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2023 Star Women in Grocery Award Winner Nena Pidskalny (Q&A)

Rising Star
Nena Pidskalny
Nena Pidskalny

Nena Pidskalny

Director, Supply Chain Strategy and Planning
Federated Co-operatives Limited

How did you get your start in the grocery business?

I sort of fell into the industry. I was working in consulting at the time and saw an opportunity for a category co-ordinator position at Federated Co-operatives and decided to apply on a whim. At the time I didn’t even know what category management was. Little did I know that I would end up loving the role, industry and organization!

What keeps you passionate about your work?

Solving complex, strategic problems every day. The last few years I have been fortunate enough to be involved in two transformation projects within our business. Being able to look at a problem, come up with solutions and see them come to life has been really rewarding and keeps me engaged. I also have a fantastic team that I work with that makes coming to work easy. Seeing them grow and evolve has been extremely fulfilling and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us.

What is a career challenge you've faced and how did you overcome it?

We rolled out a new process at our organization, and about six months into the rollout, things were not going as planned. We had to have a hard look at the problem, come up with solutions and then internally sell the recommended approach. The main strategy I employed to overcome the problem was to understand the root cause of the issue we were having. From there I was able to formulate potential scenarios that could alleviate these concerns. I then leveraged data to understand the incremental benefit of the changes and used that context to present the recommended approach to our executive team. Ultimately, the most drastic and impactful change was the one our organization landed on. Although nerve-racking at the time, having the courage to advocate for improvement ended up being the best decision I could have made.

What is the best career advice you've received?

The best advice I’ve ever received is to never bring forward a problem without a solution. This is a mantra I use in my everyday work and have instilled in my team. It helps to ensure we can make progress and allows us to spend less time ruminating on what the problems are, and more time focused on solutions. 

How do you like to spend your time outside of work?

I love spending time outside and time with my family and friends. I enjoy a round of golf and love going for hikes. I also attend weekly bootcamp workout classes, which balances out my love of eating!

What is a fun fact about you?

I absolutely adore animals—dogs/cats/rabbits, you name it. Nothing can make me smile quite like a furry friend.

Anything else you'd like to add?

I feel so fortunate to work in such a rewarding and engaging industry focused on innovation and improving the lives of customers. It really is a fun place to be and thankful to spend my career doing something I love!

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

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