Jennifer Young-Watts

This entry is part 62 of 69 in the series

Jennifer Young Watts of KraftJennifer Young-Watts

Kraft Foods
Customer Vice President for Ahold/C&S

 Years with company: 20 years on June 23, 2013




Education degrees and professional/volunteer organizations: 

  • B.A., Finance – Babson College (1993)
  • M.B.A., Marketing/International Studies – Babson College (2001)

Professional Organizations:

  • Network of Executive Women

Volunteer Organizations:

  • Children’s Hospital Foundation
  • Walk for Hunger – Boston, Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts Youth Soccer

Mentors and how have they assisted you in your career:
One of my life long mentors has been my father, Carl.  He had a tough upbringing being the oldest of nine children whose father passed away when he was only 18.  He had a lot of responsibility early on and went on to become a prominent attorney in Boston.  He always taught me to fight for what I believe in and don’t let others deter you away from your passions, desires and goals.  He would always tell me to support my position with facts and defend it with endless determination.   I have also been fortunate to have many mentors throughout my professional life who have been a tremendous help in guiding me through many tough career decisions.  They have supported my learning and encouraged me to broaden my perspective and experience by taking on different and challenging assignments. This has enabled me to expand my portfolio of skills.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? Do you have a defining moment of your career to date?
As I reflect back on my career, I am most proud of the ability to embrace change within the company and industry.  Kraft has been through a great deal of change throughout my 20-year career and I have always enjoyed working on new product lines, with new people and addressing new business opportunities.  I have truly enjoyed working for Kraft and have been fortunate to be surrounded by terrific people who have passion and determination to succeed and win every day.

My defining career moment was when I was asked as a senior sales person to help integrate a newly acquired business into Kraft Foods.  It was a challenging assignment because there were many broad systems and internal opportunities.  As the only sales person among many marketing individuals I was looked to for financial, packaging, shelving, promotional and supply chain decisions.  It was a job I loved because I had a passion for the product and it had a true entrepreneurial spirit.  In addition, it was a great opportunity to work with and develop partnerships with sales agencies across all channels of trade.  Each member of the team played a significant role and worked hard to make this transition and business a success.

Advice for upcoming younger executives:
Always be true to yourself and stand by your values.  Support your team and respect diversity of thought within the organizations in which you work.  Act like an owner and lead by example – don’t expect others to do what you wouldn’t do.  Networking is an important aspect of business and one that takes time and energy but is definitely worth the effort.

Spending time with my family, coaching soccer and lacrosse for my daughter, running and traveling.