Sue Duhamel

This entry is part 22 of 77 in the series

Sue Duhamel of Shaw’s SupermarketsSue Duhamel

Shaw’s Supermarkets
Seafood/Deli/Prepared Foods Buyer

Years with company: 25 years

Education degrees and professional/volunteer organizations:

Bachelor Degree from UMASS Dartmouth

I am so proud to be involved in a charity called Healing little Hearts.  The monies raised are to benefit Boston’s Children’s Hospital Pediatric Cardiac Research.  The doctors are developing a tissue engineered heart valve, instead of an artificial one, so it grows with a baby’s body, eliminating the need for so many surgeries throughout their life.  We have raised $600,000  in six  years and are hoping to raise another $150,000 at our Benefit Gala on March 1, 2014, at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

Mentors and how have they assisted you in your career:

I have had many key instrumental mentors at Shaws:  Joe Callanan, Ken Hoffman, and Gail Lewis to name a few.  But when I was a young buyer trainee in 1995, Alan McRae took me under his wing and taught me everything I needed to know to be the buyer I am today.  He taught me that getting the lowest cost was the main part of my job but treating people with respect was most important.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? Do you have a defining moment of your career to date?  My defining moment was in 1998, I was promoted to seafood buyer.  During my three years in that role, I flourished and really came into my own as a Buyer.  I cultivated strong vendor relationships, developed own brand products, and executed successful marketing and promotional campaigns to drive growth.  One highlight was when I visited shrimp facilities in Honduras and Thailand, which gave me the immense knowledge to understand the complexities of the shrimp market.  I, along with my boss at the time, Joe Callanan, achieved tremendous sales success in all categories.

Most challenging part of your job: Every day there is a new challenge to overcome, albeit a late truck, an ad error, service level issues, etc.  How you handle that particular challenging situation is what differentiates you from your peers.

Advice for upcoming younger executives: Work hard, always ask questions, believe in yourself, and be kind/respectful to everyone you work for/with so you never burn a bridge.

Hobbies: I have a wonderful group of six  women, including myself, who have been in a book club for 10 years.  Reading the book is just a premise for a get together every six  weeks for good food, good wine, and lots of laughter.  Friendship makes life all that much better.