Local Development Manager, Ontario Field Merchandising
How did you get into the grocery business?
I started in the grocery business as my part-time high school job and it carried me through college. Over the years, opportunities presented themselves within the business and I gained experience working in different areas of the store and this led to full-time positions to management to head office. When I look back, each opportunity came at the perfect time in my life and brought me to my current position today.
Biggest challenge faced in your career? And how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge/fear was always thinking I did not have as much “experience or qualifications” as other candidates and I would hold myself back from applying for positions. I do not think that I have completely overcome this, but I have had some amazing mentors and women role models that have taught me to embrace this: you will never feel 100% ready but when you believe in yourself everyone else will also. I have learned that knowledge is power; asking questions about different positions and talking to people so I have a broader understanding and more knowledge is an incredible way to build confidence and expand my experience. I am continually focused on my areas of improvement, where I feel I still need to grow, but I have learned to speak up anyway, to trust my experience and my instincts, which has helped me rise into my full potential.
Career highlight/greatest achievement?
Aside from being nominated and receiving this award? My greatest achievement is working with and building relationships with small local suppliers guiding and nurturing them to be ready for retail and watching them grow and succeed. It is amazing to receive a phone call from a supplier celebrating the launch of their product in our stores or hearing their excitement behind their newest creation. I have helped create an environment of trust and enablement that is very rewarding. This year for International Women’s Day, I championed and curated the launch of our Fab Female Local Entrepreneur Box to celebrate, elevate and highlight some of our female entrepreneurs from Ontario. This was an amazing experience to work alongside these incredible women and come together to create something so incredible for our customers.
What do you like most about your job?
The ability to bring ideas to life, support and mentor like-minded people and local entrepreneurs all while making a positive impact on our economy. My job/career allows me to help people succeed, provide for their families, supports our economy and brings local to the forefront.
Best advice received?
Always be yourself, believe in yourself and stay true to yourself.
Anything else you'd like to say?
I am so honoured to have been selected as a winner and be recognized alongside the many amazing women from this year and previous years, it truly is humbling.
Click here for the full list of 2021 Star Women in Grocery award winners.