Life at PepsiCo

Building the next generation of

aminta price Aminta Price
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Find out how PepsiCo Foods North America is creating a dynamic mix of new and seasoned voices to take their company forward.

Aminta Price author

Aminta Price

Vice President of the West Region

This might be a funny way to start this off, but here goes… When I was first approached about joining PepsiCo Foods North America (PFNA), I politely declined. I had just been promoted to a new role at my old company, and I wasn’t ready to leave. So, they gently followed up. Would I just have a coffee meeting? Just meet someone for breakfast? They started a conversation and kept coming back. 

That tells you a lot about PFNA’s belief in building the next generation of leaders. When they zero in on talent, they don’t walk away.

I joined PFNA as a Regional Sales Director in 2016, it was a big move for me and actually reminded me a bit of coming to this country.

I was just 17 years old in 1998, when I boarded a plane in my home country of Panama and flew to the U.S. to study chemical engineering. I didn’t know any one and I was sad to be leaving behind my family, my friends and my favorite dish of arroz con pollo — though I’ve never regretted it.

When I joined PFNA, I was no longer a nervous 17-year-old girl, but I was once again taking a bold step into a big new place. I knew it was the right move because through those coffee chats and meetings with senior leaders, I got a glimpse of the people and culture at PFNA.

The first thing I could see was how our frontline is the beating heart of our business, and that brings a humbleness throughout the organization. Every day, you are surrounded by high-caliber talent and, yet, there’s this feeling of family and friendly faces wherever you go.

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Some of our amazing team members out in the field.

Next, you realize how invested PFNA is in making sure that our leadership is not only filled with seasoned associates — who might have started out delivering bags of Fritos and Cheetos — but brings in people like me with diverse perspectives and different backgrounds and then sets them up for success.

PFNA is not a company that throws you in a pool and sees how well you can swim; it makes sure that you have the support and development to never be afraid to dive in.

And how do we do that? My favorite example is our Zone Sales Leader Designate Program. The program recruits and trains people to be Zone Sales Directors, a position that not only manages our integral frontline and develops new talent; they test out new innovations in the market and find new ways to deliver for our customers. I have the privilege of managing multiple Zone Sales Directors, and I don’t tell them to just go and execute — I encourage and empower them to drive the business further.

It’s an integral role at PFNA and a sweet spot for bringing new and diverse leaders into the organization. So, our recruiters seek out rising stars in the sales field and from the military to be our next Zone Leaders. Then we pay them to just get trained.

For months, we invest time and resources to train them on the DNA of our company and the daily demands of the role. They’re on trucks at 2 a.m. running delivery routes with our frontline drivers, meeting HR leads over coffee to talk about hiring processes and shadowing Zone Sales Directors during the day to learn all the ins and outs of the job. It’s demanding, but our designates are like sponges taking in every moment.


Our CEO Steven Williams is unapologetic about setting the company up for success.

Aminta Price

Vice President of the West Region

But the program doesn’t just educate designates on the DNA of the company — it also empowers them to bring their fresh perspectives into the ranks of our leadership. It allows them to use their own diverse backgrounds to challenge our status quo and say, “Hey, let’s try something new!” And that’s the culture of change that has propelled our company forward from our very roots.

Our CEO Steven Williams is unapologetic about setting the company up for success. And he’s focused on making sure we have that right mix of new and seasoned voices to take the company to the next level. He knows we need to embrace our history, but also have the courage to transform so we can build that next generation of leadership.

As for me, I’ve never regretted taking that chance and joining PFNA. There are so many days I wish I could go back and let that nervous 17-year-old girl clutching her plane ticket see the leader she would become. I know she’d be surprised, but I think she’d also be incredibly proud.