“You really don’t remember what your business results were on a certain brand 10 years ago. At the time it was all encompassing… but when I look back, what I do remember and what I hope people remember, is the way I impacted them, the way I made them feel. For most people, I’m the only Orthodox Jew they are ever going to meet or work fo, so making a kiddush Hashem is really at the essence of what I do.” Rena Nickerson is deliberate about modeling the values she values for her company and team. She is the General Manager at Quaker Canada, a division of PepsiCo Foods Canada, and she has had a successful career with many organizations including SodaStream, Church & Dwight, Kraft, Campbell, Colgate-Palmolive and Heinz. “I think I have been a positive influence. People have come to me and said they appreciated me being a boss. You need to do everything you can for the business, that’s our role, but what you remember is the human connections you made.”
Rena was the General Manager for 7 years at SodaStream – the largest Israeli consumer brand outside of Israel; their mandate of coexistence actualized as their products are“made by Jews and Arabs working side by side in peace and harmony,” proudly displayed on every sparkling water maker under an Israeli flag. “I would go to the factories and ask them ‘how is it really?’ And they said they ‘love it’, they make friends here they would never otherwise meet.”
Rena is Vice Chair of the board of Camp Moshava Ennismore; she was a former Vice President of Netivot and still sits on a Netivot board committee. “I grew up in a household in New York where Jewish community is at the center of what we do. The skills I developed professionally help me volunteer in the community, and that’s a small way of giving back to a community that has given me so much since I moved here 26 years ago.”
“I’ve grown personally through having a very fulfilling and interesting career… it has given my children a model of what it can look like when you’re able to balance Jewish and professional goals. I was only able to do this with my family’s support. I want people to think twice before they dismiss career aspirations. When a new position comes up I tell myself, ‘I can’t do it’, but my husband is in my corner and lists the reasons that I can. People overthink what they can and can’t do and create barriers for themselves sometimes. I want people to know they should go for it!”
Rena and Yehuda have 2 children, both Netivot graduates.