our store teams through the COVID-19 crisis. As exhausted and fearful as I was some days, the experience allowed me to grow, both personally and professionally—which I would consider a great reward on its own. Through amazing support from my peers and customers, my story also caught the attention of established publications such as Forbes and Financial Times that wanted to recognize the spirit of service, courage and leadership. No words can describe how proud I felt to represent and celebrate our brave men and women who are the true heroes of the pandemic.

Biggest challenge faced in your career? And how did you overcome that challenge?
The toughest position I have held to date, but also one of the best decisions I have ever made, is accepting a role as a store manager. It also required me to relocate to Saskatoon where without having a single day of experience as an operator, I was tasked with seeing the store through major renovation, delivering P&L, but more importantly bringing the team together to deliver the best colleague and customer experience. As driven and determined as I was, I would have failed miserably had it not been for the amazing team I could rely on. Instead of using my lack of experience to criticize me, my team embraced me, supported me, and believed that we could win together. A big shout-out to my store team in Saskatoon—not only did you make me a better leader, I am a better person now thanks to you all.

What do you like most about your job?
The best part about, not only my current job, but all the jobs I’ve held in the company is the people I work with. I am humbled every day by the incredible range of talent and diversity in the people we work with, and the leadership that believes in empowering its people. I have the confidence to be my best authentic self in every task I apply myself into, because I am surrounded by people that are always there to celebrate and motivate each other towards the same goal.

Anything else you'd like to add?
I am thankful to join the ranks of the Star Women, but it is not my independent achievement that brought me this honour. My sincere gratitude goes to the true heroes: our frontline teams who served with nothing but courage, compassion and kindness through the pandemic. I am honoured to have served alongside you, and humbly accept this award on your behalf.

Click here for the full list of 2020 Star Women in Grocery award winners.

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