What was your first job?
Interviewing football managers and supporters for the Carling Football Study. It would have been a great job if I liked football!
Give us a quick run-down of your career to date. I started in research, moved into marketing and got a break into fmcg via Georgia Pacific. I moved to Robert McBride, followed by Snackhouse, then to Ilford Imaging and back to Acdoco.
What is the best decision you have made in your career? The move to Georgia Pacific, which funded me to do an MBA. This made me realise I had a real passion for manufacturing.
What was the worst? Winning the first 'product of the year'. The company we distributed the product for decided it wasn't anything to shout about. Every time I see a TV campaign focusing around it I sigh heavily.
Do you have any mentors and how have they helped you in your career? June Graham at McBride for her passion, ability and capacity for work. Neil Hopkins Coleman for spending time teaching me finance and general business acumen, a skill sorely lacking in many marketing departments.
What is the most important thing you have been told? Don't ever believe a salesman!
If you could change one thing in the grocery industry what would it be? There should be a body that regulates standards so that suppliers don't need five differing solutions to one issue.
What is the most rewarding part of your job? Getting a new product on shelf that sells.
What is the least rewarding part? Knock-backs from buyers.
If you could start your career again, what would you do differently and why? Be more flexible in terms of location. I've never wanted to move out of the north-west, which does slightly limit one's opportunities.
Do you think you'll always work in grocery? If not, where? I am planning to be finished by 45 (bonus permitting, hint, hint) and living in France.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry? Get in with a large company early on and be flexible.
What do you like doing when you are not working? Going on holiday as often as possible.
Where do you hope to be in five years time? Surrounded by a great team.