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GSCW chat recap: Zeta Smith on leadership during a pandemic

‘Over 600,000 letters sent to senior communities across the country’

Zeta Smith of Sodexo

This fireside chat recap is from Day 3 of FreightWaves Global Supply Chain Week. Day 3 focuses on food and consumer packaged goods.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Leadership in the midst of a pandemic

DETAILS: Zeta Smith and FreightWaves’ Anthony Smith discuss how the pandemic has created new challenges for leaders. They also talk about the specific challenges senior communities have faced in terms of sourcing personal protective equipment and changing the way they operate to keep residents safe.

SPEAKER: Smith, CEO of North American seniors division at Sodexo

BIO: Smith is the CEO of the seniors division in North America at Sodexo. With less than a year under her belt at Sodexo, she heads the seniors program, which provides dining and cleaning services to senior communities across the country. She has experience in business and crisis management, which helped her navigate the pandemic.


“When the pandemic hit, we [went] from open dining rooms, to now we have to deliver food safely. I think that implementing quick safety protocols, getting the personal protective equipment and all of those challenges certainly [were] important to make sure we took care of our senior residents.”

“Going through a crisis that was so ambiguous and really scary, as a leader, you need to make sure that people care.”

“One of the biggest challenges since this pandemic for senior communities has been resident isolation. Many of these residents haven’t had an ability to leave their rooms or see their families because of COVID. We actually partnered with Girl Scouts USA, and we did a letter writing campaign.”

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Alyssa Sporrer.

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Alyssa Sporrer

Alyssa is a staff writer at FreightWaves, covering sustainability news in the freight and supply chain industry, from low-carbon fuels to social sustainability, emissions & more. She graduated from Iowa State University with a double major in Marketing and Environmental Studies. She is passionate about all things environmental and enjoys outdoor activities such as skiing, ultimate frisbee, hiking, and soccer.