1. Describe your journey that brought you to your current position.
My current role is working with a great team at Albertsons Companies, where I am the Group Vice President of E-commerce (Division Operations). I began my career journey 39 years ago as a part-time bakery clerk and checker. I advanced to become a cake decorator and baker, eventually landing a bakery manager role for our Safeway banner. I was a bakery manager in a couple of different locations for Safeway. I have had multiple roles since then including Bakery Field Merchandiser, Bakery Director and Bakery VP for Safeway. My career then transitioned and I led our Deli Food Service team in the VP role for Safeway. I then advanced changed roles and led our Pharmacy Health and Wellness business unit as the Group VP for Safeway. Safeway and Albertsons merged a few years ago, at that time I led the bakery team as Group VP. In 2017 I joined our e-commerce team in my current role.
I had many great teachers and mentors as my career path and journey changed throughout the years. I am especially thankful for the teams I am and have been a part of throughout the years.
2. How long have you been in your current role? Describe how your work contributes to your company and impacts the industry.
I have been in my current role since late 2017. E-commerce provides Home Delivery and Drive Up and Go curbside orders across 34 states.
3. What has surprised you most when you started in the field?
What surprised me most was how much fun and opportunity for learning that I have had along the way. From decorating my first cake and making roses, to making wedding cakes and learning new skill sets – I have found working in the field so rewarding, even today.
4. How has your career and/or personal journey shaped you as a current industry professional?
My career journey has shaped me in many ways. I have learned from on-the-job experiences and from many great teachers and mentors along the way. I have learned the most important aspect is to treat people well and to help each other. By creating a positive culture, the long-term benefits and relationships we build matter.
5. What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing team member succeed. I have had great opportunities to give back and help others grow their career paths. Showing we care, teaching and trusting your team and co-workers with tough problems that are solved together builds lasting relationships and results. I often think back to when I needed to learn new areas, knowledge and processes I asked a lot of questions. Throughout my career people helping each other and helping our customers is really the magic in our company and industry.
6. What advice would you give someone who is considering a career in the food industry?
Go for it! Passion and a love for food touches too many areas throughout our country and our world. I have truly enjoyed learning how to make great products in our delis and bakeries. I now work in e-commerce and find that providing people in our communities much needed services in today’s environment is very rewarding.
7. How has IDDBA impacted you professionally?
IDDBA is an amazing virtual and live community. I first experienced IDDBA by attending the annual IDDBA conference many years ago.
8. Lastly, what’s your guilty food pleasure?
I love bakery and deli products. I have a couple of items I love to eat including prosciutto with sourdough French bread and of course enjoying sweet indulgences, like a slice of napoleons or princess cake or a fresh scratch-made glazed donut. Just describing these items is making me hungry.