Cheryl Schondek

This entry is part 70 of 89 in the series

Schondek,-CherylCheryl Schondek

The Greater Boston Food Bank
Vice President of Food Acquisition and Supply Chain

Years with company:   1 ½ years


Education degrees and professional/volunteer organizations:

  • Undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont
  • Graduate degree from Bridgewater State University
  • Executive Education Course in Supply Chain Management from MIT
  • Executive Education Course in Produce Category Management from Cornell
  • Network of Executive Women – Leadership Team for New England Region
  • New England Produce Council- Board member during produce tenure
  • St Vincent de Paul Society- Board Member

Mentors and how have they assisted you in your career: I have had numerous mentors throughout my career. Early on, folks such as Paul Kennedy, Peter Lynch, and Roe Cefalo gave me the opportunity to learn the facets of the retail environment.  Mid-point in my career Margaret McEwen and Pam Knous  were role models for continued professional development.  Recently, P. Shane Sampson revitalized my passion for customer service. The universal theme from their advice was ‘surround yourself with good people and you will be successful.’  I have used that advice for my entire career. Another significant influence in my life was my grandmother, Angelina Mary Annunziato. She inspired the work ethic, integrity, talkative personality and strong will that have shaped my success. I also owe a great deal of gratitude to my parents, George and Elaine (Nonnie) who have always been there throughout my career; and especially my husband, (Saint) Peter and my two beautiful daughters Angela and Christine, who are my biggest supporters!

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? Do you have a defining moment oyour career to dateI have had many professional accomplishments throughout my career. For example, first in the industry for ‘ten cent sales’ at Star Market; establishing the first Kosher Bakery at Shaw’s; received National Private Label and tier one launch awards; and at GBFB achieving a goal of acquiring an excess of 50 million pounds of food, years ahead of schedule.  A personal accomplishment is shaking hands with PopeBenedict and Pope Francis. My most proud accomplishment is raising two wonderful children who have become outstanding young ladies!

 Most challenging part of your job: In my current role at the Greater Boston Food Bank, the most chalenging part of my job is to acquire and distribute enough food to supply those in need with at least one healthy meal a day.  One in nine residents in eastern Massachusetts is food insecure; they do not know where there next meal is coming from.  My goal is to feed everyone I can in need. GBFB would not be able to accomplish our mission without the support of the food industry. I am so grateful for the generosity of our supporters in the industry.

Advice for upcoming younger executives: My advice for younger executives is the following: Smile & embrace change as a positive; be a team player; provide a point of differentiation and always strive to be greater than average!

Hobbies: When I am not at work, I try to spend all of my spare time with my family and friends, whether it is traveling, sports, volunteer work or anything that we can do together!