always lead with a sense of wonder: part ii

Shana Gardner, CAS, Operations

Continuing from Part I:

Were there mentors that helped you grow in your career?

If the role of a mentor is to provide guidance, motivation, emotional support, and role modeling, aren’t these the same traits which we choose to manifest within ourselves for others? Therefore, we are attracting the same base set of qualities. I believe that everyone crosses our paths for some reason and, many times, those reasons are unknown to us. As we open ourselves to learning and remove barriers to judgments, we are gifted with opportunities to embrace new approaches and challenge the status quo. If we are palms-up, we have the ability to be mentored continuously from nearly anyone we encounter and in turn, be a mentor at the same time as a mentee.

I do my best because I am counting on you counting on me.
Maya Angelou

If one person has helped make you “Jodie,” who would it be?

It's not as simple as naming one person. I am fortunate to continuously be exposed to good humans who are open to sharing themselves with me, as I do with them!

If we have met, if we have not yet met, if I have read something you wrote, sung your words, listened to you, watched you smile, saw your tears, heard you speak, watched you coach or play a game, if we loved and broke one another’s heart, if I watched you from afar extend smile, energy or kindness to someone… If we have shared bread and more, if you changed my diaper or held my hand, rocked me to sleep, taught me about philosophy, made lists for strategy and financial statements, if we laughed until our cheeks ached and bellies collapsed… If I played Pac-Man with you, watched your golf swing all day or endless episodes of The Walking Dead… You are with me. All of these momentary opportunities fill me in ways that I cannot measure and I carry gratitude and learning from them all. Always.

My business and life perspective become broader with each offering that is freely exchanged—and with each step forward, my heart more full.

I am you and you are me. We simply…are.

The beauty you see in me is a reflection of you.

Being in the food business, would you consider yourself a “foodie?” What is your most memorable food experience?

For sure—maybe even a gastronome!

My excitement does not stop peaking, and my grocery bill can get out of hand if I am not strategic. My challenge is that I do love cooking (more so baking); however, my time is limited. Therefore, when I prepare grocery lists for specific meals, I need to ensure that I have the time allotted to create new meals. When it comes to restaurants and choosing them, I love to please the audience with which I am breaking bread. Whatever their preference is, I will seek that experience for them to live through fully during our time together (even for kiddos lol)! Their huge smiles are my validation.

My only fault is that I find endless opportunities for food experiences and not enough room in my body to house the food!

As to the question of my greatest food memory… I cannot answer, as food is like a spiritual movement to me—even a classic grilled cheese sandwich (with four different gourmet cheeses and home-baked artisanal bread smothered in Wisconsin butter) brings me to my knees! 🤤

If you had to pick one product in the history of Maple Ridge Farms as your favorite, what would it be?

Hello? The toffee! I have a fascination with real butter… must be a Wisconsin thing. Considering the amount of real butter used in the signature English Butter Toffee, it speaks directly to my taste buds and my soul; it is my temptress and my calm!

What advice do you have for a distributor new to selling food gifts?

Try it!

I would ask a series of questions determining fond memories associated with food, experiential marketing, and sensory moments they remember in life. This can lead them into an enjoyable conversation about how gifting epic, high-quality, and delicious food can provide them with an endless return on their investment, by playing into the emotion of the recipient when they create these same memories.

We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know a little more about Jodie and, by extension, Maple Ridge Farms. Is there someone you admire in the industry, whether as a friend, a mentor, or something else? #HypeAVibe on social media—we’d love to hear about them!

Finally, we would be remiss in not sharing a song that defines Jodie’s passion for immersing herself in nature and self-discovery. Get ready for some headbanging!

Roamer, wanderer, nomad, vagabond / Call me what you will, yeah

Metallica - Wherever I May Roam (Official Music Video)


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