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2023 Star Women in Grocery Award Winner Ashley Kennedy (Q&A)

Rising Star
Ashley Kennedy
Ashley Kennedy

Ashley Kennedy

National Account Manager
The Clorox Company of Canada

How did you get your start in the CPG business? 

Throughout my childhood I was continuously exposed to this industry, as my father worked his entire career in grocery retail/supply chain, which gave me an appreciation for how fast paced and dynamic this business is. My first direct experience in the industry was in university when I completed a work-term with Canadian Tire Corporation in category management. My passion grew quickly from there and after graduating I worked in category management with Loblaw for several years before transitioning to Clorox where I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of sales roles. 

What's your proudest moment? 

My proudest moment in my career was last year when our e-commerce team won the annual Clorox Canada award for Team of the Year. I have the privilege of being a part of an incredibly talented, passionate and collaborative cross-functional team and it was very rewarding to see the team being recognized for its hard work and the value it  brings to the organization. 

Best advice you've received? 

The best advice I’ve received in my career is to be your own advocate. Sometimes it can feel uncomfortable to highlight our own successes; however, in fast-paced organizations it is especially important that others are aware of our achievements as individuals or as a team to ensure we are not overlooked. I believe that being able to articulate your own success with confidence and humility is a part of the gateway to future success.   

What's the biggest challenge faced in your career? 

Working through the pandemic was certainly the biggest challenge I have faced in my career. The unprecedented demand for cleaning products, coupled with the massive pressure on our supply chain, created a situation where collaboration and adaptability both internally and with our customers became more crucial than ever. Like so many of us, I was also challenged with balancing personal and professional demands while working remotely with my family at home. It was a time of immense pressure but also a time of great personal growth. I am thankful for the support systems I have at work and at home that enabled me to prioritize and pivot as needed. 

How would you describe your leadership style/philosophy? 

I always strive to be inclusive and collaborative in my approach to leadership. Building connections and trust with team members through authenticity and transparency is very important to me. I believe that we achieve the best outcome when all team members feel valued and feel that they are in a collaborative environment where they can openly provide their input and feedback. 

What do you like most about your job? 

I love that e-commerce is a constantly evolving space where there is always something new to test and learn. It’s exciting that we can leverage the rich capabilities and insights that are available to continuously optimize and adapt the way we communicate with customers to create personalized experiences with our brands and products. This evolution, and ability to test, learn and adapt in real-time is what fuels my passion for what I do.

What do you like to do when not working? 

Outside of work my biggest priority is spending quality time with family and friends. In my free time I can usually be found racing between activities and social get-togethers with my husband and my two young children (ages 5 and 7). I love being active and spending time outside, which includes running and coaching soccer. 

Click here for the full list of 2023 Star Women in Grocery award winners. 

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