Quaker Donates Two Million Bowls of Oatmeal to Help Hungry Canadians
PepsiCo’s Quaker brand announced that it will donate two million bowls of oatmeal in 2011 to feed Canadians in need. Food Banks Canada will receive the donation from Quaker.
The donation comes as a direct result from Quaker’s Unlock Amazing program, whose ambassador is Olympic Champion Alexandre Bilodeau, promoted by Quaker’s social media outlets. The program asked Canadians to “like” Quaker on Facebook and help Unlock Amazing by creating virtual breakfast bowls. If 25,000 virtual bowls were created, Quaker promised to double their 2011 Food Banks Canada donation, which was currently at one million bowls of oatmeal, to two million bowls.
“The Quaker brand is happy to support Food Banks Canada and the services it provides through our unique Unlock Amazing program. We are extremely proud to make this announcement on behalf of the Quaker brand and commit to making a donation of two million bowls of oatmeal to Food Banks Canada locations across the country this year,” said Kathryn Matheson, Vice President, Marketing Quaker Foods and PepsiCo Foods Innovation at PepsiCo Foods Canada.
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“While our final tally of bowls made online was approximately 90 per cent of our goal, we consider our efforts to be a great success on many levels,” Matheson continued. “It has provided us an opportunity to contribute to this important cause and has allowed our online consumers to engage in the program as well. The response from our Facebook friends to the program and to our partnership with Food Banks Canada has been absolutely incredible, and it confirms that reducing hunger is an important issue to solve for us all.”
Food Banks Canada was chosen by Quaker as a partner because of its belief in a nutricious breakfast. The Unlock Amazing program was created to promote that belief and help Canadians in need gain access to it.
Food Banks Canada has a need for increased support of food banks in Canada. Providing food and assistance more than 700,000 Canadians each month for almost a decade, food banks are a cricital emergency food source for Canadians down on their luck. Additionally, in light of recent economic hardships, food bank use in Canada has risen by 28 per cent over the past two years. 38 per cent of food bank users are children and youth, Canadians that clearly have a need for a nutritious breakfast.
“Programs like the Quaker brand’s Unlock Amazing initiative help us provide the much needed support required to address hunger in Canada,” said Schmidt. “It engaged Canadians with this issue in a fun and meaningful way. We appreciate Quaker’s ongoing commitment to Food Banks Canada and to helping provide nutritious breakfasts to Canadians in need,” said Food Banks Canada Executive Director Katherine Schmidt.
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.