Years with company: Three years
Current position and immediate supervisor:
As the director of retail marketing and innovation for Food Lion, I am responsible for leading the work for retail marketing, private brand marketing, ethnic marketing and innovation. My immediate supervisor is Ken Mills, vice president of marketing for Food Lion, Family Banners.
Education degrees and professional/volunteer affiliates:
Bachelor’s degree in marketing and fashion merchandising at Hampton University in Hampton, Va., and a master’s degree of professional studies from the Pratt Institute in New York, N.Y I am affiliated with several professional/volunteer affiliates which include, but are not limited to, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (Mentor), Toastmasters International (Member) and The Avon Foundation (Avon Breast Cancer Walker and Volunteer).
Mentors and how they have assisted you in your career:
June Archer, senior vice president of new business for Godiva Chocolates, influenced my business acumen in the way in which I develop other people and myself even now in the food industry. She encouraged me to be diligent, proactive, and not to be so hard on myself.
JJ Thomas, who hired me in my first job out of college, taught me to hold myself accountable and be comfortable holding others accountable as well.
Food Lion Family Banners President Cathy Green Burns helped me to realize how to connect with people in such a way that they perform for you not just because it’s their job or you told them to do so. This was a significant shift for me, coming into the food industry from the children’s entertainment industry.
What are you most proud of in your career achievements or a defining moment of your career to date?
I experienced a difficult career situation at a previous job where my organization was interested in expanding our business relationship with one of our retail clients. We were not equipped to handle the opportunity. In order to effectively manage the relationship, we needed additional resources but were not willing to make the investment. In my role, I needed to help my company understand the requirements of the retail organization and recognize that we were not in a position to handle the work effectively.
I leveraged my strong relationship with the client to help drive change. It gave me the tools to persuade my company to get additional resources and allowed me to deliver against my company’s financial goals and the client’s expectations.
Most challenging part of your job:
It sometimes becomes a challenge for me to make sure that when communicating with staff or colleagues, my message is being understood as I had intended.
Thoughts or advice for upcoming younger executives:
Younger executives should know that everyone can learn to lead by developing their own potential and by communicating their expectations plainly and simply.
Cooking, entertaining at my home, and running.
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