The superpowers of three leading reward experts

Autor Brad Law
August 25, 2023

In our recent webinar – ‘Advancing your career in reward’ featuring three reward leaders:

  • Jessica Lee, VP of Total Rewards at HelloFresh
  • Kerrian Soong, Head of Total Rewards and HR Analytics at Bridgewater Associates
  • Karen Vacchio, SVP of Total Rewards and HR Operations at GXO Logistics, Inc

Our panel of speakers shared an insightful discussion on career strategy, practical tips and personal industry experiences – empowering reward professionals.

We asked the leaders key questions on how to take the next step in their careers covering the soft skills needed to be successful as a reward leader, the lessons learnt and the superpowers that elevated their careers.

What has been your superpower that has helped elevate your career in reward?

It’s really about leadership capability. I’m passionate about leading and managing. I spend a decent amount of time thinking about how to unlock the potential of an individuals that is unique to them How do I make them the best version of themselves – so that they’re humming, they’re feeling vibrant, they’re in the pocket and they see a future. And then, how do you effectively combine the whole portfolio of skills within the team you have infront of you? For me, I think that’s a unique skill. I really make sure I curate a decent portion of my energy to that – and I think it’s that which has allowed me to do have such a varied but succesful career. I also find it so personally rewarding, which is why I ended up getting certified as an executive coach well before I thought I’d even run a coaching business, I just wanted to be world-class at it.

Kerrian Soong, Head of Total Rewards and HR Analytics at Bridgewater Associates

It comes down to project management skills – being able to manage multiple different projects, which is why I love being in the total reward space. Total rewards embodies so many areas – I feel like we’re a catch-all for the company but that’s the space that I love. I love the diversity of the responsibility and the ownership. Being able to manage all the different things that are happening in our world and not dropping any balls – all whilst being able to communicate effectively to my leaders so that they’re not caught off guard. Having the combination of those two skills I think has really served me well. One of the best compliments that I’ve ever recieved was from one of my CHRO’s. They said to me that my superpower was managing projects, and so I want to continue to harness that and develop it across the team.

Jessica Lee, VP of Total Rewards at HelloFresh

My ability to partner with peers and problem solve has elevated me throughout my career. I work a lot with the HR business partner team and everything is coming at us at all the time – all sorts of challenges from the business. Hence, I actually enjoy getting in the huddle with the HRBP or recruiting team when we need to bring in an executive. That’s where I think I’m actually having fun and I feel like I thrive. In addition to that, my other superpower is my passion, specifically around building programs. I get really passionate about programs that are going to really help our employees. Back in 2015, my team put in a financial planning programme and I had a couple of people come up to me – even high-level executives – expressing to me their thanks because it actually changed their life. They were living in debt despite continuously getting increases, as we changed this – that’s when I walked away with a lot of just personal satisfaction that I had helped people iachieve something for themselves in their lives. That’s where I feel really excited and passionate, building those programmes for employees.

Karen Vacchio, SVP of Total Rewards and HR Operations at GXO Logistics, Inc

Catch up on all the other excellent points and great advice from our speakers on what can help you progress your career in reward by watching the full webinar here:

If you would like to discuss your career, how to progress within reward or just the market in general, please reach out to myself or a member of our team today.

Featured Content

  • Karriereberatung

Could mentoring be the cost-effective talent accelerator and attractor you and your organization are missing?

  • Posted Juli 4, 2024
What happens when you put together an expert on high performance and an expert on professional relationships? Well, the secret sauce people and organizations aren’t leveraging enough: mentoring. Dr Ruth Gotian is globally recognized expert in leadership development, recognized by Nature, Wall Street Journal and Columbia University and ranked as the number one emerging management […]
  • Karriereberatung

Foster talent today for tomorrow’s business growth: an interview with Sarah Von Landsberg-Sadie

  • Posted Juni 24, 2024
We were delighted to be joined by Sarah Von Landsberg-Sadie, the Senior People and HR Leader, CPO, and Organisation Design and Development Expert at BCB Group. She spoke with our own Aseel Ibrahim about all aspects of talent development, highlighting its importance and explaining why your business should prioritise it now to avoid future setbacks. […]
  • Hiring Advice

The talent-to-value approach: aligning talent with business value

  • Posted Juni 11, 2024
As organizations navigate an increasingly complex and competitive landscape, getting the right talent in the most critical roles has never been more important. Traditional approaches to talent management often fall short, focusing too much on hierarchy and not enough on the roles that truly drive value. That’s where the talent-to-value approach comes in. Pioneered by […]