Alexa K. Grant

This entry is part 29 of 89 in the series

GRANT,-ALEXAAlexa K. Grant

Wakefern Food Corp.
Manager of Learning and Development

Years with company: 22

Education degrees and professional/volunteer organizations: BA English, University of Rhode Island; M.Ed. Education, University of Pittsburgh, NAAAHR, Network of Executive Women, FMI Future Leaders Planning Committee, SHRM

Mentors and how have they assisted you in your career: One of my most instrumental mentors is Ernest Bell whom I reported to for many years.  He believed that I had abilities even I wasn’t aware of.  His philosophy was that in order to grow, one had to be challenged beyond what they thought they were capable of.  Believe me, he certainly challenged me.  Another person who has been influential is my current vice president, Ann Marie Burke.  She’s shown me how to be a more balanced leader. She holds me accountable, trusts my thought process and has given me the ability to make key decisions.  It may sound strange, but I worked for an incredibly ruthless person quite a while ago, she too was instrumental.  Her team distrusted her; she had little to no integrity and took great joy in “breaking” people. She taught me what not to aspire to.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? Do you have a defining moment oyour career to dateI love to see my team members grow; whether in confidence or in way of promotion.  I feel a sense of pride.  The continued success of our Leaders in Training and Customer Service Excellence programs which I created many years ago give me great satisfaction. Having earned the trust of Wakefern’s Executive Staff to include me as a partner in the company’s highly confidential succession planning processes is also an achievement of which I am most proud.

Most challenging part of your job: I manage a multi-generational, energetic and engaged team of 10.  They are my “A Team”. Coaching each of them in accordance with their needs is challenging. I try to adjust the way I communicate feedback so that it is understood and motivates them to develop.  Because we get involved with so many diverse projects, it’s challenging to stay abreast of all of the activities associated with each of them.

Advice for upcoming younger executives: My advice to upcoming younger executives is simple – Be true to yourself and don’t compromise your values. Expect that mistakes will happen.  What matters is how one responds to them that makes the difference.  Stay flexible and be willing to venture into the unknown.

Hobbies:  Give me an electric drill and I’m happy! I love creating beautiful interior spaces and dabble in interior design.  I also love to travel and hope to do more internationally as well as domestically.