WFIM holds an annual “Academy Roundtable” where our members and guests have the opportunity to learn from and be inspired by industry leaders. This year’s Academy theme was “Breakfast with Champions”. After networking and having a wonderful omelet breakfast made fresh in front of us by the International Center’s chefs, we got down to business. In three intimate round table sessions, we had the opportunity to meet with the leaders to discuss the importance of Trust, Responsibility and Positivity for success.
Our 2014 Champions:
Sharon Beals, V.P. Food Safety, QA & Technical Services, Maple Leaf Foods
Isabelle Hemond, Director, Food Category Management, Starbucks Coffee Canada
Joanne Hillion, Vice President Sales, Food Division, Mars Canada Inc.
Anna Janes, President & Founder, Cocomira Confections Inc.
Rosanne Longo, Spokesperson and Brand Ambassador, Longo’s
Nadja Piatka, President & CEO, Nadja Foods
Maureen Taylor, President, The Ingredient Company
Ursula Wydymus, Director of Operations, Contract Manufacturing, Nestle Canada Inc.
Our 2014 Champions with WFIM’s Chair, Nancy Klassen, and the Academy Co-Chairs Nadine Farran-Gatti and Mary Jezerinac.
Round One: TRUST
According to the 2013 Edelman Barometer of Trust, less than 1/5 of the general public believes that a business leader can be trusted to tell the truth or make an ethical decision.
People tend to trust two groups of people:
- Experts and Analysts
- Colleagues and Peers
Rosanne Longo shared that “the values of honesty, trustworthiness and mutual respect are the values that our founders built the business on and have remained the foundation of how we do business. As it is engrained in our DNA and such a significant part of the culture at Longo’s, our leadership styles and characteristics include: leading by example, living the values and walking the talk and continuing to treat people the way we want to be treated whether you are a team member, a customer or a vendor or community partner.”
Sharon Beals agreed, and shared that “communication, integrity and knowledge drive trust, and that core values should be honesty by demonstrating, and practicing what you preach”.
Anna Janes discussed how building collaborative relationships with vendors, suppliers, and consumers helps leaders gain trust. A familiar face that ensures two-way communication – even through social media – is a trustworthy one.
Round Two: RESPONSIBILITY
From the book titled The Law of Success, “No one may become a real leader in any walk of life without practicing the habit of doing more work and better work than that for which [she] is paid.” Being able to start something and follow through until it is completed is a key to long-term success.
Nadja Piatka shared her story of responsibility to her family when she was a single mother hiding under the table from the debt collectors. She knew she had to get up from under it, and she knew she had to work smart to get there. She did, starting her company in her kitchen, and turning it into a multi-million dollar company that is now a supplier to international food companies such as Subway and McDonald’s.
Sharon Beals motto is”trust but verify” – let people do their work, and hold them accountable for it. That’s what makes a responsible leader.
The best advice Rosanne Longo has on this front was left by her late Uncle Tommy, one of the 3 founders of Longo’s. He lived and preached the words “Always do the right thing…especially when no one is looking.”
Round Three: POSITIVITY
Negative thoughts result in average performance.
A great percentage of successful people have all experienced some sort of setback or failure. Instead of stopping their journey at this point of difficulty or failure, they adapted a positive mental attitude about themselves and their abilities, which gave them the power to move forward and reach their goals.
Sharon Beals shared that she is inspired by people who are committed to life-long learning, and people who overcome adversity. This inspiration helps to keep her positive outlook.
Isabelle Hemond discussed what our triggers are for negativity, how to identify them, and how to overcome them. Having a family member or colleague willing and able to help you identify those triggers can be a great resource to help you remain positive.
For herself and her role, Rosanne Longo hopes that she inspires the people around her by remaining positive despite challenges, remaining grateful every day for the all the good that we have and to look at any challenges as opportunities and find the silver lining, no matter how small.
Gaining the trust of your employees, customers, vendors and suppliers, while taking the responsibility and being accountable, and maintaining a positive outlook are all keys to successful leadership.
Special thanks to Nadine & Mary, and all of the volunteers who helped execute an amazing, inspirational event!
“Before you are a leader,
success is all about growing yourself.
When you become a leader,
success is about growing others.”
– Jack Welch