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07/04/2022

2022 Star Women in Convenience winner: Mary Shigematsu

Shining Star
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Mary Shigematsu SWIC2022

Key account manager

JTI-Macdonald Corp.

 

What was the biggest challenge of your career?

Building relationships online during COVID was one of the biggest challenges in the last two years. My job is relationship based and I have met contacts or taken over accounts virtually without an initial face-to-face meeting. I consider myself an outgoing person, and I bring that personality through in my virtual communication style. My camera is always on in calls, and I have been able to adapt and build meaningful and trusting relationships virtually.

What's the best advice you ever received? 

Embrace change. Far too often we can become complacent, and change can be viewed as almost an inconvenience to your job and daily tasks. Embracing change and tackling a new challenge can bring out creativity, keep ideas fresh, and keep the business moving forward.  

What's your career highlight or proudest achievement?

I feel like there are too many highlights or proud achievements to be able to single out one thing. Hitting sales, successfully launching new products, and negotiating successful agreements.

What are you most proud of during the last year? 

Resilience.

What excites you most about the future of this channel? 

The innovation in the convenience channel is always evolving. From digital training to online portals for product information, it is exciting to see and be part of innovation in communication at the store level.

How do you define yourself as a leader?

I feel I am a lead-by-example leader. If you were to ask about my leadership brand, I would like to think it would be positive energy. I am excited and passionate about my role within the organization and enjoy coming to work every day. Whether I am communicating internally or with our partners, I feel my energy and passion is visible and powerful.

How has the business changed since you started?

How hasn’t it? Working in the tobacco industry, we have seen so many changes to legislation and how we can package our products, but we continue to pivot and adapt to provide what adult smokers want.  It is also exciting to see so many women within the business in leadership roles and this be a normal practice.


 

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

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