Supplier Woman of Distinction – Janet Trachter

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Janet TrachterWith years of sales and marketing experience, Janet Trachter says the early days in the industry can best be described as Mad Men meets Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. With an increasing number of women entering sales, “the decades-old tension of shifting gender roles was still palpable,” Trachter says. “Many men – and some women – experienced discomfort working alongside well-informed, authoritative females.”

While the balancing act is an ongoing challenge for many women across all industries, Trachter has clearly not let that hold her back. As the vice president of sales and marketing at Toronto-based Superex (asi/90231) for over five years, Trachter’s industry resumé dates back to 1978, including 18 years at Starline (asi/89213). She’s also a mother of three grown children, a published author and a member of the Counselor Hot 25. She says there are many contributing factors to her success, but the “master key has been my ability to make decisions.”

Trachter says she follows the conventional model of identifying the issue, gathering information, weighing alternatives and taking action. “While my ability for identifying details for implementation runs a close second, it’s my skill of intuitively cutting through all of the nonsense that I’ve most often called upon.”

Trachter credits her father Norman, who passed away in 2008, with instilling in her a strong work ethic, which she witnessed at a young age while working with him at his furniture store. “His mantra was (and epitaph is) ‘I Appreciate.’ His most powerful lessons were his pointers on how to live a happy and full life,” she says. “Honesty and appreciation were his daily front runners. He was always fair and kind. He showed respect and demanded it. He was the driving force behind my drive – pushing me to reach, applauding my success and then encouraging me to reach higher. And he loved to laugh. Every day these are my operating principles.”

To succeed in the industry today, Trachter says one has to have vision, flexibility and be aware of the changing landscape. “With globalization and opportunities for clients to source without using our industry, it’s critical for distributors and suppliers to work as partners to bring compliance, quality and reliability that a client can’t get on their own,” she says. “Superex’s recognition as a Top 10 Fastest Growing Supplier for the past three years is the result of providing a market ripe with an increasing awareness of safety, with products that offer a safety/utility blend, while making sure all standards are met.”

Trachter’s advice for women (or anyone) who strives to be a leader? “Be someone people will trust to take them where they want to go. Inspiring people to always be better requires that you communicate the mission clearly, add your passion to the process and demonstrate your commitment to the team. Always operate with integrity, express self-confidence and at all times, bring positive energy. Be inclusive, stimulating and nurturing. Throw in some humor and lots of appreciation, and remember that success is contagious – so be sure to share it.” – JC