Catherine Polley

This entry is part 49 of 69 in the series

Catherine Polley, FMI

Catherine Polley

Food Marketing Institute (FMI)
Vice President, Health & Wellness and Executive Director, FMI Foundation

Years with company:  5 ½ years

Education degrees and professional/volunteer organizations:
I hold a B.S. in Pharmacy from the University of Michigan and am a licensed pharmacist.  I’m a member of the American Pharmacists Association and serve in an advisory capacity to The Foundation for Women’s Cancer;  The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance’s Survivors Teaching Students; The Retail Dietitian Business Alliance; Wayne State University/Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professionals; National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations.

Mentors and how have they assisted you in your career:
When I first entered management, I had three strong individuals who truly influenced the type of executive I am today and helped me achieve several of my long-term career goals.    Mentoring is not just about a more experienced person guiding a less experienced worker.  It’s about creating an ongoing relationship of learning, inspiring and challenging, which all help you to be your best.   Throughout my career I have had the good fortune of working with several individuals who have helped shape how I approach leadership, management and work-life balance.  Now as a mentor myself, I find that mentoring benefits me as much or more than it benefits my mentee.   It’s a great source of inspiration.

Advice for upcoming younger executives:
Do your best!  I know it sounds a bit cliché, but there is nothing more important in the workplace than performing to the absolute best of your ability.   Don’t be afraid to ask questions  and make sure you routinely check in with your boss.  And, always strive to exceed all expectations.   This is what will set you apart from the competition.     It’s essential to be engaged in your industry.   Be in touch and in tune and demonstrate that you have a desire to succeed.