How did you get into the grocery business?
A university friend saw my CV and referred me for a buyer's position. I had an interview and got the job! I’ve been with Sobeys for 20 years now.
Biggest challenge faced in your career? And how did you overcome it?
I would say when we made the SAP [software] transition in Quebec, that was a pretty difficult time for me. I was not expressing that I was overwhelmed. I was working crazy hours with two small children (a two-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl) that I didn’t get to see much at the time. I got through that hectic period because of good friends who were working on the project with me. Despite the massive workload, we managed to have fun. I realized, however, during the first phase of the transition that asking for help and assistance makes one stronger. Although training new people could be very intense, once you have effective support, the less pressure you feel and more can be achieved.
What has been a career highlight or one of your greatest achievements?
In January 2020, my team and I were the recipients of a ‘Collaborative Award’ from one of our suppliers. The award recognized the efficient collaboration and teamwork we have had at the supply chain level. That was a defining moment for me because I had had a vision: to have within my team, a “business’ line” that would maximize supplier collaboration. That is how the ‘Replenishment Process Optimization’ team came about four years ago. Receiving this award affirmed that it was the right thing to do.
Best advice received?
“Take your time, Rome was not built in a day!” Be patient; this valuable advice was once given to me and it’s something I have to keep reminding myself!
What do you like most about your job?
Replenishment is key to the supply chain. I very much appreciate the collaboration and the interaction with all stakeholders of the supply chain from distribution centres, merchandising, operations to suppliers. Furthermore, I have an amazing team that I can rely on and that can count on me as well. “One for all and all for one” is my motto.
How would you describe your leadership style/philosophy?
I have a very collaborative and inclusive leadership type of style. I like to develop the skills of my team members and to see them evolve. I can be demanding but I am also very attentive to my employees and their needs. I appreciate team spirit and in this regard, it is important to me that everyone works together, supports each other to achieve a common goal, that of becoming the best retailer in Canada!
Click here for the full list of 2021 Star Women in Grocery award winners.