Robin McNamara

This entry is part 38 of 54 in the series

McNamara_Robin_RocheBrosRobin McNamara

Roche Bros Supermarkets
Director of Specialty Foods

Years with company: 36 years

Education degrees and professional/volunteer organizations:
Master’s of Management, Cambridge College

Mentors and how have they assisted you in your career:
In addition to my parents, a high school coach who instilled in each athlete competitive spirit, teamwork, as well as the never-give-up attitude. As my career moved along, Paul McGillivray who mentored me throughout my deli and seafood career always (and continues) taught not only the “details” but to strive to dig deep, learn more, and really pushed along the creative thought process. If something’s good – how can we make it better? How can we build it even bigger? And that has become a way of life.  I love food, everything it has to offer.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? Do you have a defining moment of your career to date?
One of the things I am most proud of is having Roche Bros. receive the NASFT Retailer of the Year Award (the “Oscar” award for supermarkets) and having the honor of accepting that award in New York City at the Fancy Food Show in front of my industry peers.

At Roche Bros. we are blessed to have a great crew of people in both our headquarters and our stores who get behind products and programs. As a buyer, without that “belief” system, no matter what we buy, how good the program may be – it’s nothing without team work and support.

Most challenging part of your job:
The most challenging part of my job is trying to get people to get out of their comfort zones. Sure, we can all come to work every day and perform the same tasks with the same products. It’s comfortable. But what fun is that?  The supermarket industry is a giant playground and it’s fun to try new things, taste new foods and learn all about them. I’d say the motto I like to follow is, “Everything in life is right outside your comfort zone” – a great phrase to continue to keep us all challenged, and to never just “settle.”

Advice for upcoming younger executives:
My advice for upcoming younger executives would be to be passionate about what you do. Challenge yourself as well as the world around you each and every day. Tap into the resources around you from your seasoned veterans to the new person working in your stores. Ideas come from everywhere, and your team will be the key to your success. Teach them as much as you can, give them ownership, and the magic will happen.

Food, wine, cooking, fishing, rollerblading, long distance charity cycling, motorcycle riding, jet skiing, softball, and anything that doesn’t involve heights.