17 Aug 2021, Team Profiles
When dark clouds roll in a thousand miles away, Kathleen Judnic is ready. As SFC’s Operations Manager, she’s learned to expect the unexpected; whether it’s happening in her Calgary office or across the border in the United States. Fortunately, with her adaptable nature and the support of her team, Kathleen’s prepared to weather any storm.
Almost 12 years ago, Kathleen joined the SFC team while the company was still operating under the SIMARK name. She started out on the quality team supporting ISO 900, gradually becoming responsible for Health and Safety and then Human Resources responsibilities as well. The transition into her current role as Operations Manager was a natural next step.
And Kathleen’s ability to adapt to the ever-changing responsibilities of the Operations Manager role makes multi-tasking look like child’s play.
“I’m never bored,” she says. “I usually come in with the idea of what I’m going to do for the day and by about ten after eight, that’s gone. As part of the operation role, you need to be flexible. You still have to do your day-to-day tasks, but you also need to be able to react and prioritize throughout the day.”
In order to ensure day-to-day operations run smoothly, Kathleen needs to be ready for any and all challenges or delays that might spring up. This means tackling anything from the aftermath impacts of a pandemic to inconvenient weather. “Something simple like a storm in the U.S. can impact our supply chain,” says Kathleen. “You have to make sure you understand when shipments are coming, then react and make sure the customers are updated.”
While Kathleen speaks very confidently about her role within the company, she credits much of her success to working with a good crew. “It’s really important to have a strong team behind you,” she says. “My team is really diverse and works really well together. They flag issues if there are issues and collectively come up with solutions. There’s a lot of collaboration.”
One of the big projects Kathleen is currently focusing on is SFC’s environmental program. “We’re looking at getting our ISO 14001 certification for 2021,” she explains. “We want to reduce our carbon footprint and monitor our energy output and consumption to make environmental improvements.”
Some initiatives in this program include consolidating SFC’s two facility locations into one, educating staff about waste consumption and disposal, as well as transitioning to a completely paperless system. Kathleen says that going paperless has already significantly reduced SFC’s overall cost of materials and has also proven to be a huge space saver.
Getting SFC’s environmental program finalized and put in place has been one of Kathleen’s biggest challenges yet. “It’s a learning experience,” says Kathleen. “With the situation in the world and all the focus on environmental advocates […] it is important to get our certification as well as maintain and improve our environmental impact.”
When Kathleen isn’t helping clean up the planet or supporting her team, she enjoys spending time with her husband and grown children. Whether at work or at home, Kathleen’s philosophy when it comes to achieving success is simple: “Follow processes and maintain consistency. Don’t hesitate to identify opportunities for improvement and implement positive changes—that’s where you’ll find success.”