Susan Durfee

This entry is part 22 of 89 in the series

Durfee,-Susan-Susan Durfee

Tops Markets, LLC
Director of Bakery

Years with company: 13 years

Education degrees and professional/volunteer organizations:

  • B.S. in Business Administration; University of New York at Buffalo; Buffalo, New York
  • Cornell University – Food Industry Management Program
  • Environmental Board for Colden, New York

 Mentors and how have they assisted you in your career: I have been very lucky to work with great people who have shared their knowledge and helped me succeed in a business I love.  One person is Dave Bordonaro, my boss while I was a Category Manager in Non Perishables.  He helped teach me the importance of making sure we remember the customer and store needs in all decisions we make.  Also, Cathy Shifflett has been a tremendous mentor for me.  She taught me to have confidence in the decisions I make and how to make sure you take advantage of “your seat at the table”.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? Do you have a defining moment oyour career to dateI am proud of contributions I have made to help our stores meet our customer’s needs.  It is rewarding to be in the stores and have them tell you how you have helped them whether it is in meeting customer demands or helping them to do their jobs better.

Most challenging part of your job: The biggest challenge is keeping up with the changing needs of the business.  As labor becomes an increasing challenge, customer’s expectations have grown.  So the balance of meeting the customer’s needs while maximizing resources that are available can be a challenge.

Advice for upcoming younger executives: Be confident in yourself. When opportunities arise for you to step up and out of your comfort zone, go ahead and do it.  Let others know you want new challenges and opportunities to grow.

Hobbies: Travel and gardening.  My husband and I have a goal to visit all the states (we are over half way there) while continuing to take our annual cruise.