MEMbER pRoFilE On the BOard peter higgins' years of experience and expertise benefitting rcc members Purdys president, Peter Higgins, visiting a West African cocoa farm as part of the company's sustainable initiative. hE's passionate. He's a leader. He's a chocolate scientist. And he's Treasurer on Retail Council of Canada's (RCC) Board of Directors. Since 1998, Peter Higgins has been building teams at Purdys to ensure its customers receive fantastic chocolates, incredible experience and great value. He's served as the company's COO since 2007 and President since 2012. And during that time his superior leadership has enhanced the robust chocolatier culture at Purdys-culture that's evident when speaking to anyone at the company. Under Higgins' leadership, Purdys has been acclaimed and has been recognized for Chocolate recipe invention and creation. The company has won many chocolate competitions including multiple year awards as Top Truffle at Canada's National Baking and Sweet Show. Higgins has also led Purdys' Cocoa Sustainability initiatives and is proud to guarantee that all Purdys Chocolate is purchased only through Sustainable Farms, ensuring the improvement of the livelihoods of West African farmers. During his time with the company, Higgins has also helped Purdys achieve "Top 50 Best Companies to Work for in Canada" six times and has been instrumental in the company's recognition as one of the "Best Managed Companies in Canada"! Leading a team of more than 800 in 72 chocolate shops, Higgins continues to move the company forward. It's Higgins' experience and expertise that helps Purdys enjoy such a success. And it's his vision and inspiration that helps keep Retail Council of Canada heading in the right direction as Treasurer of the association's Board of Directors. 10 | canadian REtailER | Summer 2015 GEt to know pEtER hiGGins candid questions from Canadian Retailer elicit candid responses from the treasurer of retail council of canada's board of directors. characteristics of a great leader? Someone who can build a team through the support and respect of each person and enlist enthusiasm and passion in others towards a shared vision. Favourite getaway locale? chocolate research trips to europe to capture new flavour trends are inspiring. education or experience? experience wins the day and can be gained by asking the right questions of the right people. Favourite mobile device? iphone. do you shop in-store or online? both. it depends on the time of day and need. Fiction or non-fiction? non-fiction books about people's lives and what they have learned along the way are my favourites. Hands-on or hands-off management? at purdys we strive for a team approach in all we do. accordingly, i am more hands on than off. i am very hands on with our chocolate eating about 6 per day! next big retail game-changer? Successful retailers will provide a more experiential visit to physical locations while supporting customers desires to shop anytime and anyplace.