JoAnn Murdock

This entry is part 52 of 89 in the series

Murdock,-JoAnnJoAnn Murdock

Unified Grocers, Inc.
Executive Director, Marketing

Year with company: 16.5 years

Education: I have both a BSBA and an MBA with an emphasis in Marketing and also attended the USC Food Industry Management Executive Program.  Professional/Volunteer:  I’m proud to be one of the founding members (as well as a former officer and now regional advisor) for the Southern California Chapter of the Network of Executive Women.  I’m also on the Steering Committee for Unified’s Women’s Resource Group.  I serve as a Board Director for the Vons Federal Credit Union and am very active in fund raising to fight cystic fibrosis and ovarian cancer.

Mentors: I’ve been fortunate to have several terrific mentors and sponsors over the years like Bill Davila and Dick Goodspeed from my Vons days — who always made me feel like I could do anything.  But Sue Klug has to take the top spot.  Sue has been an amazing mentor to me for at least the last 25 years.  I learn so much by just observing her — the professionalism, energy and passion for our industry are evidenced in everything she does.  The things that have made the biggest impression on me, however, come from Sue’s heart.  She genuinely cares about people; treats everyone with respect; and gives back.  I try to embody those same traits every day and they’ve helped me grow both personally and professionally.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? I’m most proud of when I shifted from mentee to mentor.  I don’t remember when it was — it kind of just “happened” but my view of things changed forever.  Nothing makes me happier than when a team member or someone I’ve mentored takes on a new challenge, receives special recognition or gets promoted.  It’s the best feeling ever.

Most challenging part of your job: The most challenging part of my job is dealing with negativity.  I’m a firm believer that you can do great work — and have fun doing it.  Negativity stifles creativity and collaboration, and limits our ability to be successful.

Advice for upcoming younger executives: My advice for younger executives is to be authentic — be your true self — not what you think others want you to be.  I once had an executive tell me I needed to “take down my energy level and not be so perky.”  Needless to say, I didn’t take that advice and things have worked out pretty well.  Be proud of who you are and what you bring to an organization — you’ll be a lot happier and probably more successful — in the long run.

Hobbies: I enjoy hiking, biking and generally anything that lets me enjoy our amazing Southern California weather.