2022 Star Women in Grocery winner Debbie Unick (Q&A)
Director, Centre Store Food
Federated Co-operatives Limited
How did you get into the grocery/CPG business?
I started working for a grocery chain in high school as part of the career and work education program. I found that I thrived in it and had a passion for the fast-paced grocery industry.
What do you like most about your job?
The best part of my job is the people. I have the opportunity to make a difference not only for my team, but for our local Co-ops and the communities they serve. Every day is different and provides an opportunity to learn and continue to develop.
What’s the best career advice you’ve received?
Be confident, don’t doubt your abilities, aim high, and don’t lose yourself. It won’t happen overnight, but you can do it.
What do you think is your best quality?
My authentic leadership style. This means being aware of my strengths and weaknesses, being results focused, inspiring, and having empathy when supporting my team. I truly believe that if I bring my whole self to work, I can empower my team to be their best.
What has been a career highlight or one of your greatest career achievements so far?
My greatest career achievement was being promoted to director of centre store in our food department. I began working for Federated Co-op over 20 years ago. I started in an entry level position and advanced my way through various roles, including customer service, procurement, category management, business analysis, and then two years ago I had the opportunity to become the director of centre store.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Spending time with my family and friends and trying to stay active. I love spending time at our lake enjoying the sun and water, or snowmobiling in the winter.
Anything else you’d like to add?
It is an honour to be recognized amongst the many great women in the grocery industry. Thank you to my team and my leader for this nomination, I am truly humbled.
Click here for the full list of 2022 Star Women in Grocery award winners.