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2023 Star Women in Grocery Award Winner Ola Machnowski (Q&A)

Senior-Level Star
Ola Machnowski
Ola Machnowski

Ola Machnowski

Head of Marketing
Hershey Canada

What are some of your career highlights?

As a marketer, I’ve been fortunate to have worked on so many brands across multiple categories and companies. Each came with a different consumer profile and business problem that enabled me to gain breadth and depth that has been critical to strengthening my skill-set and foundation. As a leader, I’ve learned from some of the best in the business; I’m thankful to every manager I’ve had along the way for their patience, time and guidance... Last but certainly not least, I’m a marketer at heart, but wouldn’t trade my couple of years in sales for anything.

What keeps you motivated at work? 

Without question, it’s the people I get to work with every day. I am privileged to be surrounded by an incredible team of bright, creative and driven people. Each day I look forward to the next business problem to be solved. I’m always impressed by how my colleagues and external agency partners rally to find the win while having fun.  

What is your best quality?

My candor... maybe coupled with my odd sense of humour? I’m known for saying what’s on my mind in the interest of moving the business forward, but it’s usually paired with a smile or, more commonly, what I think is a witty joke. Getting comfortable with saying what needs to be said moves the business faster.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received? 

“Listen to feedback for what it is; take it as a gift and figure out how to action what needs to be strengthened.” Upon reflection, in the earlier parts of my career I could have done a better job of just listening to feedback. When I really internalized that most feedback is given with the intention to go from good to great, I proactively sought feedback from trusted colleagues frequently. That’s when real personal development happens—and I hope everyone newer to their careers learns this quickly!

How do you spend your time outside of work? 

Outside of work, the bulk of my time is spent with my two boys, my partner and my dog Luna. We’re outdoorsy and love to find a small adventure every weekend. So, we can usually be found on a hiking trail or a ski slope, depending on the season.

What is a fun fact about you? 

At one point, I thought I would pursue a career in music. To keep the creative side of me alive, I always have a couple new piano tunes on the go.

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

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