Procurement Powerhouse Amanda Prochaska on Her Career and the Secret to Finding More Opportunity

As national and global pandemic disruption continues, women across the chain are finding new approaches and strategies to support businesses in uncovering a path to the next normal. These trailblazers are building back with a focus on the future. At Let’s Talk Supply Chain, we understand the importance of women harnessing our collective power to shape a more diverse, accepting industry landscape and professional community.

Because when women empower each other they make a meaningful impact—opening doors and breaking status quos and dated gender roles. At Let’s Talk Supply Chain we’re committed to doing our part every month. We’re honored to highlight powerhouse women supply chain executives and their bold movement in building a more inclusive and resilient supply chain community.

In our Women In Supply Chain™ series, we introduce the women who are conquering the supply chain now and what they’re doing next. We explore what and who inspires them and how they are creating positive change in their organizations, industry, and communities. Let’s Talk Supply Chain shares the challenges women supply chain leaders face that usually go unnoticed, their greatest leaps of faith, and the beginnings that led them to where they are today, leading organizations across the global supply chain.

In our Women In Supply Chain™ series, thought leaders across the industry from different backgrounds share their experience breaking glass ceilings and gender roles. They share helpful career advice and what they want future supply chain leaders to know about getting ahead. Read on for motivational stories, career advice, and expert guidance on breaking into the chain.

This month, we’re proud to feature Amanda Prochaska, founder, and chief wonder officer at Wonder Services, an engagement service that coaches and helps leaders hone their soft skills, personal brands, people-first leadership styles, and more. Amanda is also the Director of Operations at Snipitz, a software that enables attendees of live streams to choose camera angles for optimal event viewing. With nearly two decades in supply chain and procurement, Amanda boasts over a decade of leadership experience at leading brands including MGM Resorts, Kellogg, Kraft Heinz, and American Express.

How did you find yourself in procurement?

Procurement found me. I had no idea what it was and when perusing job postings, I saw a position for a “buyer” and thought, I like buying things. A week later, I had an interview. A day after the interview, I had the job. That was almost twenty years ago, and I have never looked back.

My career has been a series of adventures with the support of male and female champions alike. One of the best parts of procurement is getting involved in almost everything going on in the company. I took full advantage—leading large transformations, M&A, technology deployments, insourcing and outsourcing, process changes, change management, and more. Those opportunities sparked connections with some of the most amazing people, traveling the world, and led me to where I am now.

Through my organization, Wonder Services, I am supporting organizations with their change efforts as a consultant. I am also the Director of Operations at Snipitz, a live-event-experience startup.

Over the last two decades, what have you learned as a woman in a male-dominated industry?

I never invested energy or time focusing on being the only woman in the room, instead, I focused on listening and learning. I committed to giving my best possible work, serving others, and earning trust in key relationships. It’s been incredibly fulfilling to see more and more women succeeding in supply chain in and outside of work.

How have your mentors supported you throughout your professional adventures?

Yes, I’ve been fortunate to have several champions—female and male—throughout my career. These were never relationships that we officially labeled as mentorships. Instead, they were people who I grew to trust, who trust me and know me—my goals, aspirations, strengths, and weaknesses. So, they can represent me and advocate for me even if I’m not in the room.

Who motivates you and why?

I’m constantly impressed and inspired by all the women entrepreneurs I connect with and come across in Supply Chain. There are so many who are making a difference to support and grow our profession. They have helped me navigate my personal entrepreneurial journey like a guiding light.

When did you first find your voice as a procurement leader?

There have been many game-changing moments in my career that have helped me find my voice. One memory that stands out helped me find my voice and shape my leadership style for years to come. While attending a women’s conference a speaker said, “As a leader, if you aren’t spending a third of your time developing yourself, you will not be able to do the same for your team.” At the time, I was a new leader and mother, and I wasn’t spending any time on my personal professional development—zero! I started reading books, strategically taking speaking opportunities, writing and posting on LinkedIn, and networking more internally and externally. It empowered me to level up my leadership capabilities.

What have you learned on your procurement journey?

I’ve learned that motion creates opportunity. Don’t let any boxes from expectations of others or the ones you put yourself in limit you. Go do something new. Take an opportunity that feels beyond you—face the Imposter Syndrome head-on—go. Talk to someone new; tackle a dream or goal. Go do, whatever that means to you. You won’t regret it.

What other advice do you have for women entering the supply chain?

Enjoy the change, look for opportunities, and cherish the relationships that you cultivate in the process. We are living through a large transformation in supply chain right now. It’s one of the most exciting and challenging times to be in supply chain.

What does it mean to you to be featured in our Women In Supply Chain™ Series?

I am humbled to be included in the series. There are so many amazingly talented women in the supply chain—growing in ranks every day. Having opportunities to share experiences enables all of us to learn from each other and continue making strides. This series does that so effectively, I’m proud to be a part of that.

Meet Our Sponsor

This Women In Supply Chain™ feature was made possible by our sponsor, Apex Logistics. Apex Logistics International Inc is deeply rooted in diversity and culture, led by our own “Woman in Supply Chain” CEO, Elsie Qian; these values are why we partnered with Let’s Talk Supply Chain for the Women In Supply Chain™ series. Apex is recognized as one of the fastest-growing Top 25 airfreight forwarders in the world, with a network of over 2500 global employees in more than 70 countries.

About The Author:

Let's Talk Supply Chain Procurement Powerhouse Amanda Prochaska on Her Career and the Secret to Finding More Opportunity 1Naomi Garnice is the Director of Marketing for MicroAge where she leads the marketing team and creative strategy. Naomi has been a content marketer for 14 years and is passionate about creating engaging content that matters. Throughout her career in marketing for technology, healthcare and supply chain organizations, Naomi has advocated to highlight female thought leaders in male-dominated industries.

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