How did you get where you are today? My career in chilled foods started as a graduate with McCain Foods in 1983 and developed in both operational and commercial roles at Sun Valley, Geest, Tinsley Foods and Hazlewood Foods, additionally working as a consultant before moving to family-owned and managed Freshway Foods in 2006.

What was your best career decision? The first one. I've really enjoyed working in the food industry, especially chilled foods.

Who do you most admire in the grocery industry? People who care about our food industry.

Do you have a mentor and how have they helped you in your career? It would have to be Gerry Cammamile, non-executive chairman with Tinsley. I'd just been made a director at Tinsley Foods and found his judgement and wisdom invaluable in helping me to adjust to the responsibility of the role.

What are the most important pieces of information you have ever been told? "You've got a girl" and, two years later, "it's a boy."

If you could change one thing in the grocery industry what would it be? Drive a better consumer understanding that food price deflation is not always a good thing. It is good to see growth in premium and healthier products, where price expectation and acceptance are higher.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? Having the chance to be part of a competitive and thriving industry. I love the challenge of performing well and adapting to change - I doubt there are fewer industries that are faster-moving than the food sector.

What is the one thing you could not do your job without? It wouldn't be one thing - it would be 300 - that's how many people work as part of the Freshway family. The talents of one individual are irrelevant if the team as a whole doesn't work.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry today? Get as much experience under your belt as possible. The food industry is a big sector, so equip yourself early on with not only depth, but breadth, of knowledge. Expect to work hard and be prepared for change.

What do you like doing when you are not working? I like to go scuba diving when time permits - and of course the obligatory Saturday football match!

Where do you hope to be in five years time? Being a key part of Freshway Foods. The company is the only one to have been awarded Sandwich Manufacturer of the Year twice - I want to be a key part of its future growth and success.