Deborah Kaufman

This entry is part 27 of 69 in the series

Deborah Kaufmann, Imperial DistributorsDeborah Kaufman

Imperial Distributors
Vice President, Organizational Effectiveness

Years with company:  3.5 years


  • B.A., American University, Washington, D.C.
  • Program for Management Development, Harvard Business School

Work Experience:

  • Organizational Effectiveness Consultant
  • Director, Corporate Strategy Development and Alignment, Bose Corporation
  • Vice President, Corporate Communications, Norton Company

Served on numerous non-profit boards including Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, United Way of Central Massachusetts, and the YWCA in Worcester, Mass.

Mentors and how have they assisted you in your career:
I have had the good fortune of having had a number of mentors throughout my career.  Each of my mentors taught me the value of listening to the customer and that “good is not good enough.” To be successful, you need to challenge the status quo and push for greatness. My entire career has been about helping leaders aspire to greatness and enable others in their organizations to do the same.

I also learned from my mentors at Norton Company, where I began my business career, the importance of treating everyone with respect and acting consistent with the highest ethical standards. I also learned the value of being involved in the community, and that social responsibility is good business.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? Do you have a defining moment of your career to date?
There are a number of people whom I have coached over the years who have found their “voice” as leaders, and the small role I have played helping them do that has been very gratifying.

Most challenging part of your job:
Not having grown up in the industry, a challenge I face is to continue to learn and fully appreciate the challenges unique to retailers in the supermarket business, and to appropriately apply my experiences gained in other sectors.

Advice for upcoming younger executives:
Be enthusiastic and believe!

Hiking, Bicycling, Travel.