Her mission: Be a mentor to rising talent and empower women at every turn

Growing up in rural Wisconsin, the only working women were either nurses or teachers, which set me down the path of pursuing a nursing degree. It wasn’t until a marketing class during my junior year of college that a professor who took an interest in me helped me realize I had other options. Truthfully, I couldn’t stomach hospitals and would have made a terrible nurse, so I was fortunate to cross paths with Professor Tomkavick, just in time.

Changing majors junior year, I pursued a marketing degree with aspirations of entering the business world. I was raised on Midwestern values of hard work, humility, and grit, which set me up for success by helping me to connect with people from all walks of life. This has assisted me in networking, sales, customer relationships, people management, and talent development, among other crucial skills needed throughout my career.

I was drawn to PepsiCo because of the company’s iconic portfolio of brands, including Pepsi, Gatorade, and Mountain Dew. All of them are brands that I enjoy and that bring people joy. In addition to the opportunity to work on such meaningful brands, I find purpose in mentoring rising talent. I’m currently responsible for 16,000 employees and all cross-functional activity that happens in the South Division for Pepsi- Co Beverages North America. In this role, I’m most passionate about working closely and guiding people, helping them successfully advance their careers. There’s no better feeling than seeing my team grow and take on new challenges.

I believe it’s my mission to champion others, especially when it comes to empowering women at every level in the workplace. From spearheading the development of PepsiCo’s Returnship program, which helps women professionals return to work after time off for caregiving, to mentoring women in sales as part of our internal leadership development program, I do everything I can to inspire employees of the South Division (and beyond) to dream big and achieve their goals.

Career paths aren’t always linear, and in my experience, transformational growth comes in waves. My own journey to becoming PBNA’s first woman division president would have looked very different if I’d stuck with my intended nursing major in college.