Meet Erin Bonovetz
Erin is the Senior Vice President, OTC, of Perrigo Company’s Consumer Self-Care Americas business. Prior to her current role, she held positions of increasing responsibility within the Business Development and Marketing functions at the Company. Her Perrigo career started with the Category Management team, and she has spent her entire 18-year career within the OTC industry. In addition, Erin serves as President of the Board of Directors of Safe Harbor Children’s Advocacy Center of Allegan & Barry County.
We had an opportunity to talk with Erin about leadership.
What does leadership mean to you?
When I was asked this question a couple years back it really made me stop and think. What does leadership mean to me? And instead of me scripting what I thought of as leadership, which would have inherently been text book worthy, I actually asked those around me to articulate what it is about me that makes them believe in me as their leader. And that was when the “fundamental behaviors of Erin as a leader” were born.
It was more important to me that how I behaved, interacted and communicated completely aligned with the words on a piece of paper. So, the six words I use to describe leadership are: passionate, committed, inspirational, empowering, respectful and team focused. I intentionally do not use the phrases “results oriented” or “performance driven.” These are outcomes of the foundation and culture a leader builds alongside the right vision and strategy.
Who has influenced your idea of leadership?
My mom has been the single biggest influencer on molding me into the leader I am today. My mom overcame so many obstacles in her life mainly due to her tenacity and coupled with 1% stubbornness on refusing to not achieve her life goals. She achieved professional success by having a 30-year career in education then creating her own consulting company to help struggling school districts improve test scores associated with mandated tests. She led a life full of love and compassion for others. I have “sisters” all over the world because every exchange student she and my dad hosted became a “daughter” of theirs and then a sister of mine.
And lastly, despite beating cancer three times, she passed away from complications due to a brain tumor in the fall of 2019. But not before her and my dad had the opportunity to see the world together. My mom led her life to the fullest every day, never wanting to have regrets for what she didn’t do, but having memories for all the things she did do. That’s how I try to live my life as a leader. To not think about what we can’t do, but think about all we can do together.
Why do we need more women in leadership roles? What unique qualities do women bring to the workplace?
Empathy and perspective. Two characteristics I believe add tremendous value to both business vision & strategy. Empathy enables us to relate to a diverse group of people and/or situations while perspective provides us the ability to look through the lens of another before coming to a conclusion. And as a side note, all working moms should have the title VP of Logistics based on the work and home schedules they manage!
How are you leading in your career or community?
Around 10 years ago, I started volunteering at Safe Harbor Children’s Advocacy Center to help them in a marketing capacity related to expanding their donor base and fundraising collateral. Ten years later, I am more involved with the agency than ever as Board President and just recently kicked off our first ever Capital Campaign. The money raised from the campaign will be used to complete a major construction project, thanks to the generosity of the Perrigo Company through the donation of a building, that will enable us to better serve the child victims of abuse and neglect in Allegan and Barry Counties through added resources and services.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Have a group of women you can rely on for anything, both personally or professionally. I have a couple of very dear girlfriends I talk to almost every week that are my mental and emotional lifeline. We talk about everything from work, to what our kids did this week to get in trouble, to what vacations we are planning to what wine we are drinking. Sometimes it’s 30-minutes, sometimes it’s well into 90-minutes, but we are always there to support each other – whether it’s decompressing after a long week at work or celebrating our kids doing their homework without being asked 10 times.
What are your social media handles?
What is the best way for someone to contact you?
Email as the primary – Erin.firstname.lastname@example.org