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Celebrating the Women of Compass: Jennifer Friz

Jennifer Friz has been with Compass Group over eight years. She began her career as a unit director with TouchPoint and now serves as regional director of operations for SSC. Outside of work, Jennifer likes to play golf and take advantage of outdoor activities in Florida. She shares her thoughts on celebrating women in the workplace for International Women’s Day. Read her story below.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
Having a day set aside to recognize women’s achievements helps us keep the possibility of our goals front and center. I think it is important for women to know they can achieve whatever they set their mind to. Maybe they need more experience in a particular area or maybe they need a mentor to help guide them, but if they are driven, they can continue to move forward to any level.

Is there a woman who has inspired you in this industry?
One of the regional directors of operations at TouchPoint [a part of Compass Group]. She really helped develop me in a way that challenged and stretched my abilities, making me want to do more. It is an approach I take with others now. I want to make sure I am doing everything I can to help my staff keep growing and developing on their own path.

How do you bring your most authentic self to work?
What you see is what you get with me. I have been consistent in how I show up for work from the first day I started to now. I’ve grown professionally, but I am still a genuine person – very transparent and straightforward in how I interact with others.

People think I’m from a small town in the South, but I grew up all around the world. My dad was in the military and I was born in California and raised in Europe. I was lucky enough to see and experience different cultures at a very young age and I think it’s added a lot of value to my life.

What mark do you want to leave on Compass Group?
Helping other managers develop and find out what their strengths are is the most satisfying part of the job for me. I want to make sure I develop my staff in a way that allows them to take their careers to the next level, even when I am gone. I want them to be challenged and grow in their professional development so they can move into roles they maybe didn’t know were possible. I think when women see other women in a field or profession that isn’t typical, it spotlights what is possible and gives them permission to see a different future for themselves.

It excites me to know I may have played a small part in helping someone get to the next level.

What would your advice be to women who want to get into this industry?
It’s going to be hard work, but it will be very rewarding. Opportunities to grow are here for you to take you as far as you want to go.

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