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Don’t Try to Be Everything to Everyone 

Tricia Powers
Executive Vice President
B&G Restaurant Supply

Ask Tricia Powers what drives B&G Restaurant Supply’s success and she’ll probably tell you that it starts with a strong foundation. Responding quickly to market conditions, sticking to what you’re good at and not trying to be “everything to everyone” also go a long way when it comes to business longevity.

“My parents started this company almost 40 years ago and built it by offering products and services that were not readily available in their area,” the executive vice president says. “They provided knowledgeable and personalized service to their customers, which not only created repeat business, but referrals from those customers as well, continuing to expand their reach to neighboring regions.” This reputation became increasingly more important as products became more readily available on the internet, Powers notes.

They’re Always Cheering Us On
When Powers was recently working in B&G’s Pittsfield, Massachusetts office, her team was discussing how something needed to be done operationally. With the recent enhancement of the company’s software, there was an old step employees used to take that was no longer necessary. One company leader insisted on doing things the old way, which Powers saw as a testament to how well her own mother trained her team members.

“My mother took the time out to not only explain how to do something but also why it was important to do it that way,” Powers says. “She also taught us the importance of checking our receiving, and our billing and invoicing, as all of those things affect the accuracy of our inventory.”

She’s extremely proud of the fact that many of B&G’s current staff worked directly for the company’s founders. “Steering the company from the top down is much easier when so many already know the way, and when they can help guide the others,” she says. “Even though they’ve been gone now for over 10 years, their presence is still great. We know they’re there watching us, guiding us and cheering us on and that is likely what motivates us all to continue to do the best that we can do.”

Cultivating Future Women Business Leaders
Powers and the rest of B&G’s leadership team are now developing the next generation of leaders by encouraging those who display leadership qualities to take on more responsibility. Those individuals are also being called upon to help guide their peers, thus fostering that desire to continue to lead.

“The stories of the transformation of companies that focus on changing their company cultures to create more opportunities for all are eye-opening,” says Powers, who is involved with Women’s Edge, a non-profit that helps women advance in leadership positions. The organization publishes a list of top women-run companies; runs events to motivate and train future women leaders; and surveys companies to gauge what they’re doing to cultivate enhancement for women.

Additionally, Powers has worked with the leadership program for one of her alma maters, Babson College. The entrepreneurial school’s program matches alumni with current students to help critique and guide them through a project. “Babson gives students unique feedback from future employers or business partners and yet one more way to show real-life representation to the future women leaders of tomorrow,” Powers says.

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