Meet the team: From the supermarket to the office, Rachael Zierden puts clients first
For Rachael Zierden, a trip down the supermarket aisles is like a visit with old friends. As VP of Strategic Services for the Food, Beverage and Consumer Goods vertical at TELUS Agriculture & Consumer Goods, she makes a point to seek out customer brands when she needs to stock up on groceries.
“I always look for client products,” she says. “I always buy Heinz ketchup and Smucker’s jam. I tend to pay a lot more attention to labels, and once you know what brands your clients own, you notice them everywhere.”
Rachael’s dedication to her clients extends beyond her shopping cart. She is passionate about ensuring they get the data insights they need every day to make informed decisions about how to plan and run their trade promotions. “We can show them trends on what their operators are buying, and use analytics to help them choose the best price points,” she explains.
Rachael enjoys being part of a close-knit team of colleagues. “There are about seven or eight of us that have been together going on 17 years,” she says. Many of them she first met at Heinz, where she stepped into her first trade finance job. A few promotions later, she was leading a department using Blacksmith Applications and helped integrate it across a number of companies. Eventually, she moved to Blacksmith, and joined the TELUS family in 2021 when it became part of TELUS Agriculture & Consumer Goods.
Not surprisingly, the TELUS value she resonates most with is passionately putting customers and community first. “We're about our customers all day long,” she says. “Literally, from the second we walk in till the second we leave, we are speaking with and supporting our customers.”
5 things to know about Rachael Zierden
What she thinks are the biggest challenges facing the consumer goods industry
The labour market has been really tough. COVID just really changed everything in terms of the workforce. It changed for us, and it changed for our clients and who they do business with. It affected all of us.
How she’s seen the consumer goods landscape change
There's so much consolidation in the industry. Distributors keep consolidating, and there are very big ones with a lot of power. Everything is bigger. Manufacturers are spending a lot more money than they used to and the discounts are so much bigger. It’s very different from when I started out 10 to 15 years ago.
The most rewarding part of her role
I really enjoy working with my team. We always band together to deliver the best outcomes for our customers. They’re good eggs.
How she gives back to the community
Animals are near and dear to my heart. I adopted my dog and my two cats from shelters. I make sure to support animal shelters any way I can, and I wish I could do more.
How she spends her free time
Probably my favorite thing to do is spend time with my dog, Rosie. She’s a five-year-old boxer-lab cross. On weekends, we visit hiking trails and creeks and we start as early as we can. It’s always a blast.