Where are they now? Generation Next winner Mike Longo

We caught up with this past Generation Next Award winner to find out what he's been up to since winning in 2014
Black and white headshot of Mike Longo
2014 Generation Next winner Mike Longo

Canadian Grocer’s Generation Next awards debuted in 2011 to honour the grocery industry’s rising stars (under age 40). We recently caught up with a few past winners (check out our August issue for more!) to find out how their careers have been shaping up—including Mike Longo, who won the award in 2014. Here’s what he had to say:

Job then: Vice-president of fresh foods, Longo’s

Job now: Chief merchandising officer, Longo’s

What has changed in your career since 2014, when you won a GenNext Award?

The biggest change I’ve experienced in the last eight years is how quickly the grocery industry has evolved and how consumer behaviour has transformed. There is a constant need to adapt and pivot, especially over the last few years, to stay on top of technology and trends. In a positive light, I believe we have never been in a better position to respond to consumer demand through technology as we focus on our guest experience.

Can you share a tough career lesson you’ve learned?

I’ve learned many tough lessons over the years. One of the toughest is around implementation projects; if you’re ever leading an ERP [enterprise resource planning] implementation project, ensure you have adequate budget (think of a number and double it), extend your timelines, and then cut down your benefits.   

What advice do you have for future “rising stars” in the grocery industry?

There are so many great career opportunities in the grocery industry. Try different things along the way to get a good understanding of the entire business and how it all comes together. When you do this, you will land in the area you’re most passionate about.

Do you know a rising star in the grocery industry? Nominate them now for this year’s Generation Next Awards. It’s quick and easy, but don’t delay! The deadline to enter/nominate is September 16. 

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