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2023 Star Women in Grocery Award Winner Kristi Lalach (Q&A)

Senior-Level Star
Kristin Laird
Kristi Lalach
Kristi Lalach

Kristi Lalach

VP, Legal and Associate General Counsel

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?

In November 2022, Sobeys experienced a cyber security event. Providing support to our leadership team and our front-line and backstage staff to equip them with tools to address customer impact and regulatory requirements was a unique challenge that was time sensitive and of a magnitude I’d not previously experienced in my career. The leaders at Sobeys, myself included, had to lead and work in rapidly developing environment that few people had experienced before, and the pressure and stakes were high. I remain so grateful to our front-line staff and backstage teammates for how hard everyone worked to pull together in a crisis to make sure our company and our customers were well protected and served.

What keeps you motivated at work?

I am motivated by a constant stream of challenging work and a high-performing diverse team; I am very lucky to have both at Sobeys. The retail environment provides a unique opportunity for work that evolves constantly as our teams push for innovative product and an elevated customer experience, all within a complicated national regulatory framework. The grocery business is constantly redefining itself and I find that extremely motivating. In addition, I am fortunate to work with an incredible team of lawyers, retailers and industry leaders in a collaborative workplace, including a vast network of high-performing supportive female leaders.  

What do you like best about your job?

The people and leadership team I work with at Sobeys are hard-working, driven, customer-focused and exemplify integrity. I am surrounded by leaders and teammates who have a passion for grocery, feeding Canadians, fostering diversity and serving communities. Sobeys is deeply involved in many charitable endeavours and the pride our company takes in giving back helps to fuel me. Finally, I love the pace of retail, grocery in particular, where every day brings with it new issues and opportunities.

What is your best quality?

My best work quality is that I am a tireless advocate for and supporter of the people and principles I believe in. Whether it is my family, friends, team or company, I tend to be a fearless and tenacious champion in support of others.  

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?

Empowered people empower people. When we show a person respect and trust, they will grow to their true potential and, in turn, seek to grow the potential of others around them. This sustains our teams and helps to develop our future leaders who will give their time to serving our customers and communities. 

What is your style/leadership philosophy?

Leadership is one of my favourite parts of my role and I take tremendous pride in watching those around me grow and succeed. It is my true honour to see my past and present colleagues achieve new milestones and thrive. My leadership style is one of collaboration, empathy, hard work, and an open mind to change and innovation. I am a leader who values not only what my teammates bring to the table from a business perspective, but also the diverse perspective they bring from their personal lives

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

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