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The If List

Ashley McPhee, Procurement Category Director; Bananas, Tropical, and Melons, Loblaw Companies Ltd

Say a word like “challenge” around Ashley McPhee, and her response: accepted. Working for the Canadian powerhouse Loblaw aligns with Ashley’s deep desire to grow and evolve the retail space through progressive strategies, mentorship, and an unwavering desire to help impact fresh produce for the better. She lives in the realm of possibility with no dream too long of a shot. So, what better way to see where her passion and reflection take her commitment to accepting challenges than with a few IFs to shake up her day? While, in reality, her answers were a welcomed gift to mine...


IF you had to choose one song to be the soundtrack of your year, what would it be?

“Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake—always gets me amped up before a big presentation or to play a baseball or volleyball game.

IF you moved to a different city, what three (any three, from anywhere) restaurants would you take with you?

Mr. Sub. Crazy Carrot. Chuck’s—they have a CAD $9 burger and fries and $4 pints.

IF you could imagine yourself in a different industry or role, what would it be?

Professional sports coach or gym teacher. I don’t know if it would compare to the pace of the produce industry, but I think it would be challenging and engaging.

IF you had a crystal ball and could see into the future regarding only one thing, what would it be?

The impact of climate change. If more people understood what is at risk, we would make the necessary changes in behaviors.

IF you were to find yourself in a zombie apocalypse, what is one talent you have that would help you survive?

The ability to lead others through uncertainty. I also think, because I’m a sailor, I am prepared for many situations that could be equally as scary, such as the unpredictability of Mother Nature. Cue the climate change concern.

IF you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you bring?

A portable desalination device, an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), and a fishing pole.

IF you could redo one moment or event in your life, which one would you choose and why?

It’s tough to top giving birth to a child and becoming a first-time parent. In my situation, 32 hours of labor ending in an emergency C-section made for a memorable experience. The highs and lows have stuck with me.

IF you were another species in the animal kingdom, what would you be?

A bird for its ability to fly to faraway places in impressive migratory patterns. I also think the ability to walk on land, fly in the sky, and swim in the sea offers the unique ability to adapt to many different situations.

IF you could enhance one aspect of your intelligence, what part would you want to enhance?

Emotional intelligence. A big part of who I am and how I show up depends on this, so this level of intelligence is integral to continuing to develop in all our relationships. It is the one driving factor between success and failure.

IF you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Don’t worry about the things you cannot change—focus on the things you can.The Snack Endstop