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News@Ivey · Shairi Islam

Mama Earth Organics CEO takes HBA students on her career journey

Nov 25, 2019

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Shairi Islam is an HBA ’21 candidate. She discusses the lessons learned from Mary Graham, CEO of Mama Earth Organics, in her keynote address at the 2019 Ivey Leaders Forum. 

On November 21, 2019, Mary Graham, CEO of Mama Earth Organics, participated in the 2019 Ivey Leaders Forum as a keynote speaker. Graham spoke to more than 600 HBA1 students about the importance of the event’s theme: Elevating yourself, your peers, and your community.

Graham is the recently-appointed CEO of the leading online organic food delivery company within the Greater Toronto Area.

Prior to this role, she has held marketing and strategy executive roles at some of the world’s most iconic brands, including Starbucks. Graham is using her passion for food to help give back to the community by building a sustainable local food movement.

Graham’s speech took students on a journey through her career path, highlighting three lessons she learned along the way.

ENVISION: “Learn. Learn you.”

The envision segment is focused on “you.” It encompasses your intelligence, your abilities, and your luck. This can be described as the learning phase; exploring both you and the world around you. Ultimately, only through helping yourself first will you have the ability to help others.

ENABLE: “Feed your network”

The power to enable others stems from having the ability to impact those around you. Whether it be through hiring, training, or implementing structural processes, it is important to understand your ripple and be aware of how you act and how it makes others feel. One of the best ways to do this is by building a network and reaching out to those you are interested in learning from. It is equally as important to pay it forward and help those who are interested in learning from you.

ENROL: “Inspiration, without action, is entertainment”

Graham’s final lesson highlighted the importance of getting others excited about your ideas, explaining that even the best strategy is useless if it doesn’t get off the page. Find a purpose to work towards and inspire others to join you along the way.