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Alicia Matthews-Kent

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Alicia Matthews-Kent, 30
Ontario Director of Pharmacy, Sobeys

It took time, but Alicia Matthews-Kent is no longer seeking forgiveness for accepting a job in Ontario. “Friends and family have gotten over it,” says the New Brunswick native. “Now, they enjoy coming to visit for shopping sprees.” It helps that the employer in question is Nova Scotia–based Sobeys—as East Coast as fiddles and lobster rolls. The national grocer, which recently promoted her to Ontario director of in-store pharmacies, is inspiring for Matthews-Kent. “I got caught up in the opportunity to help an Atlantic company spread across Canada.”

Matthews-Kent, who recently completed the Boston marathon after taking six years and 10 marathons to qualify, has found her determination rewarded by her employer. Since starting full-time in 2004, she has had five promotions, and today manages more than 50 operations. She credits her rise in part to looking at everyone as a mentor. “If people appear open to sharing knowledge,” she says, “tap into them. If people say, ‘E-mail me any time with questions,’ send an e-mail. If they say, ‘My door is open,’ don’t be shy about making them prove it.”

On bad advice: “I’ve been told to watch my back. I don’t think that’s a good idea. If you approach people questioning their motives, you get treated with equal distrust.”


 

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