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FoRWARD Frozen & Refrigerated Women Achieving Remarkable Distinction: Debbie Radie Chief Operating Officer, Boardman Foods Recently Named Woma



Recently named Woman of the Year by the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI), Radie has a long history of service to the industry. She’s a member of the AFFI board of directors, past chair of the Food Northwest board of directors, and has held leadership positions on the food safety committees of both organizations. 

Radie has been at Boardman Foods for more than 32 years, playing a key role in its evolution from a small start up to a leading vegetable production facility. Among other career milestones, she designed and oversaw the expansion of the company’s ready-to-eat production facility in 2018. 

Although Radie is proud of her professional achievements, her real passion is supporting working families both at Boardman Foods and in her community. In fact, she helped establish a non-profit childcare center in 2021 during the peak of the COVID pandemic.

Radie believes that the compassion, care and concern women bring to the workplace can drive impactful change. “Walking in the shoes of others in my organization has helped me develop into a ‘servant leader,’” an approach that’s served her and her company well, she says. “With the workforce shortages facing our industry, it’s more important than ever to connect with team members and gain a deeper understanding of why employees choose to stay with the organization,” she explains. 

Radie also enjoys developing and coaching employees. “Seeing people I helped mentor at Boardman Foods over the past 30 years mature and progress in their careers gives me such joy,” she says.

Her advice to women who want to help their companies succeed: “Be a great listener and focus on the actions that will have the greatest impact on your organization and your community.” And to help themselves succeed: “Build your network by getting involved and engaging in committees that impact your industry and also allow you to grow.”

Denise Leathers

Denise Leathers

Denise is the Editorial Director for Frozen & Refrigerated Buyer.

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