This September, Compass Group’s own Executive Vice President of Business Excellence Susie Weintraub was named to ‚ÄòThe 2016 Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink’ list created by Fortune and Time Inc.’s Food & Wine publication. The list features women entrepreneurs, activists, and idealists who have had the most transformative impact on what we eat and drink today.
We sat down with Susie to learn more about her career path – how she got started, what keeps her inspired and focused, and what advice she has for women in the industry.
Veronica: Can you tell us about your career path so far and how you found Compass Group?
Susie: I graduated from the University of Toledo with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a focus on marketing and public relations. I started as a marketing manager for the campus foodservice company at Ohio Wesleyan University in 1996 which eventually became part of Compass Group, and here I am – 20 years later!
Veronica: Twenty years! That’s amazing. What other roles have you held?
Susie: I’ve always worked in a marketing capacity. I love both the creative and financial impact it can have on the business. Through marketing, I’ve worked side-by-side with clients, operators in the field, and corporate departments.
Veronica: What are you working on right now that’s exciting or that you’re passionate about?
Susie: Envision 2020! It’s a framework led by “real food” principles, community collaboration, partnerships and technology – to make it easier for our customers, clients, and associates to make better choices that are good for people and the planet. With our global scale, we have a tremendous opportunity to create positive impact and balance social, environmental, and ethical mindfulness with commercial business success.
Veronica: Speaking of success. You were just named to Fortune’s 2016 Most Innovative Women in Food & Drink! Congratulations! How did you get there and what career advice can you offer to women in the industry?
Susie: It was an unexpected recognition and, truly, an honor. I am surrounded by remarkable people that have an incredible passion for the business and Envision 2020. With the support of our COO Rick Post and the Compass executive team, my team feels confident about trying new things. We have the latitude to think big, imagine game-changing concepts, create innovative partnerships, and play an influential role in shaping the future state of food for Compass Group – and hopefully the industry too.
My career advice to women ‚Ä¶ follow your passion and trust your intuition; be kind and honest; choose battles wisely, find middle ground, and surround yourself with good people.
Veronica: Do you have a motto?
Susie: “Choose to be happy.” Some days it’s tougher than others, of course, but sometimes it really is that simple and there can be something contagious about it in any situation. I’m very fortunate to have three boys – ages 12, 10, and 7 – who make it easy for me to choose to be happy every morning – and they inspire me to do what I do!