“There will never be the right time unless you make the time right. Dive in. It’s never too late to help!”
That’s the message Andrew Wilcox, logistics director at Ardent Mills would share with any of his colleagues who are considering volunteering with PFS. Andrew himself first heard of PFS about six years ago but hesitated about getting involved due to other work commitments. In the first thirteen years of his career, he worked in operations, before moving into supply chain in 2020. Motivated by the idea of sharing his expertise to positively impact the food system in other countries, Andrew finally decided that there would really never be a “perfect time” and committed to volunteer with PFS.
For about a year, Andrew has volunteered as a Client Lead (project manager) with Winnie's Pure Health, a female-led food processor in Kenya that strives to provide high quality, healthy food products like baby porridge flours, maize, millet and wheat flour to its consumers across East Africa. As the Client Lead, Andrew supervised the project teams, managed project timelines, and acted as a point of contact for the volunteer teams and client. Together, they have supported Winnie's Pure Health on several projects including a packaging solutions project for blended flour, food safety and quality assessment of flour and an alternative ingredients project.
“It has been a new experience for me as the topics and projects we worked on with Winnie’s largely fell outside of my areas of expertise. However, this allowed me to hone my skills in asking insightful questions to create clarity in these areas.” Andrew’s favorite part of serving as a Client Lead has been interacting with a different culture while trying to help them succeed with performance and innovation. Andrew also noted that the Client Lead role has refined his ability to coordinate and steer discussions and reinforced the importance of setting clear objectives. “l have learned a lot, not only about our client, but about myself during this period of volunteering. It has definitely been rewarding”.