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2023 Star Women in Grocery Award Winner Derin Bello (Q&A)

Senior-Level Star
Derin Bello
Derin Bello

Derin Bello

Vice-President, sales
Mars Wrigley

When did you move into a sales role in the grocery/CPG sector?

I started my career more than 20 years ago building bespoke software in the consumer-packaged goods industry, and along the way my interest shifted from software programming to analyzing and driving recommendations from the outputs of the programs I built. I found myself energized working with teams to leverage insights towards driving mutual win with retailers. Over the years, and particularly at Mars, I have been afforded many opportunities to continue to cultivate a career in CPG. 

What is one of your proudest moments?

Earlier this year, our team gathered for a full strategy session followed by an award ceremony focused on recognizing talent and performance. During this time, I couldn’t help but reflect on all the team had accomplished over the past two years—from rebuilding our categories back to health to the resiliency we demonstrated, and the results we achieved collectively was one of my proudest moments.   

What keeps you motivated? 

I wake up every morning with a desire to continue to learn and grow in my role while supporting my team and enabling a growth mindset. The global pandemic forced us and the industry to think differently—we had to start fresh and re-learn what we know about our consumers, customers, employees. It’s this learning mindset and constant challenge that fuels me.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I am a fan of the situational leadership model, which means I adapt my style based on each situation to meet the needs of my team and better understand what motivates them. I believe in relevant transparency towards driving high psychological safety and a high-performance culture. 

Describe for us how your commitment to growing female talent comes to life.

A few years ago, one of my mentees got promoted to her first director leadership role and found herself facing the reality of sitting on a leadership team i.e., back-to-back days of meetings and schedules that created challenges for her daily childcare routine. She shared with me how she had the confidence to speak up and ask for scheduling considerations to protect her time with her kids in the morning. I was humbled when I learned that she gained the confidence having observed me and my intentionality over the years. I believe the best way we can all support growing talent is by role modelling what is possible, what is right, showing up unapologetically as women, wives and mothers while still holding strong accountability for our business commitments.  

I share my stories and experiences with others to encourage, motivate and guide both male and female associates to support female talent.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I look for every opportunity to create great memories with my loved ones, over things we love to do together or discover new experiences, from traveling to new restaurants to spending time watching anime with my children.

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

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