Women's Leadership: Balducci's CEO Judith Spires
As part of our "Women's Leadership" series, Judith Spires, Chairman and CEO of Kings Food Markets & Balducci’s, shares the successes and challenges for women leaders in and out of the C-Suite and state of women business leaders today.
"We're pleased to welcome Judy Spires, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Kings and Balducci's. Good to see you. Wonderful to see you and be here with you today. We were just talking before we got on the air, you're the daughter of? A truck driver. From a supermarket. Yes. Wow. Who got me my first job when I was in high school, because he knew the manager. Right. And it was really to get money to put towards my college education, and that was the purpose. However once I got in the business, I absolutely fell in love with retail. And so I've been in the business since I've been in high school. You've loved this business because? I love people. And where do you find so many people to work with? And so many customers to take care of? It is just a perfect opportunity for me. And I was so fortunate to find that passion at such a young age. It's interesting, I happened to tell you that, to disclose, we like... there's a Kings in our community in Montclair that we happen to like an awful lot, describe Kings... Thank you. Our pleasure. Describe the Kings history. 19...? So it was started by the Bildner Family... Yes. ...in 1936, so we are celebrating our 81st year as a New Jersey company. And you know started on spectacular product and spectacular service and those are the two things that we hold through to today that differentiates us and keeps us successful and 81 years young. You know this program focuses on women who happen to be extremely successful in their careers. What would you say the number one key to success that you've had as a leader, as an entrepreneur, as a CEO, has been? Well I first mentioned that when you find your passion, and I found my passion at such an early age, it's not like working, and I know people kid about it and they say when you find your passion you'll never work a day in your life. Is it true? It is absolutely true. Absolutely true. And you know when I first went into the business, what I loved about it was the positive reinforcement of retail. You know, you... you know how sales are, hour to hour, you know how you can take care of customers, you know how customers are reacting, you know how the... your associates in the store feel, and when you get that kind of positive reinforcement, it really worked for me. Who was your mentor? I was lucky enough to work for a store manager who was in love with the business and he had the highest..."