President and Chief Executive Officer, Vita-Mix Corporation
When Barb Brown and Margie Flynn set out to commemorate the 20th anniversary of BrownFlynn, their Cleveland-based corporate sustainability and governance consulting firm, they embarked on a book project that sought to give further voice to women leaders.
In their recently published book,Uplifting Leaders* (*Who Happen to be Women), the co-authors capture insights and stories of 25 of the nation’s most accomplished and influential women in business on how they empower and uplift others as they seek to progress in their lives and careers.
The diverse spectrum of leaders who share their candid insights and advice include Jodi L. Berg, a fourth-generation president and chief executive officer of Vita-Mix Corporation (Vitamix), a family-owned manufacturer and world leader of high-performance blenders for the consumer and commercial foodservice markets.
In the book, Jodi shares a series of leadership lessons, including being true to one’s core values, finding passion through purpose, and the importance of listening.
On the principle of listening, she says: “If I’m going to uplift people, to inspire them to discover how they can make a difference on the planet, I have to listen to them to learn who they are and what they respond to. Only then can I help them discover that knowledge in themselves.”
After a successful career in the hospitality industry, Jodi joined Vitamix with a directive to lead its overseas expansion. The company’s products, designed and assembled in Northeast Ohio, are now available in more than 140 countries around the world, and the organization received the nation’s highest export recognition—the President’s “E Star” Award—in 2014.
She also led Vitamix’s household and commercial divisions before becoming president and chief executive officer. Under her leadership, Vitamix revenue has grown by more than 300 percent, and the number of employees and sales representatives has more than tripled.
Jodi won the EY National Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Family Business category for creating a global brand, transforming the organizational structure of the company, and leading the creation and implementation of a value-based and laser-focused culture.
Statement from the most senior decision-maker of the organization about relevance of sustainability to the organization and the organization’s strategy for addressing sustainability
Name of the organization
Primary brands, products, and services
Location of organization’s headquarters
Number of countries where the organization operates, and names of countries with significant operations or that are specifically relevant to the sustainability topics covered in the report
Nature of ownership and legal form
Scale of the reporting organization
Total workforce by employment type, employment contract, and region, broken down by gender
Percentage of total employees covered by collective bargaining agreements
Description of the organization’s supply chain
Significant changes during the reporting period regarding organization's size, structure, ownership, or supply chain
Whether and how the precautionary approach or principle is addressed by the organization
Externally developed economic, environmental, and social charters, principles, or other initiatives to which the organization subscribes or endorses
Memberships in associations and/or national/international advocacy organizations
Entities included in the organization consolidated financial and nonfinancial reports
Process for defining report content
Material aspects identified in the process for defining report content
For each material aspect, the aspect boundary within the organization
For each material aspect, the aspect boundary outside the organization
Explanation of the effect of and reasons for any restatements of information provided in earlier reports
Significant changes from previous reporting periods in the scope and aspect boundaries
List of stakeholder groups engaged by the organization
The basis for identification and selection of stakeholders with whom to engage
The organization’s approach to stakeholder engagement, including frequency of engagement by type and by stakeholder group, and an indication of whether any of the engagement was undertaken specifically as part of the report preparation process
Key topics and concerns that have been raised through stakeholder engagement, and how the organization has responded to those key topics and concerns, including through its reporting. Report the stakeholder groups that raised each of the key topics and concerns
Date of most recent previous report
Contact point for questions regarding the report or its contents
‘In accordance’ option and GRI Content Index
Policy and current practice with regard to seeking external assurance for the report
Governance structure of organization, including committees of the highest governance body
The organization’s values, principles, standards, and norms of behavior such as codes of conduct and codes of ethics
Disclosure on Management Approach for Aspect
Coverage of the organization’s defined benefit plan obligations.
Financial assistance received from government.
Significant indirect economic impacts, including the extent of impacts.
Total number and rates of new employee hires and employee turnover by age group, gender and region.
Average hours of training per year per employee, by gender and by employee category.
Percentage of employees receiving regular performance and career development reviews, by gender and by employee category.