Robin Vogel

This entry is part 68 of 69 in the series

Robin Vogel, Tops MarketsRobin Vogel

Topco Associates, LLC
SVP Center Store Procurement, Logistics and Member Services

Years with company:  Two years

Education degrees and professional/volunteer organizations:
I graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Industrial and Management Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Masters of Management in Manufacturing, which is a joint degree from the Kellogg Graduate School of Business and McCormick School of Engineering.  I participate in the Procurement Strategy Council, which is a council of top procurement professionals across many industries.  I am a past board member of the Chicago Youth Center.

Mentors and how have they assisted you in your career:
I have been fortunate to have mentors throughout my entire career that have given me great advice and counsel.  Mentorship started with my parents who taught me the value of hard work and education and supported me in all of my career decisions.  In addition to them, I have had informal and formal mentors in all of the companies I have worked for – Nestle, Sara Lee and Topco.  My mentors have guided me in many of my career/professional decisions as well as taken the time to help me navigate and grow.  In an effort to give back, I similarly have been a mentor to some wonderful up and coming talent.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? Do you have a defining moment of your career to date?
I have had the opportunity to work in various roles and cross-functional positions throughout my career.  In addition, I have led many cross-functional special projects for the various companies that I have worked for.  I believe careers are defined by many moments, both big and small.  A special moment for me happened early in my career.  The Chief Supply Chain Officer at Sara Lee had picked another person to lead a manufacturing and distribution strategy.  I scheduled an appointment to find out what development gaps I had that prevented him from choosing me as a leader.  He then asked if I wanted the leadership role.  I said yes and he gave it to me.  The lesson learned – if you don’t ask you’ll never receive.

Most challenging part of your job:
The most challenging part of my job, not unlike many others, is work/life balance.  My insatiable appetite to learn and work on special projects often means long days at work.  My challenge as a leader is creating an environment where change and continuous improvement is seen as a positive and not as a negative.

Advice for upcoming younger executives:
Take challenging cross-functional assignments – they will help you build different skills.  In addition, take on special projects as they will help you learn the business in a different way than your day job offers.

Hobbies:

  • I love to travel and see the world; in fact I have been on all seven continents.
  • Sports – playing and watching.
  • Spending time with family and friends.