Christine Neal

This entry is part 54 of 89 in the series

Neal,-ChristineChristine Neal

Unified Grocers
Senior Vice President of Finance and Treasurer

Years with company: 11.5

Education degrees and professional/volunteer organizations: BS in Accountancy and Finance from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio; Certified Public Accountant, Ohio (inactive license); Board of Directors of the Greater LA Chapter of the American Red Cross (2003 to 2013); Board of Directors of the National Cooperative Business Association (2004 to 2013).

Mentors and how have they assisted you in your career: I’ve had a great deal of help throughout my career. It all started with my parents, who encouraged me to get an education and gave me a strong set of values.  My husband is a sounding board for many challenges and doesn’t let me take myself too seriously.

At Unified Grocers, I’ve been lucky to learn from many great leaders. Former CEO Al Plamann pushed me outside of my comfort zone and current President and CEO Bob Ling has influenced my ability to think strategically. I’m also fortunate that the team I work with every day continually shape my thinking and learning.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? Do you have a defining moment of your career to date? I wouldn’t point to one particular moment. I’m proud to be on the Unified Grocers team and working every day to ensure the success of independent grocers. It’s very satisfying to find meaning in the mission of the organization you work for.  I particularly enjoy sharing the Unified story with new employees and people I meet outside the organization.

Most challenging part of your job: Prioritizing time is the biggest challenge. There are many interesting opportunities out there but we can’t do everything.  It’s important to be organized, think things through, prioritize, delegate and — equally importantly — sometimes say “no.”

Advice for upcoming younger executives: Work hard, listen, be humble, eagerly seek out new challenges, and don’t forget to have fun.

Hobbies: Spending time with my husband and friends.  Cooking.