Tricia Stitzel Reflects on Journey From Crummer to Tupperware CEO
Tricia Stitzel ’95MBA ‘98MHR launched her career in the hallways of Crummer before an incredible ascent up the corporate ladder of Tupperware Brands.
Inside the modern, bright offices of Tupperware Brands world headquarters in Orlando, Florida, newly-minted CEO Tricia Stitzel greets with a smile.
The first female CEO of Tupperware is personable, inviting and you can immediately tell she is a natural-born leader. Today, she’s ushering in a new era at a company that is known around the world.
“It’s clearly an exciting accomplishment for me, but when I think about Tupperware and the leadership in this company, I say that women have been leading this company since the beginning,” said Stitzel.
Leading the New Era
Using human resources as a vehicle into nearly every company she’s worked for, Tricia has always managed to leverage that experience to end up in a leadership position.
“I have always been the one to step up and take action,” said Stitzel. “If I had to say if I’m a leader or a follower, I’d say I’m definitely a leader.”
“I’ve gone in through the door of HR, but I have always moved from HR into different roles, typically into more operational or management roles; it’s happened at every company I’ve worked for,” said Stitzel.
Tricia says the human resources office is a great vantage point from which to learn the ins-and-outs of the company, deeply understand what makes the organization tick, and start to truly understand the business.
“With human resources, you have to understand the business really deeply,” said Stitzel. “Getting the right people in the right place with the right training and the right tools meant I had to understand the business.”
Although Tricia would start out in HR, she was always looking to ask questions about the larger business aspects of the company she was working for and tried to gain access to meetings, even if they weren’t HR related.
It’s no surprise her “go-getter” attitude had her ascending the ranks at Tupperware in no time.
When she started at Tupperware as a Worldwide Human Resources Advisor, and the company was searching for a new Head of Human Resources for U.S. and Canada, Tricia, who was already filling in for that position, landed it full-time.
“That’s where I really started getting into understanding the business and being immersed in a market,” said Stitzel.
After a successful run as the Head of Human Resources for the U.S. and Canada, Stitzel packed her bags and moved to Europe, where she gained experience as the VP of Human Resources for Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Eventually, an opportunity opened up that offered her the opportunity to serve in a more operational role in charge of Tupperware’s beauty business in Europe.
Tricia spent a total of 12 years living in Europe on-and-off, continuing to serve as the VP of human resources in Europe, while also continuing to grow Tupperware’s portfolio of beauty businesses.
“Eventually, I let go of the HR responsibilities and added more and more markets in the portfolio,” said Stitzel. “By the time I finished my European assignment at the end of 2013, I had full responsibility of 11 or 12 Tupperware markets over there.”
Stitzel was then asked to come back to Orlando to lead the Americas markets (US & Canada, Latin America) as a Tupperware Group President. In 2016, she was promoted to Chief Operating Officer and in May of 2018, Tricia made history, being named the first female CEO of Tupperware after Rick Goings retired after 20 years.
It’s exciting for Tricia to be in the position to lead a company that promotes inspiring women to succeed in its mission statement.
“It’s what we do, and what we have done for the past 70 years. We have been able to help women gain the confidence they need to enrich their lives,” said Stitzel.
Although she just started in May, Stitzel helps Tupperware Brands live out their mission statement by championing the Global Links/Crummer partnership, which sponsors female professors from developing and post-conflict nations to grow their entrepreneurial skills and knowledge.
Tupperware has consistently supported this program since 2012, and it was just recently announced that the next sponsored scholar will be coming from Brazil.
She’s also helped launch the #ExtendAHand movement, which helps uplift others by challenging them to step up and be a manager. The #ExtendAHand movement videos have been shared around the globe.
“It really brings to life how you touch one person and you help them have an experience,” said Stitzel. “The global visibility is what makes it great.”
Tricia is also more than willing to offer advice to all young professionals looking to make a difference, and it starts with stepping outside of your comfort zone.
“Volunteer for things and do the things others don’t want to do, while always looking for things that are new and different to get you outside of your comfort zone,” said Stitzel. “It’s those butterflies you feel that make you uncomfortable—it means you’re learning and growing which is always a good thing,”
The Crummer Connection
Tricia’s path to leadership began far from her corner office at Tupperware. Her roots are based in Dixon, Illinois, a town with a population of around 15,000 and has the claim to fame of being the boyhood home of President Ronald Reagan.
Tricia remembers Dixon, IL for cornfields and slow living. The nearest major city, Chicago, was a two-hour car ride at just over 100 miles.
With her high school sweetheart in tow, her now husband of over 30 years, Tricia took off for college with Dixon in her rearview mirror.
“I went away for school for my undergrad and really haven’t gone back since,” said Stitzel.
Before she started at Tupperware, Tricia and her husband moved all over the country, both advancing their respective careers.
It was when her husband landed a new gig that had them relocating from the northeast to Orlando, that Tricia started to seriously consider going back to school.
“When we arrived in Florida, I started looking for a job and got sticker shock on the salary differentials from the northeast to Florida,” said Stitzel.
It just so happened she was in the right place at the right time when she noticed a job opportunity in the Career Resource Center at Crummer. With her background in human resources, it was a natural fit for her, and she was hired by Rollins to work in Crummer’s Career Resource Center.
Tricia speaks of her time at Crummer as an employee and student glowingly, spending long days cutting her teeth in the hallways of Crummer, working during the day and taking classes at night.
“I did what I set out to do,” said Stitzel. “It was wonderful. I didn’t have to rush off of work and fight for a parking space like most students do. It was convenient that it was all right there.”
Tricia spent three years as a staff member at Crummer and graduated in the ‘95MBA class.
Crummer Graduate School Associate Dean Steve Gauthier recalls on Tricia’s time working at Crummer saying, “The students loved her, and she was one of those people that you knew was going places. We were sad to see her go.”
She credits much of her current success to those three years she spent balancing a full-time job and MBA program. Crummer’s team-oriented approach is something that still sticks with her today.
“Crummer not only taught me to be a leader but taught me to be a team-player. In the world of business, you have to do both,” said Stitzel.