Joe Berry Award 2023 winner revealed

Woolworths Category Manager Karolina Trofiniak has been named the winner of the Joe Berry Australian Retail Industry Executive Award.

Her essay and presentation on ‘optimising retailer pricing strategy’ was a favourite among the panel of judges during the event’s presentation session, which was held at Coca-Cola Company’s Australian head office in North Sydney.

The other finalists and their topics were:

  • One Harvest Senior National Business Manager Melissa Sharwood on ‘proposing practices for millennial leadership’.
  • SC Johnson Customer Marketing Manager Samantha Corrigan on ‘maintaining loyalty in crisis’.
  • Coca-Cola Europacific Partners National Business Manager Sofia Kailis on ‘maintaining loyalty in crisis’.
  • 7-Eleven Australia Chapter Lead – Better Buying & Pricing Anthony Venuto on ‘optimising retailer pricing strategy’.
  • The Arnott’s Group Director of PR & CX Amy Wagner on ‘ESG and sustainable targets’.

Following the presentation session, the awards ceremony was held at The Ballroom, Royal Randwick Racecourse.

Along with this year’s finalists being interviewed on stage by some of the judges, the finalists of the Trading Partners Forum Scholarship were given an opportunity to speak on their topic, too. Ben Ashby of Fever-Tree was awarded the scholarship.

An ‘exceptional’ standard

On announcing the Joe Berry Award winner, award patron Bernie Brookes commented that the quality of the presentations this year was “phenomenal”.

“We saw an exceptional standard,” he said. “Having the opportunity over the last 30-odd years to listen to people present, I thought the quality was extremely good this year and a demonstration of the quality of the executives who are coming through.”

In accepting the award, Ms Trofiniak said there were “plenty” of people to thank but noted Activate Group Australia Chair and CEO (and Joe Berry Award Convenor) Keith Quigg in particular.

“He spent a lot of time with me, whether it was (for) the essay or the presentation,” she said. “He was always available and accessible for any questions I had … He gave me a lot of reassurance.”

Commenting on why she took part in the program, Ms Trofiniak acknowledged that she’d let herself down in her career and wasn’t putting in enough effort to back herself and to network and connect with people.

“So, I’ve used the platform that Joe Berry creates to actually reach out to people that I wouldn’t (normally) have the courage to reach out to,” she said.

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