Director, Supply Chain Canada Commercial
Ferrero Canada Limited
How did you get into the grocery/CPG business?
My father owned and operated a deli and meat shop. I grew up in the business and I saw how he worked and how he managed all aspects of the business. From a very young age, I understood the importance of freshness, logistics and income generation. I was always passionate about the industry and being a part of it, and I am extremely grateful for the way my career has evolved.
What do you like most about your job?
My favourite part of my job is that it is constantly evolving. There is never a dull moment or a chance to get bored, especially if you take into account the past year. Many of us were forced to immediately adjust our ways of working, both within our organization and with all of our partners as we managed through the impacts of COVID-19. I don’t think anything could have prepared me for the pace of change this past year. As challenging as it was and still is, it has also brought an intense degree of learning and that’s what I love most. The speed of change in our industry and within supply chain is quite astonishing, which means you’re continually acquiring new skills. I am pushed to develop myself and those on my team in order to keep up with the business. I am so proud of the way my team has grown collectively and as individuals.
What is your proudest moment?
A few years ago, before heading up the Canadian supply chain team, I was given the responsibility of leading a North American palletization and load optimization project. At the time, I had only ever worked on Canadian projects, so it was an important opportunity in my career to lead a cross-functional project of this scale for the region. Our approach was going to be a first for the company and involved a lot of rethinking on how things had always been done. It was quite complex and involved subject matter experts across engineering, packaging, transportation and quality to ensure the pallets could be safely transported without damaging the product, of course. It also had to be completed in less than a year. Although it had its fair share of challenges, my team and I persevered and completed the project on time and without any issue, and this has now become standard palletization practice within the organization.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I am very pragmatic, empathetic and team oriented. I am driven by people and doing my best for those on my team and within the company. I learned that from my father years ago in his shop–work hard for yourself and for them. With more than 35 years at Ferrero, I’ve watched it grow from seven people in the Toronto head office to more than 1,200 employees in Canada, including the plant in Brantford. After many years, roles, teams and business relationships, I feel that I have experienced enough to be able to put myself in other people’s shoes and lead without ego. Trust is so important to me and within a team, and I spend a great deal of time nurturing that. We are all human and I want my team to understand that if we are all selfless and able to lean on one another unconditionally, we will all succeed in the end.
What’s your best quality?
I would say my best quality is my positivity. I genuinely enjoy working and have always been excited to get up and go. I try to bring that energy to my team every day. I believe in doing my part to keep the work environment alive and upbeat, and to build a culture where everyone can have fun and be themselves.
Anything else you’d like to say?
I love what I do and am thankful to have worked with such a wonderful organization like Ferrero Canada. It’s a family company and you truly feel like part of a family here. You don’t get that everywhere and that’s what makes it special. The culture makes all the difference.
Click here for the full list of 2021 Star Women in Grocery award winners.