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07/04/2022

2022 Star Women in Convenience winner: Erica Morningstar

Shining Star
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Erica Morningstar SWIC2022

National account executive

Coca-Cola Ltd.

 

How did you get into this business? 

My background is in sport. I am a two-time Olympian in swimming, and when I retired from swimming and graduated university, I really wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to go in with my career, but I knew I had a number of transferable skills and a strong work ethic to figure out any challenge put in front of me. After working at a local activewear company based in Calgary, I saw a posting at Coca-Cola as a business development manager on the farm-to-table business. I thought Coca-Cola would be a pretty fantastic company to work for. Six years later I am still with Coca-Cola and have successfully moved into a national account executive role on the convenience retail team.  

What do you like most about your job?

Besides working with some of the best people in the industry on some of the most well-known brands, I enjoy building relationships between Coca-Cola and our customers. Goal setting is something inherent to me from my background in sport, and I love having a goal to accomplish and then figuring out ways to think differently, try new ideas, and bring everyone’s priorities together to over deliver results.

What was the biggest challenge of your career?

Two challenges stand out to me at this point in my career – the first was convincing someone to take a chance and hire me when I graduated university even though I had no traditional work experience due to spending all my time competing as an athlete. The other was the jump from my previous role into my current role managing a much larger customer while learning a completely new portfolio, channel, and way of working.

What’s the best advice you ever received?

When I started in this role, I was hesitant to make decisions that were different from the direction previously taken for fear of not having enough knowledge to make the “right” choice. I remember the director on our team at the time telling me not to be afraid to make a decision and commit to it. He gave me confidence that even if it ended up being the wrong decision, instead of being penalized it would be a learning experience. I still think of that advice often when making decisions on the direction of the business.

What's your career highlight or proudest achievement?

My proudest achievement is when Coca-Cola was awarded the One Team Collaboration award by Shell Canada for 2021. 2021 was my first full year in this role and I questioned several times a week whether I was doing the right thing or doing a good enough job managing our business with this customer. Receiving this award was both very exciting personally and professionally as part of the Coca-Cola team.

Click here for the full list of 2022 Star Women in Convenience winners.

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