Natalie Houder

This entry is part 22 of 33 in the series

Natalie Houder of C&SNatalie Houder

 C&S Wholesale Grocers  Inc.

Years with company:   Ten years

Current position and your immediate supervisor:
Vice President, Strategic Sourcing, reporting to Tim Ludlow, senior vice president and treasurer.

I currently manage a team that is responsible for approximately $800 million of not-for-resale spending at our organization.  We analyze our not-for-resale spend, negotiate with vendors and execute contracts for categories such as Energy, Fuel, MHE, Warehouse Supplies and Services.  We have leveraged technology to improve analysis, bids, auctions, contract management and the P.O. process for many capital and expense items.

Education degrees and professional/volunteer affiliates:

  • B.S., Accounting, University of Delaware, with a minor in German studies
  • M.B.A., University of Delaware
  • Certified Public Accountant
  • Certified Treasury Professional
  • Former Treasurer, Child First and Sophia’s Hearth – both non-profit organizations focused on early-childhood education

Mentors and how have they assisted you in your career:While working as the vice president of financial accounting at MBNA America Bank, I reported to Randy Black, the controller.  Randy provided opportunities and projects that allowed me challenge myself and work with a variety of people within the organization.  He was always available for feedback sessions and helped me prioritize and effectively analyze and evaluate alternatives, whether it was related to daily responsibilities or career planning.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements or a defining moment of your career to date?
After working in strategic planning for five years, with responsibility for acquisitions and new business, I became more involved in financial planning and treasury analysis.  I was promoted to director of treasury and enjoyed building the team and encouraging their professional development, improving our cash management operations and negotiating our credit facility.  More recently, I was asked to take on the management of a relatively new department in our company – Strategic Sourcing.  During my first year, we identified savings of approximately $5.0 million in annual spend.  It was so rewarding to work with people throughout the company focused together on improving our not-for-resale spend.

Most challenging part of your job:
Managing the daily efforts of our team on many on-going projects while implementing new systems and developing a company-wide strategy on not-for-resale spend is challenging at times but always exciting.

Thoughts or advice for upcoming younger executives:
Be passionate and prepared – do the little things right and the big things will come.

Hobbies: Playing ice hockey, horse-back riding, skiing, reading.