Last week a few of us attended the annual WFFC gala, an organization that provides networking and advancement opportunities for women in our industry. As a large portion of our flavorists and management are females, we were proud to be a corporate sponsor for the evening.
It was truly a beautiful event, full of delicious food and conversations with friends both old and new. They topped off the evening with a speech by Ashaki Wilham, the honoree for the night. She truly dazzled on stage and shared her impressive history in the flavor industry. It felt so inspiring to be surrounded by so many accomplished and intelligent people in the industry.
Our Own Founding Member
I would also like to highlight Marion Brooks, our Sales Manager, who was one of the founding members of the organization in 1982! She graduated from Seton Hall with a BS in Marketing, taking night classes while working and utilizing tuition reimbursement. Marion started in purchasing, until she got her first sales job in 1988, where she sold everything from essential oils, oleoresins, and aroma chemicals, to antioxidants, natural colors, and flavors (which are her favorite!). Always ambitious, supportive, and motivated, she began meeting for lunch with other women in sales and purchasing, to grow within the industry. These informal meetings sparked the WFFC, as an ongoing way to support diversity in our field.
Marion celebrated 50 years in the industry in the spring of 2022, and we’re honored that she now works with us at TasteWorks! She has a wealth of knowledge and experience, and is a true trailblazer in the industry. I personally feel incredibly honored to work beside her, and lucky to have such a knowledgeable salesperson to learn from. One of my favorite stories she’s shared from her time in sales is when she noticed how many deals were being made on the golf course. At the time, however, this was predominately just between men – so she took lessons on her own time and blazed her path onto the green! I see this tenacity and dedication still today, as she works endlessly to ensure our customers are all being focused on and respected.
Be sure to check out the WFFC organization, as their multiple branches run a lot of informative and fun events throughout the year. We’ve attended many of the New Jersey chapter’s events, and always leave with new connections and information! They also help sponsor women in the industry, as well as provide scholarships for those studying to enter the field.