Meet Lauren Hafner

Lauren is Senior Manager of Commercial Finance, recently promoted to Director of Procurement Finance at Refresco North America.

I am based in Tampa, Florida and I lead the Commercial Finance Retail Team for North America. My team and I are responsible for all pricing activity for the North America retail business. This includes establishing pricing for new business opportunities, evaluating margins and profitability on current products and understanding commodity fluctuations and impact to our bottom line.

"There’s a fluidity here that encourages people to move outside their comfort zone and embrace the opportunities available to them."

- Lauren Hafner, Senior Manager, Commercial Finance, Refresco North America

It’s Friday in the office, which means that the majority of my team is wearing Hawaiian shirts. It’s something we started a while back (I can’t take any of the credit for this idea!) and while it might seem a bit trivial, it’s something our team loves and values.

In many ways, that sums up the work environment really well. For most of the week we have a laser-like focus, but by donning our Friday attire, we’re reminded that there’s always room for a bit of personality. In fact, it’s hugely beneficial to our productivity. These little things create a fun and stimulating work environment that inspires us to be creative and think outside of the box. It is also a reminder to each of us that while we have important goals to accomplish individually, we are one unified team! Together, we are greater than we would be individually: 1+1=3.

I firmly believe that a positive and team-oriented work environment makes for a productive work life. Part of that means that the office here in Tampa is set out in a semi-open plan way in cubes, and our commercialization team has integrated seating by working group as opposed to job function. By swiveling our chairs around we can catch up with each other quickly and easily. Being able to communicate easily is the very bedrock of our success.

One thing I value most about working for Refresco is that opportunities really are - as our value statement declares - endless. Just as the office is organized more democratically than most, so too is the company not constrained by the kind of hierarchical structures you might find elsewhere. There’s a fluidity here that encourages people to move outside their comfort zone and embrace the opportunities available to them.

 I’ve benefited from the mentoring and support from those more senior than me here, and now I’m pleased to be able to offer the same kind of support to my direct reports. Part of this means that we’re constantly identifying people’s potential, not just their performance. If someone feels they’d be able to realize their potential in a different role, and we agree, we’ll make it happen. Individual contributions are only going to happen if the opportunities are there. Luckily this is the right environment for that. I’m not saying that Hawaiian shirts give us superpowers, but they definitely add something...