Q&A: Ronda Cavanagh , Merchandising Manager at Wawa and current member of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce's Board of Directors
1. Major in College and Where You Went: I went to Immaculata University and received two bachelor’s degrees focused on Organizational Dynamics and Human Performance. I finished with my master’s degree at Peirce College focusing on Organizational Leadership and Management
2. First Job and Current Role and Company: Burger King and Valleybrook Golf Club—both no longer exist! Current job is Merchandising Manager at Wawa.
3. Scariest career change or job change: Every single one terrifies me! One that stands out is moving from Marketing to People Team. I went from a project manager to focusing on diversity and inclusion. I quickly realized I had a lot to learn!
4. Favorite Quote: “You’ve got this!” is something my girlfriend says to me daily. Simple and applicable to anything!
5. Favorite de-stressor activity: Orange Theory—I need to go more!
6. What motivates you? Seeing other people grow and develop. When I see the lightbulb go off in someone’s head that they understand something and implement it, it’s the best feeling!
7. Tell a little bit more about your career and the path that has led you to where you are today: I was lucky enough to join Wawa at 16 years old because they allowed me to grow both professionally and personally. The company’s values were introduced to me at a young age which really helped give me purpose and passion. Their focus on servant leadership helped me look at how I can help others before myself which ultimately has made me a good human (I hope!).
8. What is the value for other women to get involved in the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce? In my opinion, people and the relationships you build are the key to success professionally and personally. We all have something to teach each other and things to learn from others. The chamber is an incredible resource for any business, especially women owned businesses. They offer a safe and welcoming space for business owners to connect, ask questions, support each other and grow. Some people don’t like the term ‘networking’, me included, because it instantly makes you feel like you have to small talk with people. To me, the chamber offers more than just networking, it offers support and knowledge to help push the entire community forward.
9. In honor of March being International Women’s Month, can you identify a woman in history that inspired you and explain why? Elena Favilli who is the founder and CEO of Rebel Girls. Rebel Girls is a series of children’s book and podcasts sharing biographies of inspiring women from all over the world. I have no idea who Elena Favilli is other than the founder of this company, however I am so appreciative of the work she has done. She has provided these stories of inspiring women to show the representation of women in history doing amazing things. Recently we’ve been reading the series to my girlfriend’s daughter, and I am amazed with the stories that seemed to have been left out of history. This is the representation that we need for the future women leaders.
10. We’ve seen some exciting advancements for women in the workplace holding more leadership positions, can you explain what this representation means for women? Representation is everything. If you don’t see people like you in places that you want to be, you assume people like you aren’t welcome there. Also, if you want to be in those places, but don’t see people like you there you could assume something is wrong or different about you. Representation is hope and validation that you can be in those places. That you belong in those places. You deserve to be in those places.