Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery was recently able to talk with Traci Rennaker, CEO of LloydPans, Spokane, WA, about being a woman working in the snack and bakery industry, and what's upcoming for the company.
Liz Parker: How did you become president/CEO of LloydPans? What previous jobs were stepping stones?
Traci Rennaker: My career actually started managing a deli and restaurant for a regional supermarket chain. My huspand passed away, and I was left with the responsibility to care for my three children by myself. I was motivated to do whatever it took to provide the best life for my kids, which included working careers with hostile working environments, working exceptionally long hours, and training myself on industry-specific matters on my own free time to better perform in my career and provide more opportunities for my kids to be successful. From managing a deli and a restaurant, I eventually took positions as a customer service manager for a software reseller, the director of customer service, sales, and engineering for a large sheet metal fabrication company, and then as the director of customer service and sales at LloydPans. Within a few years, I was promoted to the role of vice president, and then president and CEO. We have been through three acquisitions, and I have maintained the role of president and CEO.
LP: Has there been an improvement in the way that society views and supports females in positions of authority?
TR: There have been significant improvements in the way society views and supports females in positions of authority, although there is still a long way to go. I have felt very fortunate to always have been supported and valued by my male bosses, coworkers, and staff, which has allowed me the ability to progress in my career. In turn, I have also worked very hard to show that same level of support with the intent to create a strong work culture.
I feel women have a very unique perspective, particularly those in positions of authority. As a mother of two daughters, it brings me joy in knowing the expanded opportunities available for women, and excitement in the development of the business world that will come from the unique contributions made by women.
LP: Any advice for other women employees in the snack and bakery industry?
TR: You can do anything you set your mind to, as long as you work hard and believe in yourself. I hope females who are transitioning into professional careers can use my story, and several others, as an inspiration to never give up on your goals.
LP: What’s new on the horizon for LloydPans?
TR: LloydPans is known for our innovation. We are constantly working with our customers to understand their problems, identify the demands of the market, and apply our unique design, engineering, and fabrication processes to create innovative and progressive solutions. We, therefore, are always coming out with new products. Most recently, we launched our Chicago Deep Dish-Style Pizza Pans. We’ve had great success and are widely recognized for our Detroit Style Pizza Pans, and are excited about the opportunity to share the delicious regional-style Chicago pizza with the world! Check out our website or follow us on our social media platforms (@lloydpans) to stay up-to-date on all new product launches.