Jessica Campbell wishes she could gather up at least a couple of her team members and put them inside the jersey she recently received.
“It was wonderful to receive the jersey, but I wanted to squeeze two people in with me because it really is a team effort,” she says. A 2XL, the shirt “is probably big enough to do that,” Jessica says, laughing.
Jessica was the first member of the consumer product sales group (Mueller’s team) to receive the Pride of the Jersey prize, a hockey-style shirt given to members of the Hormel Foods team who typify the company’s values. The senior account executive represents meat, grocery and the Hormel Foods Hispanic business, working with Safeway from her home base of San Francisco.
Her reluctance to take credit for her accomplishments is one of the reasons she emerged as the logical choice for the jersey. Yet, according to her manager, Scott Leathers, her humility is far from her only attribute. Jessica’s results speak for themselves.
“Our first Pride of the Jersey recipient, Jessica Campbell, has a long history of taking a true strategic approach to her business. She always goes above and beyond when planning her northern California Safeway business and is not afraid to take strategic risks and challenge herself in order to move the needle,” Scott says, citing a recent 25 percent increase in baseline dollar sales of La Victoria® salsa and sauces as a result of Jessica’s approach to the business.
Nothing I do on this business is me alone. I work with my team on everything.Jessica Campbell
Jessica is moving toward the 20-year mark with Hormel Foods. She came to the company fresh out of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Her assignments put her in Kansas City, Chicago, Denver and now, California, where she has fallen in love with the region’s abundance of good weather. It’s an ideal spot for the Campbells. Indeed, Jessica characterizes her family of four—husband, Greg; and kids, Jacob, 14; and Sarah, 13—as outdoor enthusiasts.
“We appreciate the weather and take full advantage of it,” she says.
Jessica also is grateful for her longevity and experience with the company. She believes the latter benefits her daily.
“I think I’ve been around a long time, so there’s an efficiency to my work that allows me to approach things in a strategic way. Over time, that’s helped me the most. I can look at a business and know where we can make changes to improve it,” she says.
And without skipping a beat, she adds a healthy dose of her trademark team approach.
“Nothing I do on this business is me alone. I work with my team on everything.”
Given her mentality, it should come as no surprise that Jessica’s fellow employees have transcended the co-worker relationship.
“The people are the best part of my job,” she says. “It’s like a big family. Sales meetings are more like family reunions. Everyone getting together and catching up. I think that’s rare.”
Jessica’s appreciation of her colleagues no doubt received a booster shot when she fell ill several years ago. Active and fit, no one expected her to succumb to a serious cardiac episode that put her out of work for six months. Though she is still searching for answers about her condition, she has since returned to work, more committed than ever to the company and team that allowed her to “step away” when she needed to and return when she could.
It’s a part of her story she doesn’t share widely. But on this day, Jessica is making an exception.
“I want people to know what kind of a place Hormel Foods is.”
Pride of the Jersey is a yearlong effort to celebrate the culture, the people and the purpose of Hormel Foods. Inspired People. Inspired Food.™