Baking & Snack - December 2020 - 25

" I expect every employee to be part of what makes
the company successful, and I let them know that I'm
not just here to lead them, " she said. " I'm an active member of the team. "
Many leaders have general rules that are not to be
broken. For Ms. Watkinson, the main rule is that no one
is allowed to say, " It's not my job. "
" I personally have cleaned floors with the sanitation
department and crawled under equipment with the
maintenance department, " she said. " It really means
something for employees to know I'm working beside
them and supporting them as much as they support me. "
That's why creating a culture of respect at Aladdin
Bakers is important to her.
" Aladdin is like a family, " Ms. Watkinson explained.
" People are connected to each other. Everyone's success and job depend on the success of the person next to
them, so they support each other. That's the best quality
on the production floor. "

A never-ending journey
Mr. Guzzi, another mentor and the company's CFO for
more than 25 years, has also taught her the ins and outs
of the baking industry.
" Don is a lot more like me than Joe is, " Ms. Watkinson
explained. " We think similarly in that we're analytical in
the same way. We just feed off each other. Don's best trait
is attention to detail. He wants everything to be perfect,
and he gets pretty close. "
Other mentors include Mr. Flores, who taught her
about the fundamentals of baking; Wendy Perez, customer service manager, and Luis Esquivel, the bakery's
chief engineer who showed her the nuts and bolts of the
equipment throughout the facility. He was mentored by
the late Arkadi Karachun, who was a long-time anchor
of the operation holding almost every position, from
maintenance to plant manager.
" I'm coming into this baking industry with little or no
experience, so I'm pulling little pieces from a bunch of
different people, " she said.
In the months ahead, there are still many challenges in
across the nation, even as Baking & Snack conducted this
interview in late October.
" Nothing will be the same after this year, " Ms. Watkinson
observed. " We look at everything differently. Just this week,
the infection rates are rising again. We're a 'hot spot.' We're
in the yellow zone on 25th Street, and on 36th Street starts
the red zone. There is no orange in between. It's still scary,
but everything we put in place since the start is going to
help us going forward. I really believe that. "
Yes, nothing is normal in Brooklyn these days, but
Aladdin Bakers is now better prepared than ever for
whatever comes next.

*
www.bakingbusiness.com / December 2020 Baking & Snack 25


http://www.dhenryandsons.com

Baking & Snack - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack - December 2020

Baking & Snack - December 2020 - 1
Baking & Snack - December 2020 - 1
Baking & Snack - December 2020 - 2
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