Where are they now? Generation Next winner Alexis Williams
We catch up with past winners to find out what they've been up to since winning the award
Canadian Grocer staff
Since 2011, Canadian Grocer’s Generation Next awards have been celebrating up-and-coming leaders (under 40) who are shaping the future of Canada’s grocery industry.
Wondering “where are they now?” we checked in with a few past winners to see how their careers have been shaping up since winning their Gen Next awards, and we’ll be sharing these updates with you over the next couple weeks. Up next …
ALEXIS WILLIAMS 2012 winner
JOB THEN: Director of health and wellness at Loblaws
JOB NOW: Senior director wellness at Loblaws
What has changed in your career since winning the Generation Next Award? I went from a team of 20 dietitians in Ontario to a team of over 80 dietitians nationally in the past eight years, so I learned a lot about leadership quickly. Our dietitians have become an integral part of a broader health and wellness team, which now includes other health professionals such as doctors, pharmacists and nurses. I also became a mom of two little boys who bring a whole new meaning to food education for me!
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? My first leader told me to never be afraid to shamelessly self-promote the work my team does across the organization, and this is something I took to heart. In a large company, it’s important to keep senior leaders aware of the work your team is doing and the value it brings back to the organization.
What do you like best about what you do? My role is part leading a large team and part strategy and growth and I absolutely love doing both. I enjoy leadership and coaching, but I also love the ability to brainstorm and generate ideas and strategies to grow our business.
What is the most rewarding part of your job? Stories of how our dietitians have changed the lives of our colleagues and customers. We don’t realize how much our nutrition impacts our lives until we are faced with a health scare or condition diagnosis. Hearing how my team guides people through these difficult times always makes me feel very proud that our work is meaningful.
Are there any tough lessons you learned along the way? I’ve learned how to prioritize and remain focused. I love to chase bright and shiny opportunities, but I constantly must remind myself to develop things more thoroughly and to limit my focus to the important initiatives that will have the greatest impact.
What career accomplishment are you most proud of in the years following your Generation Next win? I’m proud that I was able to grow our Ontario-based dietitian program to a national reach with dietitians across the country servicing customers where they shop. Most recently I’m proud of how our team has evolved with the pandemic to creatively serve customer virtually.
People would be surprised to know that I … Grew up on a goat farm in rural Southwestern Ontario where I got my first taste of food and agriculture. My first job was selling pumpkins and asparagus roadside.
Do you know a rising star in the grocery industry? Nominate them for this year’s Generation Next Awards. It’s quick and easy, but don’t delay! The deadline to enter/nominate is Oct. 7.