Jennifer Hatcher

This entry is part 22 of 69 in the series

Jennifer Hatcher, FMIJennifer Hatcher

Food Marketing Institute
 Senior Vice President, Government and Public Affairs

Years with company:  14 years




Education degrees and professional/volunteer organizations: 

  • B.A. in Political Science and Communication, Vanderbilt University
  • Master’s in Government, Johns Hopkins University

Mentors and how have they assisted you in your career:
Although I have had many great folks to learn from throughout my career, my mentor was my father, a true entrepreneur and small business owner who encouraged me and understood how important it was for business leaders to be involved in their associations and also with their elected officials at the local, state and federal levels – something I practice and preach every day!

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? Do you have a defining moment of your career to date?
May 13, 2010, was a vote on the floor of the United States Senate on the amendment offered by Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, on whether the Senate would support reining in the credit card companies in how they charge swipe fees to merchants.  I had worked on this issue for a decade at FMI, but this was a defining moment and a tough vote, led by an astute champion in Senator Durbin, and we won, 64-33.  I knew how important this victory was to the industry, not just because of the issue, but also for our members to know, and particularly our independent operators to know, how they can and did make a difference in one of the biggest votes on the U.S. Senate floor that year.

Most challenging part of your job:
Balancing time commitments.  It is important to me to be responsive and attentive to all of the work being done by our FMI Government Relations team, the FMI membership, the state grocery and retail associations, our elected officials on Capitol Hill and those running the federal agencies that are so important to our business, but also to my family who keep me focused and smiling.

Advice for upcoming younger executives:
This is a great industry with an important mission and abundant opportunity for women.

With two school-age girls, my hobbies now are primarily focused on keeping up with my very active family.  This puts me very often in a spectator role which I love.