Women, E-comm, and Collaborative Tech Shape a New Way of Working

An expert panel at the Packaging & Processing Women’s Leadership Network discussed women and remote work, as well as solutions for adapting to pandemic-era consumer buying trends. Read, watch, or listen to the conversation.

During PACK EXPO Las Vegas, a five-woman panel of experts tackled many of today's most daunting topics, including inclusiveness and diversity, the pandemic-era shift to e-commerce, and new tools and ways of working that are shaping the workplace for the next generation. These women were:

Read, watch, or listen to their conversation below.

Listen to the story here:

Read article   Read the transcript below:

Stephanie Neil, Editor-in-Chief, OEM: I want to introduce our panel really quickly. Tracey Noonan, CEO and Co-Founder of Wicked Good Cupcakes, inc. Next to Tracy is Sharon Gilbert, President and CEO of Septimatech. She's also the co-chair of the Women's Packaging and Processing Leadership Network. Next to Sharon is Jan Tharp, President and CEO of Bumble Bee Foods Company and our other co-chair of the Women's Packaging and Processing Leadership Network. Next to Jan is Yolanda Malone, the VP of R&D Foods and Packaging at PepsiCo. Thanks for joining us ladies. 

So let's start with the theme—The New World of Work. And obviously, over the past 18 months or more, we've all had to work very differently. We're working remotely, we're wearing masks. So how does a company maintain a positive and productive culture with this hybrid and somewhat distant work environment? And Jan, I'm going to start with you to answer that question because I know we've talked a lot about this.

Jan Tharp, President and CEO, Bumble Bee Foods Company: Yeah, it's a great question. And I think when I talk, I often talk about, frequently anyway, embracing the word "and", and specifically embracing "and" as it sits between two opposing thoughts. And what I mean by that is if you look at our company and some of the things that we've had to go through–and we went through some significant brand reputation damage, a bankruptcy, a sale of the company, at the same time–we also won top workplace in San Diego through those years.

So we held those two truths together. And culture is so important to our business. And so now we fast forward to this new world, and your question is really valid. How do you hold the truth of, we're living in so much ambiguity right now, and still hold onto culture, hold onto all the things that got us through some of our choppy waters? And it is extremely difficult, but I think that the answer is flexibility.

And we've got to understand that right now there is no rule book. There's nothing out there that tells us how we're going to maneuver this. It's almost like chalk painting in the rain. What you thought was going to be the case yesterday, you move to tomorrow and it's something different. And so I think having that flexibility, and being able to maneuver, watch, see what's going on, is going to help us with our culture.

Stephanie Neil: Sharon, you want to follow up on what's been happening at Septimatech?

Sharron Gilbert, President and CEO, Septimatech: Yeah. When we came into the pandemic, nobody, as Jan says, there was no playbook. Culture in our company is very strong and very important. We had to really lean forward and lean on creativity. How do we keep hold of some of the cultural things that we would do in an organization in terms of special birthdays and anniversaries? And when we have Christmas gatherings, we really created in terms of how we can keep that going forward. We had to be really persistent. There was a lot of information that was coming at us as an organization. And filtering that through in terms of being relevant for our organization was part of that culture creating. 

Team based autonomy was really important so that everybody could come together and create some solutions. And then more importantly was respect, a culture of respect. Because everybody has their different opinions on what was going on, and listening to one another, really collaborating, and doing the best for each other. Because we wanted to make sure everybody was safe. We wanted to make sure that their families were safe. We needed to create a culture that allowed us to serve our customers in different ways than we ever had before.

And then we are also a cross border company trying to navigate the restrictions at the border to come in and help service our customers as well. So culture was, really the people rising to the occasion through that adversity, was really important for us.

Stephanie Neil: And Yolanda, I want to track over to you because you're also managing a global team. So I want to talk to you about how you manage that, but PepsiCo just had a new initiative, Work That Works.

Yolanda Malone, Vice President of R&D Foods and Packaging, PepsiCo: Yes.

Stephanie Neil: Can you talk a little bit of what that means?

Yolanda Malone: Yeah. Listening to our associates, as you mentioned, there's a lot of change that's happened over the past year and a half. And what we try to do is make sure we connect with employees, and we take feedback, and we understand what have been some of the challenges, what are they looking for in the work experience, while still creating culture for PepsiCo globally.

Our cultures can be unique by country and by culture at the same time. But Work That Works is really an opportunity to allow employees to have a lot more flexibility, as you mentioned, to not necessarily be in the office all the time, but also work with their managers. And it's really an opportunity where the managers actually have a lot of freedom to work with their associates on an individual level, which allows for, you may need to still come into the office and be connected to an office, but not every day.

Does it fit your work environment? If you need to meet with your team, can you do it with some of the tools that we have? So it's actually really exciting. And as we embark upon it, I'm sure it will evolve even more. And we have to be sensitive to where it is in the world, like the global culture, but pretty exciting.

Stephanie Neil: Tracey, you work with a lot of contract manufacturers, right?

Tracey Noonan, CEO and Co-Founder of Wicked Good Cupcakes, inc.: Yes.

Stephanie Neil: Is it difficult to manage those relationships, just in general or especially during that pandemic?

Tracey Noonan: So we have fabulous co-pros that we work with. And we really found that being supportive of them, and empathetic towards what they were going through, was the key to keeping a good working relationship going. Baking was considered an essential industry, so they were allowed to stay open. And I have to say, they took into consideration what their employees were feeling, how they were feeling, and tried to work around who was comfortable and who wasn't.

For us, it was just more having really good communication, and understanding if something was going to be delayed, and if there needed to be an extended time period to receive product.

Stephanie Neil: So we're allowing more employees to work remotely. And, Jan, I know that you're hiring people all over the world. If somebody decides to live and work remotely, are they giving up opportunities at the company?

Jan Tharp: Yeah. I think that's something that we're all trying to figure out. So during COVID, we have hired several people inside the company at executive levels. We're based in San Diego, and most of those people are not required to move to San Diego. So it's actually opened up a whole new world of talent for us.

And when we look at that, and we think, well, how do we get the best and the brightest? Well the best and the brightest may not want to move to San Diego. What COVID has done, I think, has really blurred the lines between work and our home lives. I think everybody at some level has taken a step back and reassessed work and their home lives. Like I said on calls, I know more about people who work for the company, and they know more about me, than we would've ever known pre COVID.

You're on a call, I could tell you, I talked to this guy named Mike. His wife turns on the blender every single time we're talking. It's like, okay, I know she has her protein shake around ten o'clock everyday.

So you have this world, but we've got to embrace the fact that this is not the same world that we were all living in two years ago. And I think we're in the middle of it. If you look at COVID as a book, there are chapters of the book and I think we're someplace in the middle. And I don't have all the answers, but I do know that we have a huge opportunity to allow people to be the best versions of themselves, and give them the flexibility, and say, "You know what, take a look. There's a lot of negative with COVID, but let's focus on the positive."

The positive for us is we've been able to attract rockstar talent into our company by being a little bit more open with respect to where people actually do that work. Is that going to prevent them from getting opportunities? No. I think that leads into another discussion of how are you effective in this new world of work? It is different. If you're not in the boardroom anymore and you're on a computer, it's a different toolbox. So I think that really puts a little bit more pressure on the team member to say, "If you want to live in Antarctica, and you've got an internet connection, and I don't have to know that you're living in Antarctica, and you can still be as effective, then I'm going to embrace that."

And so I think it's really become a discussion on how do you maneuver this new world of remote work?

Stephanie Neil: Okay. So then let's turn it towards how do you lead in this new world of work? How do you lead the global team, Yolanda, when you're working remotely?

Yolanda Malone: It's a lot of Zooms. There is a lot of Zooms. No, and I tell you, that's the one thing I do miss, is seeing my team face to face around the world. But as a leader, understanding where they're at and being available. And I think that's one of the most important items that I set up for myself was, if I'm talking to my team in China, I'm going to be on their time zone.

So it might be nine o'clock at night for me, but it's their day, it's their working day for my team in India. So I think when you have a global team, and you're a leader of a global team, and you're feeling so remote, and sometimes in many countries, they weren't even able to leave the house, where we had a little bit more freedom. To know that their leader cares, and how they're doing, and reaching out and having those one on ones. And not even necessarily talking about the projects, or the work, but just how the team's doing, and to see everyone, and see all the faces.

I do see more people now. And that opportunity as a leader just warms my heart, because I get to see their faces, I get to see their backgrounds, and I get to see their kids and their dogs too. But I would tell you as a leader, even through this, being available for your team in a time that they need you, is one of the things that I think will help them also feel a little bit more stable.

Stephanie Neil: So Sharron, I'm going to jump over to you. How do you manage collaboration and maintain productivity, especially in a work environment where you have to be there, have to be hands on? But are there other tools or technologies that you've implemented as a result of the pandemic, or maybe have accelerated adoption of it because of what's happened over the past year?

Sharron Gilbert: Yeah. We had to really rely on different tools and technologies for our team. The adoption of Microsoft Teams, I'm sure everybody has done it, but that really moved us forward into that collaboration. And not just internal collaboration among employees, but also with our customers.

When we're having discussions about projects, and design reviews, and then installation reviews, and that whole process there was a really good connection into our customers. And then our online presence really, through PMMI, and last year when with Pack Expo Chicago, we all went virtual. And so how do you navigate that?

And so ever since then, we've really been ramping up our online presence. And when you have people working remotely, we need to get that information to them and they need to bring it back. So the whole infrastructure of that collaboration and file structure, we just did a lot of work and investment into that side of the business.

Stephanie Neil: So having an online presence, obviously people are buying differently now. So there's a lot of e-commerce, a lot of buying online. And Tracey, I know that you say that your husband, Scott, helped you so much because the website was so good. But what was your experience over the past year with online buying? Do you feel that that was part of the success of the organization?

Tracey Noonan: It's such a bittersweet thing to talk about because while we were succeeding and thriving, other people were not. So believe it or not, that was a discussion we always had and was always foremost in our mind.

We, at that point, were only online. We had closed our Fennial Hall location, and had closed our cupcake shop years and years prior. So it was remote online. My husband developed a platform called Pronto, which was really to help the companies who felt like they needed to do something for their employees, whether it was virtual parties, or sending birthday gifts. And in order to make it easy, he built Pronto and all people needed to order was an email address.

And it was brilliant because I don't know about you, but I don't know anyone's street address. I don't know if they're going on a vacation and I don't know if they have food allergies. So in order to send this, what we call the gift card on steroids, all you needed was their email address. You sent them the gift card. "Hey, I'm sending you a gift of a four pack."

And everyone could go in, pick their delivery date, what flavors they wanted, and put their own home address in. So this really facilitated shopping online for people. That and the fact that we were very cognizant of our demographic, which is mostly women, 20s to their 60s. And it had to be easily navigable so people would go in and buy, not just go in and get lost.

Stephanie Neil: Now that there's more online buying, in fact, I get big packages of Bumble Bee Tuna sent to my house. How do you shift as an organization, as a manufacturer, to accommodate for the e-commerce presence? Have you had to do things differently?

Jan Tharp: Yeah, if you're a company like ours, we're a 129 year old manufacturing company of mostly cans. But you look at what happened in COVID, and all the channels of distribution increased. But e-commerce increased the most. It went up 58%, compared to mass club general retail. It has slipped down just a little bit, but it's still significantly higher than any other channel of distribution with respect to grocery.

And so it did force us to look at it. And you think, our main product for tuna is a 48 count case. How many–do you order a 48 case?

Stephanie Neil: Yeah.

Jan Tharp: Yeah, most people don't want 48 cans of tuna. So we've got to figure out a way to make that smaller. Your offerings, your assortment online, ends up being a little bit different. And then you've got to think about the cost dynamics of it. So a can of tuna retails for about a dollar. And you look at the cost of freight to get that can of tuna to your house, it's an investment that we're making.

We don't make any money on e-commerce. We lose money. But the idea is to try to get out there and eventually figure out how we can turn that into a profitable business. But that is a challenge. I don't think it's the only thing. I don't think it's a challenge specific to us. I think a lot of CPG companies are trying to figure out, how do we do this? And how do we do it in a way that can eventually be profitable?

Stephanie Neil: That's a good question, maybe, for the R&D expert. Do you have to think about how you'd redesign things because of what's happening?

Yolanda Malone: Well, our primary business is chips. And potato chips break when you put them in the bag. So for us, we have to put a lot around packaging, how to ship, if they're going in combination with cans of tuna, or dish detergent. And really structuring that to Jan's point, profitably.

And adhering to even some of the companies like Amazon that have specific departments to ship our products in, make sure that we do the testing and that our team is set up. And so they're also understanding what testing needs to be done to be qualified. Because we also saw significant growth during COVID, with people ordering online. And our team was challenged to actually be more efficient, to reduce cost, so that we could get it out faster and supply consumers that were looking for this, because they weren't out shopping.

Stephanie Neil: Right. Sharron, how have things changed for you on the OEM side of things and supply chain issues? And we talk about big disruptions in the supply chain. What has that meant to you?

Sharron Gilbert: It's been a lot. We're noticing delays with our customers in terms of their projects working. It's really meant that we have to be really dialed into our customers. And how can we still help them to do their product launches, and really collaborating with them? So we're doing pre-order releases in terms of getting materials in. We're taking a look at our inventories and really focusing on those materials that are more, we use a lot of it, and getting rid of some of the other ones.

But collaborating a lot down the line in terms of with our suppliers, and trying to figure out best ways that we can not miss a beat in terms of our lead times with our customers. And because they have product launches, they have dates. And so we have to just be really creative and a lot different in terms of our management and our inventory.

Stephanie Neil: Sure. So I want to switch gears to talk more about attracting more women into the manufacturing workplace. So a recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management was conducted this past March and April, and asked about 1500 women who identify as the primary caregivers to children under the age of 18, if they were going to go back to work.

Of those women who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, or stopped working to take care of the children, 69% don't plan to return to work. So how can companies incentivize women to come back to the workplace?

I'm going to just throw it out there for any one of you to jump in with any ideas. We're already in a skills crisis. We already have a problem. And we've been trying to attract more people into this industry. And now we're hearing, they're not even going to go back to the workplace because of other circumstances. Is there anything we can do as an industry, as a company, to get more women back into the workforce?

Jan Tharp: I'll start. If you look at pre COVID, and you look at manufacturing, it was all about customization and finding products that were very much individualistic. If you could take that thinking, and move that over to human resources, and say, "You know what, we are going to be very individualistic. We're going to be very customized in how we go out and attract talent," because everybody is different.

And you look at it and say, "Okay, this person has children. They may need a different work environment. They may need different work times." And you can be flexible with that. And I think you can attract people. I think it's when you are rigid, or you think that it is a one size fits all, I hope that if anything comes out of COVID that we realize that there is no such thing as one size fits all. It doesn't.

And so we need to understand and embrace that every single one of us are different. We may have the same exact job, but we're not going to approach it the same way we, our families are different, our values may be different. And I think if we can start dissecting, and welcoming that, and embracing that, then you will see people coming back into the workforce. You've got to take down barriers.

Stephanie Neil: Sure. And we talk a lot about diversity and inclusion and having that as part of the organization, is that the same sort of mindset that PepsiCo has?

Yolanda Malone: It's both. We have a huge DNI agenda, because our corporation actually recognized that we do have a gap of women leaders, Black, Hispanic leaders in the organization, both male and female. And it's part of the culture of having the dialogue of what's missing. How do we connect in understanding?

But also, as you said, it's flexibility. What does work look like for you with a job in order to advance? What are you looking for? And being flexible and understanding. And I think the culture really helps to set that. When you think about coming into work and what are my opportunities, but walking the walk as you talk the talk.

And I think for PepsiCo, that's what we're striving to do is ensure that we're not just saying it's really nice to have a diverse leadership team, we're actually progressing and showing that we're serious about it. We're hiring more leaders that are Black and Hispanic talent. We're showcasing them within our ranks, on our boards, as we do some major changes.

So it is an evolution, because a lot of companies are looking to change. They're recognizing where they've been, and it's not a good place.

Stephanie Neil: Sure. Sharron, I know your company, you focus a lot on culture. Are there any programs or initiatives in place to maybe recruit a more diversified workforce?

Sharron Gilbert: Yes we're always looking for diversity in our workforce. And we're reaching into the different schools that are local to us, trying to put together some programs, but work with our employees too. It's word of mouth as well. And as Jan was saying, the flexibility in the workplace, job sharing, part-time, not necessarily 9 to 5, Monday to Friday anymore, it's 24/7. And what works best for their families?

And it's not necessarily we're finding the women who need some support, it's a lot of our male counterparts as well, who also are trying to juggle family as well. So just again, trying to be really creative. And schools seem to be a big part of it. And then the word of mouth.

Stephanie Neil: So the Manufacturing Institute recently said that we need more women to mentor women, because a female mentor will understand that negotiating a salary might be different for a woman or man. So do you think that men can effectively mentor women? And Tracey, based on your experience with Mr. Wonderful and Marcus Pamonus, I'm going to ask you that first.

Tracey Noonan: Yes, I do. This is a two parter for me. So Kevin actively seeks out female CEOs when he looks at Shark Tank companies. He has said that, and we've actually done speaking engagements for places like Inc Magazine that have celebrated women in business.

And he just comes out and says that. So I do believe that. I think a lot of men who are more secure in their own positions and in their companies are less likely to be be–I don't even know what word to use–to be that way with women, to not accept them as an equal. I was telling you before we started, when I started with my company and I would go to even just simple BNI meetings or networking events in Boston, I was not looked upon as a serious contender, as a business owner, because I baked cupcakes.

And as matter of fact, people would call me 'Cupcake'. And that would make me insane. It just really, like honestly, this is what you're calling me? Soon as they found out that I had a pathway to Kevin, or Marcus, or these other people, then they were my best friend. But purely to gain access.

So that's when I realized that there was a distinct difference. It hadn't really dawned on me before. I never saw people as male or female, or Black or White, or any of that. We were all working together, we were all business people. But in a long roundabout way, yes, men can successfully mentor, I think when they're more comfortable in their own skin.

Stephanie Neil: And Yolanda, I want to jump to you because when we were speaking earlier, you talked about having a personal board of directors, which I found fascinating. Can you explain what that means?

Yolanda Malone: Yeah. And I think you can have more than two or three mentors, male and female.

As I started my journey, I realized that I would get in my own head and I would start to confuse myself. And so I reached out to peers that I respected, who could give me an honest opinion. And so I call them my personal board. And they're male and female. And some of them have been peers in other companies, some of them are people that I work with today.

But they're the people that I work with that I can call up on the phone and say, "Hey, I'm considering this opportunity. Does this fit me? You know me really well." And these are people that do know me really well, that know when they can call me out, separately on the phone and say, "Well, you were a little tough on that call. Back up."

And I'm like, "Oh, all right." But, when need someone to talk things out with, or something to think about, I call my board. And I don't just call one at a time. I might call three of them in a week, because I had a balanced approach on how am I thinking. Am I really thinking about it strategically? Am I missing the boat? Hey, did I just go off task when I told them that this was my goal and now something bright and shiny caught my attention?

My board will course correct me. And they'll say, "Hey, we talked about your final plan. This is different. Did you just change your plan? And where's your book?" "Oh yeah, the book. All right. No, you're right." So I recommend it. I recommend it. I recommend it not just your best friend, not just your family, your sister, but someone who knows your aspirations, what you aspire to do, how do you expect to grow, both personally and professionally?

And those are people, men and women, that you should reach out to and call, and call regularly, so that you can also check yourself.

Stephanie Neil: I think it's so important to find people who will be honest with you. You do not want somebody that's like, "I think that's a great idea. That's a great idea." You don't want that. You want somebody who has the nuts to say, "You know what, that's really a bad idea." Or "You know, that color doesn't look good on you." You want somebody to be honest with you. And I think it doesn't matter if they're male or female. It doesn't matter if they're a CEO, or a peer, or somebody even who's on your team that works for you. It could be anyone. It's that honesty that you want, that I think helps you grow.

Yolanda Malone: But they know they're my board. So it's very different. They know that that's what I'm calling them about.

Stephanie Neil: Do your leadership skills have to change, Jan?

Jan Tharp: I do think there will be a new toolbox as we come out of this and the constituency that I think is going to be maybe a little more challenged, are the new people coming into the workforce because they don't... Like the same thing, people graduating from high school or college and doing that partially. It is different. And we talked about this the other night. When I started in CPG, 30 years ago, you went to meetings and you watched how people address difficult questions. And you learn by being with people. And it is a lot different now that you're not with them, so it's a different skill that people will have to learn. I'm confident in our younger generation that they will certainly figure that out. But yeah, I do think it's a different toolbox.

It's a different toolbox for leaders as well. We need to do a lot more, what I call watching and listening. I am not about setting policies. I know people are thinking about their back-to-work policies. I think if you watch and you listen... You don't build sidewalks until you see where people are walking. It's too early, in my opinion, to really know where things are going. So if we could just take a step back and watch, listen to our team members, then we will figure out how we move on. 

Yolanda Malone: I think that it’s evolution. And I think that's what we need to be prepared for. Because as I think about a multi-generational work culture, some of the newer people are a lot more savvy on the technical devices and they're a lot quicker to adapt and adopt some of the new tools. But some of us who, like you said, have been around 30 years, take a little bit more time at Teams but even some of the tools that are evolving us, I think are actually very beneficial because they do focus on collaboration and really help us grow. But I do think empathy and self-care are also some of the things that I take away from the last year and a half. Really remember to take time out and encourage your employees to make sure that they do that too.

Stephanie Neil: Do we have any questions from the audience? Right in the middle, there.

Kim: Good morning, I'm Kim with Morrison. Thank you ladies, for all your insights. This morning when listening to you, my thought process was, "How do you deal with the disparities between those employees that you can allow to work from home versus those that have to be in the facility, or in the plant, or on the floor somewhere?" It's a great perk to be able to work from home. And obviously it's a flexibility that's not offered to everyone. So how did you personally deal with that in terms of your teams, but how did your companies also deal with that?

Stephanie Neil: Okay. Go ahead, Yolanda.

Yolanda Malone: Part of being in R&D is we have labs. Our labs have been open so many of our scientists, our product engineers are packaging engineers... Actually, some of them have been there every day. And so we ensured that their environments were safe, it was nice distancing. As some of the rules changed, we kept them up to date, but we also allowed them to give us feedback on how things were. And I think as a leader, knowing that you have both associates that are–some working all the time in the office and some a little bit more remote–is to be available and reach out to the ones that are in the lab and in the office. And walking around, so that they can see you, at a safe distance, right? So that you're keeping safe.

But it is an evolving culture. Because sometimes if you're frontlined, right? That's part of something the company has to work through, in making sure that our frontline associates feel safe. Also feel honored because they are in front of helping deliver our business. And then within PepsiCo, that's one of the cultures that we wanted to make sure that we honored our frontline associates, because they were still delivering our business day-to-day to our customers. Does that answer your question?

Kim: Kind of. I was just wondering, what perks did you offer them? Being able to work from home, I think is a good tool, with flexibility as a perk. But how do you support those that are working in the office where they don't feel like they're being left out when they can't work from home and they aren't offered that daily flexibility.

Yolanda Malone: So the frontline associates in sales, they actually have programs to help them a lot more, especially during COVID because, and I'm not in sales, so I can't articulate exactly what they've done, but I know that there was a lot of discussion and a lot of elevation on the responsibility. But within R&D, part of also being available and understanding their needs and being flexible. We might not have been, I would say, when we had a normal environment as flexible, but I see a lot more sensitivity and a lot more empathy to even our associates. Because some of them had children get sick, or family members they had to take care of. How do we then help them still manage through that without feeling burdensome, like not in the office.

What we also found is their team's really patient, right? So they had a strong collaboration with their working team to also make sure that from their perspective nothing dropped and they sacrificed. But the leaders also made sure that from the team perspective, how we recognized that. And some little extras, not a lot, but there are certain things that we do within our company. We compliment. We send it online, we let people sign up on the board, "Great job". We do encouraging. And then sometimes we like to have coffee chats to let people voice some of the concerns that we may not be as close to.

Stephanie Neil: Okay, yeah. Any other questions? Over here.

Speaker: Thank you so much, ladies. You're all very impressive. Jan, something you said really resonated with me, you talked about early on in your career, you learned by attending meetings and seeing people. And I felt that I learned through osmosis early in my career. My question is, "How do we create those opportunities for our younger, especially female colleagues who are starting out in a virtual or hybrid world where they may not have that same level of exposure that we did?"

Jan Tharp: What we've done inside our company is, try to do, similar to what you said, like coffee and conversations. So we do have that available for people who are not in the corporate office. We've also been pretty flexible, even in the corporate office where we will go for... We live in San Diego so that is certainly a benefit, the weather is nice all year round. We can go for walks on the beach or sit on the pier and have a meeting. There's a brewery that has all outside seating and we've done a lot of meetings sitting at the bar at the brewery. The ideas get better as the day goes on but...

I think you have to be creative and think about those types of things. We've had a lot of conversations. But I'm the kind of person, I need people around me. I don't want to sit in my house, I also don't want to sit in the office by myself. And there's a lot of people like that so how do you create environments where people want to come in and learn or have a discussion? And I think that that's where the creativity needs to come, because we're still maneuvering through keeping people safe, which is the most important thing.

Stephanie Neil: I think we have time for another question.

Speaker: Yes, my question is. This is for Tracey.

Tracey Noonan: Hi.

Speaker: Yeah, this question is for Tracey. First of all, let me say, I love your stories, congratulations.

Tracey Noonan: Thank you.

Speaker: And I would not dare call you 'Cupcake'. I have two daughters, they're two engineers. I'm an engineer. One of them has the heart of an entrepreneur. In fact, she went to Cornell University and Stanford and she developed a medical device and spent a year in California trying to get investors. She failed. She's comfortably in a role now back in corporate America. My question to you is, "What is the message you would give to those who seem like they've left dreams behind? What's the message you would share with those?"

Tracey Noonan: I missed the very end of that.

Speaker: What is the message that you would give to someone who has the heart of an entrepreneur and seem like they've left that trail behind?

Tracey Noonan: So I have always been a firm believer in when it's the right time, it's going to happen. And I also believe in never shutting the door on something because as we travel through life, through people we meet and connections we made, somehow things can always come back around. I think that she should make that... She's young, right? Is she married or have responsibility? Okay, then she could work a second job. And that can be her second job, right?

She could still be working on this and not totally put it to bed because where there's a will, there's a way. I really believe that. And if she reaches out to some local business groups and finds some mentors.

Stephanie Neil: That’s all the time we have today. Thanks for coming!

Special Report: Essential tools for effective sanitation
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Special Report: Essential tools for effective sanitation