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Destined to Market

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Cedric Moore

Sometimes it seems we are destined for a specific profession. For Promise Scholar Cedric Moore, his path into the food industry began while he was still a student at Kalamazoo Central High School. Also gifted with a creative mind, Moore was drawn to a career in marketing. When these two passions overlapped it sent Moore down his current career journey.

Following the announcement of The Kalamazoo Promise (The Promise) during his sophomore year of high school, Moore found the motivation to pursue his interests.

“Prior to The Promise’s announcement, I was on a bumpy academic path,” he revealed. “I really busted my butt during my senior year to make up the classes I had to retake and graduate on time. If I didn’t have the Promise, I probably wouldn’t have gone to college.”

After high school, Moore attended both Washtenaw Community College and Kalamazoo Valley Community College. While attending the latter, he learned of Western Michigan University’s (WMU) food marketing program and was immediately intrigued. After enrolling in the program, Moore quickly put his talents to work, leading several group projects that were at the top of his class. Additionally, he found an internship that would guide him toward his future career.

“At the annual Food Marketing Conference in Grand Rapids I had the chance to meet an HR recruiter and a vice president from Hormel Foods (Hormel),” Moore shared. “They wanted me to move forward with an internship opportunity with the Consumer Product Sales (CPS) analytics corporate team in Austin, Minn.

“At the end of the internship, I received an official offer for a Sales Representative position in Hormel’s CPS division once I graduated. I still had one semester of school remaining but already had a full-time job waiting.”

During his first 18 months at Hormel, Moore participated in a multi-phase training program.

“In phase one, I manage grocery stores around Minneapolis,” he said. “In phase two, I worked as an Associate Category Development Analyst for eight months. In phase three, I was promoted to Senior Sales Representative and shadowed a Customer Executive to learn how to implement sales strategies.”

At the program’s conclusion, he was promoted to Territory Manager and oversaw several warehouses owned and operated by SpartanNash. Within a year at this role, he was promoted to Customer Executive. Moore was also recognized by his alma mater, earning a spot on WMU’s Haworth College of Business “The 30” list, earning recognition as the “Commander of Creativity.”

The accolades haven’t stopped there, as Moore was awarded the 2021 Pride of the Jersey award by meeting Hormel’s corporate tenants. Specifically, he was recognized for hitting sales goals, leading the Hormel Corporate Mid-Day Connect Session celebrating Black History Month, creating a new name and logo for employee resource group Black Leader & Allies Advancing Cultural Knowledge (BLAACK), and developing Eye-Belong.

Now a Senior Customer Executive living in Charlotte, N.C. with his wife, two sons, and a daughter, Moore looks back on his professional journey with pride and preaches the importance of perseverance.

“School wasn’t always easy, but I kept going,” he admitted. “If you run into roadblocks, keep going. If you stay in your lane and work hard, good things usually happen.”

That is an intelligent way to approach life, Cedric. May your professional climb continue to be successful and exciting.

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