Leadership and Legacy
Episode 18
September 8, 2020

Leadership and Legacy

With Christine Mei, CEO at Gathered Foods

Christine Mei is the newly appointed CEO of Gathered Foods. Gathered Foods conceives and launches brands that revolutionize the way people eat. You may have even heard of one of their brands called Good Catch, a plant-based seafood brand, offering delicious tuna fish, crab cake, and fish cake alternatives, providing the taste texture, nutrition, and experience of seafood without harming the environment. Gathered Foods is on a mission to propel change through craveable plant-based alternatives. In this episode, Christine shares with us her inspiring career journey from climbing the corporate ladders at Procter & Gamble, Nike, Coca Cola, and more to landing her first CEO role at Gathered Foods. She shares with us her personal leadership legacy statement, which she created while working at Coca Cola, and talks with us about what it takes to be an influential leader.

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In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

  • How this first-generation Texan, with parents who immigrated from Asia, earned an engineering degree and thought she’d become a doctor
  • How, instead of taking a path in medicine, Christine found herself on the manufacturing side of the Folgers Coffee Company with Procter & Gamble 
  • How her desire to go back to school led her to earn her MBA and taking her to the “other side” as a marketer, interning with P&G in China in 1990 and launching a shampoo that is still the number one shampoo in China
  • How the lesson from her parents to always find a way to go get what you want and find your place pushed her to persevere through challenges throughout life and also to take opportunities as they came along in her career
  • What brought her back to the US to join the Dow Chemical Company that became her first training ground in strategy working in their think tank where she learned to dream big on behalf of a company
  • How Christine created her Leadership Legacy Statement while working at Coca Cola
  • How her career path has led her through multiple opportunities to become a great leader, learning to influence others in positive ways and building healthy teams that communicate well 
  • How her time as an investor and mentor at SKU in Austin, TX solidified her desire to work with a founder to scale a company in their next step of growth
  • How all of this experience, over many industries, helped her be prepared for this role as CEO at Gathered Foods where they are focused on propelling change through craveable plant-based foods, making an impact of all beings and our planet, and wanting to be globally relevant and make a real difference

To Find Out More:



“As a leader, if you want that success, you have to make sure that everyone is working to the same North Star.”

“I really try to surround myself with people who are better than me.”

“I'm also very self-aware that I am not a founder myself. That's not my strength area. So really, what I can offer is kind of a skill set to help someone who has that ability to start up something. But I could be the one that can help scale it at that next phase.”

“It's not always going to be easy, but you really need to have a passion and a commitment and authenticity to what you choose to do.”

“Don't compromise on what you believe that you want. So again, you have to be self-aware about where you want to do, what you want to do, and why you want to do it.”

“I need to be inspired by my manager, and I also need to learn from my manager. So in turn, I feel like I have that obligation then to do that with my teams.”

“If you are in your silo and it's not working, and you don't ask for help, you're losing. But then you quickly spiral because you've got no one to help lift you out. But if you can reach out your hands, and you've built a team of trust and respect, there will be a lot of hands to reach out to help lift you up. And then together go find a win.”

“It's very easy to have self-doubt. It's very easy to feel a little bit lost, and I will tell you that's part of the journey.”

“There are going to be ups and downs for sure. But the broader picture is about choosing joy because life is just too short.”

“Everybody needs to play to their strengths. And that's how you win in the end. Remember to have fun, right?” 

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