Time for a coffee break? Take a few minutes to get to know Angel Colón, Senior Director, Diversity and Inclusion, Multicultural Development and Supplier Inclusion at The Kroger Co., including his best career advice, advice for women entrepreneurs, and what drove him to a career in diversity and inclusion.

What do you see as the coolest or most important trend in your industry?

The variety of options that our customers have is, to me, the most important trend in our industry. Consumers can buy groceries in the store, order on-line for same-day delivery or ship to home and order on-line for pickup at the store. This growing trend forces us to continue to evolve and innovate. Also, healthier food options and international foods are cool growth trends that continue to impact our businesses.

What education/training programs should women entrepreneurs make sure to learn more about?

The Pitch training program that WBENC provides is second to none. I am very encouraged to see the WBEs well prepared when they present to us. It is obvious that WBENC has influenced their pitch and presentations.

Listen to and understand our corporation’s needs, meet our needs and offer a unique product or service. Ensure that that you follow though in every commitment you make.

What piece of advice would you give to women entrepreneurs that want to do business with your corporation?

Invest time in learning the company. Visit our website, our stores and your categories. Learn from other entrepreneurs that provide services or products to us. Connect our brains to our hearts by utilizing insights, showing confidence, passion and unique products. Listen to and understand our corporation’s needs, meet our needs and offer a unique product or service. Ensure that that you follow though in every commitment you make.

What drove you to a career in diversity and inclusion?

I experienced a change moment in my career in which I noticed that decisions were made about a specific ethnic group without having real in-culture knowledge about that group. Helping these leaders to address this group relevantly and experiencing positive results encouraged me to pursue a career in an area that I have a passion for and could make a difference in our company and communities.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

Be a lifetime learner and a servant leader.

What women inspire you?

My mother, my wife, Sonia Sotomayor, Wilma Rudolph and Joni Eareckson Tada.

How has being a WBENC Corporate Member helped your corporation and/or procurement department?

WBENC gives us access to an amazing group of women entrepreneurs and businesses. Furthermore, they have provided us with women-owned businesses that are well coached, trained and prepared to do business with us. Lastly, they have been great partners with our International Women’s Day initiatives.

What’s the best way to start your day?

Praying, listening to music (especially Latin) and running.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A Major League Baseball player.

How do you unwind after a long workday?

Spend time with my family and watch sports.

What do you like about your workspace?

I love the people that I work with, the unpredictability of each day, the lessons I learn, and helping the communities we serve.

Fill in the Blank

When I face a challenge, I… stop, pray, ask a lot of questions, listen a lot, find the root cause, and face it full speed ahead.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself… listen more (I have two ears and one mouth), learn more, laugh more, and love more.
The one thing I couldn’t live without is… my family.
Diversity and Inclusion inspires me because, … it brings us together and helps us belong.

THE KROGER CO.

At The Kroger Co., we are Fresh for Everyone and dedicated to our Purpose: To Feed the Human Spirit. We are, across our family of companies, nearly half a million associates who serve over 11 million customers daily through a seamless shopping experience. We are committed to creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025.

Learn more at TheKrogerCo.com

Author

Angel Colón
Senior Director, Diversity and Inclusion, Multicultural Development and Supplier Inclusion at The Kroger Co.

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