Meet Leila Radi, the facilitator

Tell us about yourself

Hum… Let’s begin (I have copied Fareed Zacharia from CNN, he starts every show with these 3 words, I find that this allows me to ease into any topic).  

You are starting with a tough question, I am the one who usually starts a training class with this question, OK then, I consider myself a “facilitator”, why? Well, the regulation is written, and my role is to assist others interpret and understand those words and especially open their eyes on how they can apply it to what they do as it is meant.

How would describe your professional career?

I feel very lucky as the last 30 years (still feeling young) have been full of challenges, learning experiences and the best part has been sharing knowledge and participate in training the new generation

Can you tell us about a time where you encountered a business challenge?

I have to say (with a smile) that I have encountered one specific challenge many times over.  I sometimes work with people who instead of learning to comply with food safety regulation they literally focus on challenging it and are not open to understand the results of years of research.  In these moments, it is nearly impossible to transfer knowledge and be a facilitator.  

Which supporting skills do you think are most important when it comes to leadership?

A leader must inspire, share a vision and be able to choose the people who will make a project happen.  A leader needs to be a very good listener and push others to find the best of themselves and bring it into any project. 

What steps do you take to make sure that projects are completed on time, on budget, and to the proper standard?

I spend a lot of time thinking about the project before even writing a word.  I also start planning/identifying the final result I want to achieve and I put together an executive summary of the whole project.  I always brainstorm on loose white paper and in pencil because I usually erase and re-write everything at least once. I do collage to put the ideas in order and only when it is clear in my mind, I am able to get into it and that is actually the easiest part.

What are you passionate about?

Ha ha so many things!  Professionally I am so happy when I feel I am able to transmit in a meaningful way information that the audience understands and will be able to use and teach others.  In other words, I am passionate about people and how knowledge and information can help develop so much growth. Personally, I love running as this is the moment where I do most of my thinking and problem solving and nobody interrupts me.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In 5?  not retired for sure ha ha, I see myself still sharing the knowledge I have learned over the last 30 years whether it is in the regulatory and compliance food safety field or experiences dealing with so many different food products and different people.  The industry world is fascinating, I would like to spend more time in an academic setting.  One thing for sure I will still be taking classes to learn more and more.

How do you see the food industry?

I now prefer to talk about the Food World because there is so much for and even beyond the industry.  The Food World is expanding so fast and with the internet exponentially.  There are so many different topics relating to food, from food safety to food defense, sustainability to genetically modified, there is a topic for everyone.  In my field of food safety and quality, it is the first requirement to enter this world, no matter what the product is and over the last 10 to 20 years, voluntary improvements and investments to reach those goals have been phenomenal.  Today food is not only for the stomach, but it is also so much more and the food industry has adapted very well and has been very innovative.

The foodeshow in 2 words

Mind feeding!

Your advice to the foodeshow community

Learn about what you want to know but take the time afterwards to learn about everything the show brings you, especially that you still have weeks and weeks where you can see videos connect with people and open your horizons

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