Scala Participant: Renee Frisina
We spoke to past participants, mentors, and partners to find out what made their Scala experience special to them. This message was sent in from Renee Frisina, Marketing Manager, Ontario Wines, Destination Collection & Gifting, Marketing & Customer Intelligence, at the LCBO, who is a past participant from our Take the Lead program.
My name is Renée Frisina and I am a Marketing Professional. It’s my responsibility to plan, create and implement highly engaging promotions and develop strategic marketing plans based on research and analysis, consumer insights, and trends that deliver measurable sales results and customer engagement.
My passion for storytelling can be traced back to my youth. Whether as a member of my high school’s drama club or through the expression of a creative writing class, I was always intrigued about the influence that language and expression had on our perceptions and interpretation of the ever changing community around us. This passion led me to pursue a career that involved creative communication; in marketing I found my calling.
I take pride in being a versatile marketing professional with years of integrated experiential and customer facing marketing knowledge in retail and brand development. My expertise is in retail marketing, content development, brand building, event management, and strategic planning.
What made you want to be part of the leadership program?
What drew me to the leadership program was the opportunity to engage with others that were in pursuit of professional and personal growth. I am drawn to experiences that will allow me to learn and develop and to meet like-minded females who are investing in themselves; this program presented that opportunity and delivered to my expectations.
The opportunity to join the leadership program is one that I am so thankful for, as it was recommended to me by one of my leaders. In the short time that I have been on her team, she has inspired me with her innovative thinking, passion, strength and open leadership style. I aspire to be as gracious of a leader as I grow professionally and the investment of me in the Leadership Development Program is a step in a positive direction.
What was one significant thing you learned?
A significant thing that I learned from the Leadership Development Program is how I identified with the five critical leadership competencies. Through the discussion with both the mentors and my peers, I was able to recognize specific strengths that I had but also able to see my limitations and what I needed to be aware of to be a better leader. I could apply this to my management style right away and I have noticed a significant difference in how I react to a situation and how I am using the knowledge to change what used to hinder me into a positive growth experience. I am continuing to appreciate this learning as it is an ongoing development and I am seeing results in how my team reacts to the adjustment in my approach or delivery.
A lot of people are nervous about sharing work (or life) challenges with strangers – did the environment of this program help you do that?
One of the most valuable and surprising elements of this program was the sincere and authentic relationships that were formed with both the mentors and my fellow participants. From the onset, the group was engaged and although I was with people who I had never met, I felt calm and able to share my truths and personal challenges that I was facing, not only in my growth as a leader, but personally.
Christina creates an environment that is trusting and without judgement. The material and format of the first session, when we engaged with both our mentors and peers, almost immediately allowed you to open up and be honest with yourself and express your identification of how you related to the leadership competencies. This environment of trust continued throughout the other two sessions and allowed me to walk away with such respect and trust in my mentors and with lasting professional and personal relationships with my peers.
What would you tell a colleague about this course?
I would highly recommend this program. Christina places careful and strategic thought into the material of the program, given her expertise, which I found to be extremely valuable. The relationships that I formed have provided fantastic professional connections, which have proven valuable following the program and even more so, have allowed for friendships to form. The program allowed me to engage and meet professional women who demonstrated strength and potential, helped me to understand my qualities as a leader and what I needed to work on in order to secure and reach my growth potential. Overall, it was an experience that I will cherish and value as I continue to step forward in my career and strive to build the perfect picture of the leader I want to be.