Cathy Shifflett

This entry is part 49 of 54 in the series

Shifflett_CathyCathy Shifflett

Tops Markets
Vice President of Center Store Sales And Marketing

Years with company: 1.5 years

Education degrees and professional/volunteer organizations:
I have a BA in Marketing from Penn State

Mentors and how have they assisted you in your career:
My first mentors were my parents, who taught me three very important lessons.   First, if you don’t like something or you think something is wrong, don’t wait for some else to fix it.  It’s up you to change it.   Second, if you are going to discuss a problem with someone, don’t just complain but offer solutions on how to improve it.   Third, sometimes the right answer is not the easy or popular choice, but you need to look yourself in the mirror and know you did the right thing.    Another mentor, Ray Smaltz, taught me to speak for those who have no voice and do the right thing for them, because no one else may do this.    He also taught me to be patient with people and to remember that almost everyone deserves a second chance.    The last group I want to recognize is my Duquesne University Women’s Executive Leadership cohort.   I was in a group of 8 amazing ladies, working with 6 coaches, who taught me to not be afraid but to believe in myself and my inner strength.  I would not be the person I am today without any of these individuals.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? Do you have a defining moment of your career to date?
Whenever I left a company to go work elsewhere, many people thanked me for teaching them, promoting them, supporting them or just making work more enjoyable. This is the best kind of achievement to me.

Most challenging part of the job:
The toughest part of the job is letting someone go.  For some reason, things don’t work out or they are poor fit for the job, but it is never pleasant.

Advice for upcoming younger executives:
You don’t need to have your whole life figured out when you are 20, 30 or 40.   Start out by taking jobs that interest you or help you gain new experiences, even if they aren’t perfect.    You can always make changes as needed.  The important thing is to learn and grow.   With the benefit of hindsight, you’ll be able to see how it everything came together to make you what you are.

I spend most of my free time with my two daughters but also enjoy reading, running, biking and hiking.