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2023 Star Women in Grocery Award Winner Cindy Piotrofski (Q&A)

Rising Star
Kristin Laird
Cindy Piotrofski
Cindy Piotrofski

Cindy Piotrofski

District Operator FreshCo/B.C. West

How did you get your start in the grocery industry?

I was in search of a career that could offer flexibility and hours outside the typical 9 to 5 while my children were still young. In 1998, I started with Safeway as a cashier. They offered me the hours and flexibility I needed, while providing a dynamic working environment. I enjoyed the chance to engage with each customer and learn about the unique individuals that made up the community I was serving. It was this engaging atmosphere and the wonderful team that convinced me to continue in the industry and apply for the manager training program. I now have 25-plus years of experience working in the grocery industry and in that time, I have had the great opportunity to experience several roles and serve many different communities within [B.C.]. It has been an incredible journey with an outstanding company.

What is your proudest moment?

For me, the greatest pride comes when I see someone I had the privilege of mentoring reach their professional goals. Whether this is receiving a promotion or turning an area of opportunity into a strengtheach moment brings great pride. It’s an incredibly warm and humbling feeling to know that your guidance helped someone reach their goals. You’re proud you could make a positive difference in their professional life, but you are even more proud of the tremendous work they put in to achieve that milestone in their career.

What keeps you motivated at work?

Each day offers a chance to grow and develop both my personal and professional skills, and my strengths as a leader. I am motivated knowing that tomorrow is another moment to improve and build on what I learned the day before. It is an opportunity to not just rise to a challenge, but overcome it and make a positive impact on the company in the process. There is never a dull day in this industry, and you never know what to expect. It keeps you on your toes!

What do you like most about your job?

The most enjoyable aspects of my job are the same things that encouraged me to pursue a career in the industry and grow and advance to my role todaythe environment. I have had the pleasure of working with amazing teams, and each day brings something new and exciting. It is an ever-evolving industry, with the needs of each region we serve being unique. You never know what might come up, and how you might be challenged to serve your community. Engaging with the customers and team members at each store allows me incredible insight into the individuals that make up these communities and their needs. Every day I come to work I get to learn something new.

What is your best quality?

My best quality is, perhaps, my compassion. I strive to ensure that in both my personal and professional lives, no one feels left out or unwelcome. At work where we need our team members to be engaged and cohesive, it is important that we have an inclusive and welcoming environment. I am involved in the Women Inclusion Network and many other DE&I initiatives within our company. To me it is important for us to not just reflect, but understand the communities we are part of.

What do you like to do outside of work?

When I’m not spending quality time with my family, or golfing and enjoying the beautiful Okanagan weather, I enjoy volunteering and finding ways to help and serve others.

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

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