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HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY! MEET 5 KICKASS SPUD WOMEN

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY! MEET 5 KICKASS SPUD WOMEN

For International Women’s Day, we thought we’d highlight some pretty cool SPUD family women. Here’s what they had to say.

#1. Adrienne, from SPUD HQ

Adrienne is the COO/CFO of SPUD. Here’s what she said about her work, karaoke, and her tumultuous relationship with dogs.

You’re the COO/CFO of SPUD. How would you concisely describe your role here?
I am responsible to help deliver the strategy of SPUD for all stakeholders and ensure we run a fiscally responsible company by building a strong team.

Tell us about your career path. How did you become a COO/CFO?
To quote Drake, I started from the bottom and now we’re here.  I started my career at a young age working in a warehouse, then as a waitress and in AP data entry.  I had the amazing opportunity to be a part of the Jones Soda story and learned all aspects of business from the day-to-day accounting, logistics, customer service and e-commerce. From there, I had a strong foundation to move onto other companies like Starbucks and continue to build on the base here at SPUD.

What do you find most rewarding about your job?
I truly value the team that we have built and opportunity to change the world with everything that we do.  I can see how everyone from every department contributes to our success and it is rewarding to see the impact that a group of like minded individuals can have together.

What is the hardest part of your job?

Keeping up!

In a key role like yours, work must take up a lot of time. How do you balance your work and personal life?
I make sure to set aside time for myself every morning before I start my workday.  Time management is critical and remembering that there are diminishing returns with long hours.  We all need time to recharge and have fun.

As we saw at the staff holiday party, you love karaoke. What else do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Is there anything better than karaoke??  I’m a traveller and food explorer. I have had a chance to do the West Coast Trail, see Machu Picchu, play polo in Argentina and explore Asia.  I hope to explore more of the world.

Adrienne being the foodie that she is.

You hate dogs (and some say that you hate all animals). Why is this?
Have you seen Cleo??!  She’s a beast. It’s not hate, it’s fear!!   On a more serious note, I never grew up with animals so it’s just not something I’m used to.  My siblings were allergic so I never had the opportunity to learn to love the beasts.

This is Cleo. She is a sweet Doberman who is afraid of umbrellas and reminds us of an awkward young deer.


Last but not least, what advice would you give to women in leadership (or who want to be in leadership positions)?
Trust yourself and build a strong network around you.  I’ve been fortunate in my career to have many strong mentors and supporters along the way.  I took the lessons they offered me and shared my mistakes so I could be better. Surround yourself with people that will support you in your growth and be sure to give back the same.  Do the work with gratitude and grace.

#2: Arndrea, from SPUD HQ

Arndrea is the director of creative development for SPUD and Blush Lane. Here’s how she handles balancing being a kickass mom and marketer extraordinaire.

You’re the Director of Creative Development for SPUD and Blush Lane. How would you concisely describe your role here?

I handle all the offline marketing for SPUD and Blush Lane. I’m always looking for ways to promote our awesome companies to potential new customers, and I work with our amazing team on campaigns and opportunities that our customers will be interested in.


Tell us about your career path. How did you get here?

I started off in marketing for Delta Hotels. I used that experience to move myself into marketing for a private fitness facility, which later created an opportunity for me to write for a fitness magazine. I then worked for a large gaming company, where I was fortunate to work with some of the most talented people (who have since gone off and built large marketing and digital companies). It was there that I learned my media negotiating skills and the importance of a strong online and offline mix.


What do you find most rewarding about your job?

Working for a company that is so passionate about sustainability, locality for food, and healthy living and eating. I love the community outreach programs we do and all the ways we are continually working to support other companies. Everyone believes in these values and it feels great to be apart of something so special.


What is the hardest part of your job?

Either saying no to opportunities/companies who I think are great when the timing doesn’t work, OR juggling my day so that I am able to still take my kids to school and pick them up. Everyday flies by and before I know it, it’s 3pm.


You work 5 days a week, are a full-time mom, and are head of the school PAC. How do you balance it all?

I set plans at the start of my day on the top 5 things I need to accomplish so that I don’t get easily distracted. I check in at the end of the day to see what’s outstanding and make a plan for the following day. I give myself some time during the week to exercise (for sanity!) and then once the kids are fed, homeworked, and in bed, I sometimes jump back online to finish anything I missed. I try not to do that often, but it also helps that I work with an incredible team who help me adhere to the hours that fit my family. I feel incredibly blessed that I can work for such a progressive company that allows me to have work-life balance.

As shown by your Capra 3030 trail running challenge (aka death), you love the outdoors. What else do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Well I definitely love trail running! I am an avid mountain biker, and I enjoy barre fitness. The more I can work out, the better I am at working and momming.

Arndrea with her precious pup, Poppy. Poppy is just as active as Arndrea is.

Last but not least, what advice would you give to women in leadership (or who want to be in leadership positions)?
Do what’s right for you and your family. I don’t believe you have to pick just one [work or family] to be successful.

#3: Laura, from SPUD Alberta

Laura is the Produce Purchasing Manager for Alberta. She talks about her passion for environmental sustainability, her move from England, and her hatred for coffee.


You’re the Alberta Produce Purchasing Manager of SPUD. How would you concisely describe your role here?
Working with large suppliers to small local farms to provide SPUD customer with the best possible produce, which is both ethical and sustainable.   

Tell us about your career path. How did you get here?
My degree in environmental economics made me very passionate about sustainability. I first learned about SPUD when I was working on one of our supplier farms – I applied for a job in the warehouse in quality control and worked my way up to my current position.

You used to work in Natural Medicines. What was that like?
I got to work with some very interesting people, in a facility where we got to actually manufacture the tinctures and extract. I learned a lot about health and wellbeing.

What do you find most rewarding about your job?
Improving efficiency in the food supply chain, as I am very passionate about reducing food waste.

What is the hardest part of your job?
The winter in Alberta and dealing with trucking companies

In a key role like yours, work must take up a lot of time. How do you balance your work and personal life?
I am fortunate to work with a great team, who I can rely on, which allows me to keep a healthy work-life balance.  

You’re from England. Tell us about your English experience (did you drink lots of tea?) and your journey westwards.
I first came out to Canada to do a 6 months internship on an organic farm, one of SPUD’s supplier farms actually. I met my long term Canadian boyfriend on the farm, and we have been together ever since. And yes, of course I drink tea. I actually can’t stand coffee.  

Last but not least, what advice would you give to women in leadership (or who want to be in leadership positions)?
Ask questions when you don’t know the answer, speak your mind, be determined and embrace change.

#4: Sabina, from SPUD HQ

Sabina is our Chief Accounting Officer at SPUD. She opens up about her family life, offers valuable career advice for young professionals, and discusses her nostalgia for elusive German condiments.

You’re the Controller (Chief Accounting Officer) of SPUD. How would you concisely describe your role here?
I oversee the accounting function and ensure that managers company-wide have accurate and timely information to be able to make sound decisions. In my function as gatekeeper of financial resources, I am generally getting involved with any processes that may have any financial impact.

Tell us about your career path. How did you get here?

After graduating high school, I actually started working in a bank for the simple reason that was the career path both my parents has chosen. I realized pretty quickly that I do not enjoy selling and decided to embark on an adventure by pursuing an undergraduate degree in Canada. This is where I found my passion for Accounting. I participated in the Co-Op program to finance my studies and to gain work experience, which opened lot of doors after graduation. I have always had a passion for learning and obtained my CMA (now CPA) designation a few years thereafter, which has been invaluable to my career but also my personal development.

What do you find most rewarding about your job?

I enjoy seeing the teams and departments coming together to collaboratively overcome challenges and drive the company towards achieving its goals. Interdepartmental collaboration is very pronounced at SPUD and I truly believe that this is the secret to our success. It is fun to see all the big strides we have made, even in the short time since I joined SPUD about 6 months ago.

What is the hardest part of your job?

With the joy of variety also comes the challenge of having to juggle all the balls without dropping one.

In a key role like yours, work must take up a lot of time. How do you balance your work and personal life?

This is probably one of the areas that I could improve on. However, when I am with my family I am usually fully present and focussed just on them. I actually rarely look at my phone when I am spending time with my family.

You used to live in Germany. Tell us about this. I was born and raised in Germany. In my mid-twenties, an urge for adventure sent me to Canada to study at SFU. The rest is history; I never left. I feel at home in Canada but of course I miss certain things, such as my family, friends, Christmas markets (although we now do have one in Vancouver), and certain condiments, which can, however, usually be tracked down throughout our culturally diverse city.

An example of Sabina’s prized German condiments.

You seem to enjoy travelling. What else do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I love spending time with my family and friends, i.e. lots of social activities. I also really enjoy scrapbooking and jogging.

You participated in Salad Club a few times. What would it take for us to reel you back in? I would love to become a weekly fixture and truly enjoy the creation you guys have come up with. (I think this goes back to 5.) I need to be better at setting aside the time to organize the ingredients to bring and to actually enjoy the food with the team, rather than at my desk.

Last but not least, what advice would you give to women in leadership (or who want to be in leadership positions)?

My advice for anyone aspiring to be a leader is twofold. A) Be persistent when pursuing your goals. Look at challenges as opportunities, not barriers. b) We will all make career decisions that we question later, but remember that there are many roads to Rome. If you take a detour, you will have unique experiences and skills that will set you apart from others.

#5: Laura, from Be Fresh

Laura is the Director of Community. She talks about creating healthy communities, embracing quirkiness, and her fear of downhill skiing.

You were the Director of Retail at Be Fresh, but have recently moved into a new role. How would you concisely describe your role(s) here?
My new role is Director of Community for Be Fresh | SPUD | Blush Lane. I could not be more excited to dive into this position, as it’s something I’ve been fostering since our first location opened. Before I ran the operational side of things, but now I focus on building community via partnerships, influencers, events and local products/vendors, which is a dream of mine.

Our first Be Fresh store. Just look at all those people! They’re basically there because of Laura.

Tell us about your career path. How did you get here?
Throughout my career life, I’ve always had a passion for taking care of the individual needs of our customers. Whether that’s offering a listening ear, providing them with education on products/services, helping them with purchasing decisions, or simply providing them with a smile to make their day, I truly love to earn trust with my guests and offer them a place they can call their third home. Be Fresh provides me the space to do both.

What do you find most rewarding about your job?
Meeting so many like minded people who are truly making a difference in their communities. Creating healthier communities is the mission.

What is the hardest part of your job?
Not having 9 days in each week so I can play with all the amazing companies & people that are out there in our communities! Unfortunately, you do not have time to do collaborations with everyone.

In a key role like yours, work must take up a lot of time. How do you balance your work and personal life?
With the type of role that I have at Be Fresh, I feel like I simply “live” the role (if that makes sense). Everywhere I go, anyone I meet, every new product I see – whether it’s when I’m at work or on my personal time – all encompasses who I am as a person [so work doesn’t really feel like “work”]. I may find inspiration for a new program or may meet some amazing person while snowshoeing on a Sunday or may listen to a podcast that discusses the latest trends while driving out to visit my parents. Then there is my “unplugged” time. To me, that is being truly present with a loved one or my solo meditation outdoor time. I’m happy with the balance I’ve created.

We know you love travelling. What country is next on your list? Why?
Oh, I love this question!!
1) Motorcycle adventure. I haven’t chosen anywhere, as of yet.
2) Portugal, UK, or Holland to visit family & explore.
3) Argentina, because I’ve decided to learn Spanish and have always wanted to go, and Chile to participate in a 1/2 marathon that I have yet to do.
(Not that I’ve thought about this at all.)

Besides travelling and being outside, what else do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Mom/daughter dates, reading, compiling lists (LOVE my lists, any lists), hip hop dance classes with my girlfriends, taking photos, playing crib, and doing puzzles, to name a few.

Laura in nature like the adventurer she is.

Based on your recent experience in Thailand, we know large spiders scare you (fair enough). What else scares you?
Downhill speed, like downhill skiing, downhill biking, running downhill in the dark, or running down steep stairs. My depth perception is not the greatest, so going fast downhill usually plays games with my eyes.

Last but not least, what advice would you give to women in leadership (or who want to be in leadership positions)?
Embrace all the quirky things that make you the amazing individual that you are. And always continue to keep an open mind and really be open to the perspective of others. We are sponges just readily waiting to absorb all the wonderful information, different views, and innovations that are out there in the world.

 

Thanks to these women for sharing their stories, and to all the amazing SPUD family women for simply being awesome.

SPUD

SPUD has been delivering local and organic groceries in Vancouver and the lower mainland for the past 20 years, and now services Vancouver Island, Calgary, and Edmonton as well!

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