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ONE to ONEONE-to-ONE with Jim Slomka

ONE-to-ONE with Jim Slomka

Michael Graydon CEO, Food, Health & Consumer Products of Canada
image of a man
Where did you grow up? Richmond Hill. In my mid-30s, I moved to Vancouver for the next 30-plus years, with a three-year break in the middle in Stellarton, N.S. We moved back to Toronto seven years ago. First job in the biz? JD Sweid in B.C. Prior to this, I worked at Sobeys. Who has inspired you? My dad was an incredibly good, kind man. I have always been inspired by him and hope I am of equal inspiration to my children. Best advice you’ve received? When I worked in the beer industry, my boss said about a note I was proposing to send to the national sales teams: “Mike, this is a great note; the only thing you should change is ‘I’ to ‘we.’” Life is about working together and that has stuck with me. Favourite sport and team? Long-suffering Toronto Maple Leaf fan. Old enough to have seen the last time the cup was raised in Toronto and hopeful it will not be my last. Mad about Manchester City and Premier League football. Hobbies? I am a wine collector but as I get closer to retirement, I need to search for a real hobby. Favourite charity? Canadian Down Syndrome. I have a very special person in my life with Down and I do all I can to support that charity. Favourite musician or actor? Phil Collins. I loved the magic of Robin Williams in film and on stage. Unusual thing that has happened to you? As a teenager backpacking in Europe, we were trying to get into North Africa and realized you had to buy your way in, so a carton of American cigarettes did the trick. Leaving North Africa, we got put in jail for being in the wrong place at the wrong time but bought our way out only to be in our van heading for the ferry back to Spain and we hit a cow on the side of the road. Had to buy our way out of that one. A very expensive trip to North Africa for a few hippy teenagers. Things to do on your bucket list? Go to England and see my beloved Manchester City play at home. Favourite saying? “That is absolutely phenomenal” and “That is absolutely diabolical.” What would people be surprised to know about you? I’m an introvert but have a very public presence, so I really have to work at it.
Jim Slomka
Jim Slomka is executive vice president of media strategy for Grocery Business.

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