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The Power of One Team: Highlighting Core-Mark’s Female Leaders

At Core-Mark, our 130-year legacy provides the foundation for a team that embraces new challenges, delivers new solutions and celebrates new ideas. As our company has evolved, so has the need for strong leaders who represent and reflect the diverse people and ideas within our company. In our series The Power of One Team: Highlighting Core-Mark's Female Leaders, we will be showcasing female leaders who have made their mark at Core-Mark by inspiring and empowering colleagues.

Meet Core-Mark’s Chief Human Resources Officer, Jordana Kammerud. In her role, Jordana has unique insight into what makes our people special and our company a family.

jordana kammerud portrait

What or who inspired you to pursue the career path you’re currently on?

I have always been achievement-focused for myself and for my teams, and that started early on for me. My parents were early inspirations – instilling in me the value of always aiming for my best work, no matter the topic, no matter the effort. They were both educators, so that began in school for me. When it came to my career aspirations, there was one woman who I always look back upon as the person who changed my course. I was an intern, working at a manufacturing site, and I really didn’t have a career plan beyond converting the internship to a full-time role. After a month of interning, this woman pulled me aside and said, “I think you could be our CHRO someday. Have you ever thought about that path?” I hadn’t, and I wonder where I’d be if she hadn’t helped me see what she saw. I strongly believe we should do more of that for others. Since then, I have always looked to develop future talent and to help others see in themselves their true capacity.

What’s the best career advice you ever received?

“Think of your career as a journey,
one that can have separate sojourns.
The continuity of your path is you,
the traveler…. Even if you take a chance
that doesn’t turn out as you had wished,
you’re still on your path.”

Think of your career as a journey, one that can have separate sojourns. The continuity of your path is you, the traveler. When you think about your career this way, it allows you to take risks – to take challenges. Even if you take a chance that doesn’t turn out as you had wished, you’re still on your path. This perspective on career has allowed me the freedom to have more fun on my journey and to not overthink opportunities, but to take them. This approach led me to Germany, then to New York and ultimately to my role at Core-Mark.

How does Core-Mark advocate for the women it employs? How does it create an inclusive environment for everyone?

I don’t think about us as advocating separately for women or groups of people, but rather all our people. However, I think our values uniquely line up and support women in ways that are helpful given the broader social context within which we live and work. At Core-Mark, we’re a family, and that means we care about your home family, too. While I see this as an attractive feature of our company for all employees, I also recognize that women still tend to take primary care positions for children and aging parents. Knowing that one’s role in caring for family is not only supported, but valued, is an incredible feature of our culture. It is not a policy or lip service – it is an extension of our company value of family.

It’s said that successful people never stop learning. What have you learned that’s made you more successful at Core-Mark?

Every time you move companies or roles, you have this incredible opportunity to learn because so much is new. In this role, I have most valued the opportunity to learn a new industry, and as part of that, I get to learn about what business and HR truths are universal, and what truths are more industry-specific.

What challenges have you faced (in your career or otherwise), and how have you overcome them?

“Get comfortable with the
unknown. The minute you have
all the answers is the minute
you should leave leadership.”

There are two challenges in work that almost everyone faces.  One is realizing you have a big task that you are not sure how to complete.  The other is about how to balance it all – sometimes at work, sometimes at work and home. When it comes to that big issue, I have found the simplest way to overcome is to get comfortable with the unknown. Get comfortable with not having all the answers.  The minute you have all the answers is the minute you should leave leadership. No one has all the answers. That’s the point. Learn, leverage your team, create a plan together, and make it happen.  The second challenge came to me personally when I had my first child, and later, when I took on a global role. The beauty of the second challenge is that it teaches you to decide what’s important. This is the secret to success and sanity. Choose.  Choose what gets done and what does not.

What has been your proudest moment at Core-Mark?

I feel proud every time I walk into a Core-Mark facility and see all the people striving for success in their roles for each other and for our customers.

What does the “Power of One, Strengthened by All” mean to you?

I love this statement because it means something about the people and the organization. As a person, I know that I have the power to make an impact, and I also know that I am supported by my Core-Mark family. Together, we can make an even bigger impact. As an organization, each of our divisions runs with a great measure of autonomy, but we are interdependent. So we can make decisions locally, but we also share talent, and in times of need, divisions send people and resources to each other to make sure we succeed together as a company. That’s the Power of One. Strengthened by All.

Find your power! Join our team today.

Read more about the other women profiled for this series: Suzanne, Helen and Sandra.

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