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Industry veterans offer leadership lessons at Philadelphia event

Thursday, November 17, 2011  
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Nearly 250 Network of Executive Women members learned "Leadership Lessons for Today and Tomorrow” from a panel of retail and consumer products executives at the NEW Greater Philadelphia discussion and networking reception at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Nov. 9, 2011.

Industry veterans Meg Ham, president of Bottom Dollar Food; Rick Herring, president of Ahold USA’s Giant Carlisle chain; Caitlin Pappas, vice president, consumer sales U.S. for Johnson & Johnson; E. Daniel Vucovich Jr., senior vice president, president U.S. for The Hershey Co., offered their strategies for success and thoughts on developing leadership qualities. Rosalyn Taylor O’Neale, vice president, chief diversity and inclusion officer at Campbell Soup Company, moderated the event.

Ham recognized her own leadership qualities early in her life, she said, when she stuck up for her brother in social situations, and later as a store manager when she pursued a major change initiative that was out of her function, she said. "I realized the power of standing up for what you believe in and the importance of building relationships so that you can clearly communicate and bring the best out of others,” she said. "Know yourself, your values and communicate your brand. I learned to trust myself and my instincts. Everything is a learning experience, some better than others.”

Pappas realized she was a business leader when she re-staged the Dr. Scholl’s business and created a collaborative relationship with research and development to drive new product innovation. "Listen to your customers,” Pappas advised. "Know what you value and what you stand for. The organization needs to trust you; people need to be clear on your values and your brand. Be open and take opportunities.”

Leaders don’t need to be an expert on everything or the smartest person in the room, Herring noted. "Hire and surround yourself with smart people,” he advised. "Your job is to create the vision so that all will want to follow you. Raise your hand early and often; volunteer and take stretch assignments so that the leadership team gets to know you.”

Vucovich agreed, saying leaders don’t need to have all the answers. "Chances are the people who report to you have them,” he said. "Be a good listener. Ask questions to solve problems.”

When laying out a career path, he added, "Have a plan, but listen to others. Sometimes they see things in you that you don't see in yourself.”

Also at the event, NEW Greater Philadelphia Co-Secretary Susan Rorke-Lawler, store director for ACME Markets, was recognized with the region’s Best of the Best Award for her support and service to the Network.

Among the companies represented at the NEW Greater Philadelphia fifth anniversary event were Bottom Dollar Food, Campbell Soup Company, Delhaize America, The Hershey Company, Johnson & Johnson, Saint Joseph’s University and SUPERVALU.

Margot Hoerner of Procter & Gamble congratulates Susan
Rorke-Lawler of ACME Markets, who received the NEW
Greater Philadelphia Best of the Best Award. They are joined
by Paul Hagerty of Hershey and Christine Hartman of
Saint Joseph's University.

Moderator Rosalyn Taylor O'Neale of Campbell Soup Company joins panelists Dan Vucovich of The Hershey Company, Caitlin Pappas of Johnson & Johnson, Rick Herring
of Ahold USA’s Giant Carlisle division and Meg Ham, president of Bottom Dollar
Food, at the NEW Greater Philadelphia event.

NEW Greater Philadelphia committee members came together at the fall event.

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