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FoRWARD Frozen & Refrigerated Women Achieving Remarkable Distinction: Nicole Sopko Vp, Upton’s Naturals

Nicole Sopko

Vp, Upton’s Naturals

Sopko was the first non-production employee to join Upton’s Naturals 12 years ago and has played a key role in the company’s growth from a regional meat alternative supplier to a global brand that has expanded into center store as well. 

Vegan for the past 25 years, Sopko feels personally connected to her work and is committed to helping create a better world for people, animals and the planet. That dedication led to her role as a founding member of the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) seven years ago. She has served as PBFA president for the past two years, during which the group launched a sister organization — the Plant Based Foods Institute — that carries out research and supports and collaborates with plant-based trade associations around the globe.

Sopko believes that diversity is key to any organization’s success and that leadership teams that don’t include women, gender non-forming people, neurodivergent people, etc., are at a distinct disadvantage. Her advice for women in the frozen and refrigerated industry: “Embrace your impostor syndrome and let it guide you toward becoming a more collaborative, thoughtful and introspective leader.”

Denise Leathers

Denise Leathers

Denise is the Editorial Director for Frozen & Refrigerated Buyer.

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