1. Describe your journey that brought you to your current position.I grew up in the restaurant business, so work and food have always been tied in my mind. Due to some familial circumstance, I ended up in Dallas, TX after college and was hired as a Foodie for Central Market. This job cultivated my passion for grocery and helping people shop. It did not, however, make me want to stay in Texas and so when I was able to move, I chose Portland, OR and got a job at New Seasons Market where I worked my way up from an assistant store manager in 1 location to senior manager for all locations and regions. After 13 years, my family decided it was time to leave Portland and I was fortunate to get an interview and then a job offer at IDDBA.2. How long have you been in your current role and describe how your work contribute to your company and impact the industry?I have been at IDDBA for 2 years in March 2020. As part of the education team, my work is centered around identifying and developing resources to support the deli, cheese and bakery industries in general. I contribute to What’s In Store, and I am currently working on many professional development projects as well as an exciting research partnership. 3. What has surprised you most when you started in the field?Other than the obvious answer which is customer preferences, the sheer number of other people who work in this industry for a pure love of food and feeding people. It’s not that I thought I was alone, but I didn’t realize there were so many people in my tribe.4. How has your career and/or personal journey shaped you as a current industry professional?I had the privilege of being afforded the opportunity to grow with a company. When I was hired at New Seasons Market, they were operating 4 stores. When I left, they were operating almost 30. Being promoted and being a part of the team that was learning how to grow taught me so much about leadership, managing change and showing up to work everyday with my whole self. I am grateful to my past while continuing to set more goals for personal and professional growth. 5. What is the most rewarding part of your job?I love that this question feels hard because there are so many aspects that are quite rewarding. The most rewarding part of my job is supporting an amazing team of co-workers- the education department at IDDBA wears so many hats, juggles so many projects and always shows up ready to work. It’s inspiring.6. What advice would you give someone who is considering a career in the food industry?Yes! Do it! People will always need to eat. 7. How has IDDBA impacted you professionally?Well, it has changed the trajectory of my career, forced me to see beyond sales reports to find success and asks me to consider what the industry at large needs most days. What I love is that I am still part of the industry that I am passionate about but I am challenged with seeing it from many more angles- it’s not easy to change a long held perspective, but nothing ever worth doing is. 8. Lastly, what’s your guilty food pleasure?All I want is a rotisserie chicken (yes, a whole chicken) and a fork.