What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?
I often share a story about a time, years ago, when I first began my career with DecoPac about a young boy and his mother paging through the cake book at a local grocery store near my house. I was in the bakery, looking over their cake case assortment and heard the discussion they were having about the chosen cake for the little boy’s upcoming birthday. The pages were turned and discussed in significant detail. Finally, they landed on the Star Wars cake page. The little boy erupted in joy, shouting to his mother that it was his favorite cake in the whole world, and he had to have it for the big celebration. I personally worked on the development of that product and the design of the cake—it was one of my first projects. I was in awe; the fact that our team could impact the life of this child by making a memory for him, likely for years to come, was an inspiration that I carry with me today. We are not about just producing product for cakes, we are about making memories, creating emotional connections and being the center of celebration for millions of people.
What inspires your leadership approach?
I’ve had many great colleagues and leaders that I’ve been privileged to work with over the years at DecoPac, and throughout the industry. But I have three heroes who I admire greatly, and their influence has shaped my career to this day. Those three heroes are Walt Disney, Stan Lee and George Lucas. The creators of so many unforgettable characters and experiences in people’s lives have provided so much inspiration for me and have allowed me to forge my own motto for life: imagine if you will.
What do you value most about being a part of the grocery business?
So many things come to mind: the value we bring as an industry to provide the necessary items to enjoy life, the value we exhibit each day in bringing simplicity to complex challenges we all face and the value displayed by the hard work that front-line workers put in to ensure our customers are delighted. But most of all, I value the support that we give to each other in the industry. In being part of a dynamic association like IDDBA, I’ve been able to witness first-hand how our industry comes together for the betterment of the consumer experience. I’m always so grateful to witness individuals in our industry collaborate to display innovative ideas, solve mutual problems, and consistently support one another. Virtually everyone I meet in our industry is motivated, inspired and energetic around helping each other make the consumer shopping experience a success. Here’s to keeping that momentum going as an industry well into the future!
Favorite food: Birthday cake, preferably with Spider-Man decor.