Employee Profile: Karin, Director of Sales
Title: Director of Sales
Hire Date: 12/1/1999
How would you describe what you do to someone who knows nothing about Clif Bar or your role?
I lead our Convenience Store sales team. There are over 152,000 c-stores in the US and my team is responsible for ensuring that each one of those has a good supply of CLIF BARS. Because a convenience store is much smaller than an average grocery store, we are constantly working with our buyers to get the right products in. If you remember when the genie in Aladdin explained himself with “GREAT BIG powers, little bitty living space”, we say something similar about our sales channel; “GREAT BIG store count, little bitty sales space”! That sums up c-store in a single sentence!
What do you love most about working at Clif Bar?
My favorite thing about Clif Bar is the people. We are family. We truly care about one another. Yep, we disagree just like real family members, but we come back together every time, stronger than before. When I had knee replacement surgery a few years ago, I was out of the office for about four weeks. I received cards, texts, phone calls, and even flowers from so many different people. Knowing that people care about you, even when you are out of sight, is a pretty special thing!
What are your interests and passions outside of work?
I took up cycling a little over a year ago and now I’m addicted! I live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas and it gets plenty hot here in the summer. So, to feed my habit, I get up super early so that I can get out of the door as the sun comes up. I try to get 15+ miles in each time I ride.
Another interest of mine is live music. It really doesn’t matter whether it’s a big venue (Billy Joel, Eagles, Rolling Stones) or a small venue with local Texas artists, I simply enjoy being out and hearing the bands play.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my passion for martinis. If you hang around me long enough, you’ll learn that, at my house, every Friday is “Martini Friday”. Come join me sometime!
My biggest passion, however, is around my two (super-adorable) grandchildren. They live close by and I see them often. My grandson’s elementary school is just at the end of my street and, because of Clif Bar & Company’s volunteer policy, I’m able to go help out in the library there frequently. My grandson is always thrilled when he knows that Nana will be visiting that day.
What is one of your most memorable food experiences?
Several years ago, I went on a Mediterranean cruise with several friends. One suggested that we start a search for the best gelato in Southern Europe. I can’t tell you which shop we decided had the best, but I can tell you that I probably gained 10 pounds in the name of research!
Another food memory is from a trip to Scotland. The food there is different from what I’m accustomed to. Bacon isn’t fried nice and crispy; it’s served as a round piece of meat that looks to have been steamed or boiled. French fries come with mayonnaise – you’ve got to ask for the ketchup. But the one thing I refused to try was “Blood Pudding”. When I spoke with the waitress, I commented that “it sounds like it actually has blood in it.” Her response? “Well, of course it does…”. Ugh… nope!
What has been or will be your greatest adventure?
Our founder, Gary Erickson, speaks a lot about White Road Adventures. It’s about the places and experiences you have when you leave the beaten path to try something different. Recently, while biking along the Trinity River in Ft. Worth with a couple of girlfriends, we decided to ride back along the north side of the river instead of the standard gravel path on the south side. All was well until the path ran out. We looked at a map and could see that we were still just along the edge of the river, so we followed the small dirt track. Which ran out. We were on the top of a berm and figured we could just continue along until the path surfaced again. Which it didn’t. After battling rocks and weeds for about a half mile, we came up against a fence. We had to traverse down a ditch and squeeze through a small opening. Now we discovered that we were on a busy, 3-lane divided roadway. We followed that until we could get back to the river and find our way to the south side and the safe gravel path. Nothing like a little white-knuckle biking to keep the juices flowing! But, oh boy, do we have a fun story that we enjoy sharing out with our other friends!