Carole Christianson

This entry is part 17 of 89 in the series

Christianson,-CaroleBCarole Christianson

Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC)
Chief Operating Officer

Years with company: 7 years

Education degrees and professional/volunteer organizations: graduate of the USC Food Industry Executive Program; Co-Founder Kids4Hope @ the City of Hope; and former Trustee California Grocers Association Educational Foundation

Mentors and how have they assisted you in your career: I give a lot of credit to my husband Paul. During the 30 years that we have been married, he has been my #1 coach, advisor and voice of reason. Early in my career it was the President of Dr Pepper Southern California, Ray Snyder. Very tough but fair. He gave me the opportunity to work in sales and get involved in industry organizations.

I have been very fortunate to have the support and sponsorship of true legends in the food industry, many who have served in leadership roles with the WAFC. I am so grateful for their trust in me.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? Being the first woman: COO of the WAFC; Illuminator Headlite; NCCJ Humanitarian Award honoree; National winner of the Coca Cola “Above the Line” award for Outstanding Sales Development; Chair of the Combined Food Sales of Southern California   Do you have a defining moment of your career to date? Being selected for the job I have today by retail executives that I called on during my then 30+ year career. Truly an honor!

Most challenging part of your job: Finding ways to deliver increasing value to all WAFC stakeholders: Board of Directors; Scholarship Donors; Illuminators, Convention Delegates, etc.

Advice for upcoming younger executives: Be a student of the industry: take every opportunity to learn, get involved and network. Design your destiny: set goals, write them down and stay focused.

Do not fear change, embrace it as an adventure and never compromise your integrity.

Hobbies: Planning our daughter Amanda’s October 2015 wedding; being a Grandma to Ashlee & Matt’s baby boy: “Jackson Paul” born 12/2/2014; football; country music and travel.