A Personal Share from our CCO, Nick Ryan
No one said there’d be days like this....
I have never experienced in a career spanning different geographies, what I’ve experienced in just over 12 months, working with Proform Foods.
If I’m honest, every morning, I get up with more enthusiasm than I have ever had in my working life. While I enjoyed my time working in corporate, and learnt a lot, working in a family-owned scale-up is a different beast altogether. The best I can describe it, is like riding a roller coaster with a blindfold...you experience the ups and downs, don’t necessarily see it coming though wow...what a ride!
A few years ago, I was lucky enough to attend Stanford to complete a management training course. It was an totally inspiring week and re-ignited my entrepreneurial spirit. I then studied Entrepreneurship Acceleration at Wharton last year to help “re-wire” the business brain. This, combined with a couple of close friends who kept pushing me to make a career change to something more entrepreneurial, led me to meet Stephen and Matt Dunn.
So why did I do it? It comes down to two things for me:
It’s a real privilege to be involved at such a time; it is one of the most exciting categories to be in, in the world.
The impact is multifaceted for me. I honestly feel like I am having a direct effect in this industry, in this market and this business right now. I believe in what the Dunn family set out to do nearly 15 years ago, entrepreneurship exemplified, and I can see the impact this category can have on the lives of so many. I feel energised myself by the impact I can have in helping shape this and our businesses future, along with growing the Proform Foods team. It’s a real privilege to be involved at such a time; it is one of the most exciting categories to be in, in the world.
It has been a steep learning curve in understanding the food industry and the ways of working; my listening skills have improved! Though equally, I feel like I’m able to bring a fresh perspective and apply my skills gained in the corporate world to help set this business and category up for success. In the years to come when I reflect on this chapter of my life, I’ll remember the best classroom I’ve sat in, in Stephen’s car for the 90 minute work commute every day where we discussed the business, the challenges and the opportunities with Matt on speaker. These moments in time were invaluable and gave me greater insight into the essence of ProForm Foods.
It’s something that Proform Foods obsesses over, the nutritional value of our products though not at the expense of great taste.
In addition to impact and on a more personal note, I am incredibly passionate about health in body & and mind. That leads me to the second reason why I have ventured into this area - buy-in. I buy into what this category can do for people, the ease and convenience it will provide in giving people easy, enjoyable options for healthy choices. It’s something that Proform Foods obsesses over, the nutritional value of our products though not at the expense of great taste. I’m enjoying our products and seeing and tasting what great people in the food industry are doing with them.
I’ve been on my own food journey with one of my daughters, who has actively made her own choice to transition from a meat diet. She has educated me on the ethical reasons why she made her decision, and this learning in itself has been invaluable in my journey in the plant based category.
I was once given a piece of advice...” every day is a school day”, and I totally subscribe to this, embracing what every day at Proform Foods and working with our partners brings. This category has such a fantastic trajectory, and the ability to make a meaningful impact on people and the planet, it’s exciting to be a part of it.
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