Bringing Health To All | Brenda Demers | SmartyPants Vitamins
Over the past few years, there has been a sharp rise in the number of women in leadership roles, with each one helping organizations reshape how they view success, power, and leadership. Brenda Demers, CEO of SmartyPants Vitamins, is no exception. She is a brilliant leader showing loyalty, dedication, and a willingness to go the extra mile to ensure success for her organization. Her innate ability to trust her instincts has led her to successfully oversee a multimillion-dollar vitamin company whose mission is to bring health to all.
Brenda is the type of leader that lights up a room with energy and vision when she walks into it. She is a unique leader who people want to work for and deliver results for. Her extensive business experience combined with her infectious leadership style is a potent combination that creates a dynamic and results-driven organization. Brenda has been entrusted with overseeing the most crucial business endeavors and projects within the companies she has worked for.
Leading with Purpose
Brenda utilizes something that she likes to call ‘Next Generation Leadership.’ “There are five characteristics I have always looked for and appreciated in a leader throughout my career. The reason I call it ‘Next Generation Leadership’ is because I believe that these five characteristics are what will be important in the future as the workplace changes,” she explains. “I find the people who are most successful have the following characteristics and I use them as my North Star:”
Transparency – Brenda believes in an open-door policy and encourages her team and peers to be honest and transparent.
Accountability – If people are given clear and defined expectations of success, leaders should trust their employees to get the job done.
Flexibility – Being a working parent reinforces to Brenda how important time and flexibility are to everyone. Hence, she makes it a point to offer flexibility in work and how much space can be created for others.
Resiliency – “The name of the game.” Throughout her career, resiliency has been Brenda’s biggest strength and, at times, her strongest differentiator from her peers. There are always going to be curveballs and challenges that stand in the way; it is about how one approaches, responds to and recovers from these obstacles that leave a lasting impact.
Empathy – Brenda is an empathetic and participative leader who aims to understand her employees in order to better manage them.
“What is important to know about SmartyPants is that we are a small company, so I know everyone within these walls. We are all fully accessible to each other and, like I mentioned above, I’m a fan of real-time communication as opposed to emailing,” says Brenda. “I make myself available to our employees so that I’m able to support their thoughts, actions, and growth through moments such as “Breakfast with Brenda,” company-wide sessions like monthly Gratitude sessions and regular Town Halls with open Q&As. Having 100% compliance in our performance management process and simply being a positive role model for leaders early in their career is really important to me.”
Creating A Successful Brand
This past March, SmartyPants launched an all-new line of Sugar-Free gummy vitamins, which has been a priority for Brenda and her team. When closely observing the ‘sugar free’ vitamins on the market right now, 90% use sugar alcohols which can cause digestive discomfort. “As the #1 vitamin brand for parents of picky eaters, we developed our sugar free vitamins with plant-derived sweeteners (monk fruit, allulose), resulting in a gummy that avoids causing digestive discomfort and boasts a softer, more delicious texture than other current sugar-free offerings,” elucidates Brenda. “As for what’s coming down the pipeline, we’re working hard with our partners at Vitamin Angels to deliver on our goal of positively impacting 100 million lives. We believe that good health belongs to everyone which is why we make donations that help provide life-changing vitamins to mothers and children at risk of malnutrition in 65 countries worldwide, as well as all 50 U.S. states.”
Brenda is always looking for ways to make life easier for moms and believes that access to proper nutrition is a right for all. One way that they have showcased this commitment is through their newest launch, premium multis in Walmart. The release of this new line bolsters SmartyPants’ initiative to make better health accessible for everyone by offering these new premium Multivitamin gummies to Walmart customers at a more accessible price point.
For the pioneering leader, her hard work has resulted in solid business results. She has had the opportunity to show success in business turnaround situations, launching new businesses and integrating newly acquired businesses in both large multinational companies and small scale-up size companies. “Although I have been in the industry for almost 25 years, I feel like I am just getting started. The business world is incredibly dynamic and fast-paced,” says Brenda. “Technology, innovation, and ever-changing consumer behavior continue to keep the business world attractive and exciting. I look forward to continuing to deliver profitable growth and helping to solve consumer tensions with trusted, science-based products.”