2023 Star Women in Grocery Award Winner Pam Horvatis (Q&A)

Senior-Level Star
Pam Horvatis
Pam Horvatis

Pam Horvatis

SVP, Industry Relations
GS1 Canada

What do you like most about your job?  

First, it is the people I work with. At GS1 Canada, people have a strong desire to support Canadian industry and Canadians as a whole. We truly believe in our mission and our values and we act in line with them. Second, I enjoy the diverse group of subscribers we work with. One moment we are supporting a small business in the grocery sector and the next we are working with a large retailer in the hardware sector.   

What has been one of your biggest accomplishments? 

One that comes to mind was during my time at Unilever. After some strong team collaboration and strategic planning, as well as internal and external influencing over several months, the team was nominated for Vendor of the Year at Walmart Canada. That’s a highlight for me because the team believed, and we delivered.  

How would you describe your leadership style?

Leadership, to me, is about developing followership through creating a strong vision, enabling a path to achieving it and by giving people the opportunity to contribute, feel valued and have the chance to develop. I’ve learned that it’s true that a good leader surrounds herself with a strong team and leverages their strengths, removes barriers for them to be effective and provides them opportunities to develop. I try to live that through open communication, collaboration, strong listening skills and sometimes empathy. Because you never know what someone is dealing with.  

What has surprised you in your career?  

I was restructured out of a company. Throughout my career, I had worked hard, made sacrifices and was generally quite successful. In retrospect, I thought that kind of thing wouldn’t happen to me. But it did and, honestly, I’m better for it.  It was tough at first and my ego was hurt. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to take some time, step back and assess where I wanted my career to go, what type of work I wanted to do. And frankly, that’s what led me to GS1 Canada.  

What are you passionate about outside work?  

My family and some self-care. I lost my dad and my father-in-law last year within months of each other and it showed me just how precious time really is. I’ve also had some very close co-workers experience major illness over the last few years. These experiences made me take stock in how I prioritize and spend my time.   

Anything else you’d like to share? 

I’ll finish with a piece of wisdom that was shared with me.  Your career will be a series of different jobs and possibly different companies. What’s important in your career is understanding your North Star. What is important to you? How do you want to lead? What will make you feel fulfilled?  There will be many options ahead and decisions to be made. By sticking close to your North Star, you’ll achieve what you want, and most likely what you need.

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

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