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2024 Star Women in Grocery Award Winner Gabrielle Bédard (Q&A)

Shining-Level Star
2024 star women
Gabrielle Bédard

Gabrielle Bédard

Plant Manager 
Conagra Brands

How did you get your start in the food business? 

I began my career in the food industry by studying food science at Laval University. Initially, I focused on the quality aspect of food manufacturing. However, I soon discovered my passion for production management and continuous improvement.

What keeps you passionate about your work? 

I am truly fuelled by my passion for teamwork, shared vision and the continuous growth and development of individuals within my organization. The collaborative spirit and camaraderie that comes with working together towards a common goal excites me every day. Witnessing the progress and success of my colleagues as they achieve their full potential brings me immense joy and fulfilment. The dedication to fostering a supportive and empowering environment where everyone can thrive is what truly ignites my drive and fuels my passion in my work.

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

One of the most significant challenges I encountered in my career was the daunting transition to the position of plant manager. The weight of responsibility for the safety and well-being of our 200 employees initially filled me with apprehension; however, with the unwavering support of an incredible team and my commitment driving me forward, I was able to face my fears head-on. By embracing this challenge with courage and determination, I not only conquered my uncertainties, but also discovered a newfound sense of fulfilment in the role. This experience taught me valuable lessons about resilience, leadership and the limitless potential that lies within us when we confront our fears with determination.

What is the best advice you've received in your career? 

The best advice I've received is from great leaders who emphasized the importance of key leadership behaviours such as being a good servant leader, challenging the status quo  and, most importantly, motivating people by appealing to their emotions.

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

I enjoy engaging in outdoor activities such as mountain biking and skiing, as well as spending quality time with friends and family. I also find relaxation in activities like solving puzzles, working on Lego sets and indulging in my love for sudoku. As a self-proclaimed foodie, I thoroughly enjoy exploring new culinary delights and savouring delicious meals with loved ones.

What is a fun fact about you? 

I have a passion for making friendship bracelets!

Anything else you'd like to add?

I am truly grateful for this award and for the opportunities that Conagra has provided me over the years. They have consistently invested in my development and placed their trust in me, even during times when I doubted my ability to fulfil the various roles within the company. Their unwavering support and belief in my potential have been instrumental in my growth and success within the organization.

Click here for the full list of 2024 Star Women in Grocery award winners.

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