In our 2020 issue, we’re shining the light on some outstanding leading ladies for all their accomplishments and contributions to society.
SILVIA AZRAI KAWAS
Vice President Private Brands Food, Walmart
Silvia has been with Walmart for 18 years, starting when she was in college. Her responsibilities expanded to encompass multichannel assortment strategy and process. She moved from Jordan to pursue her M.B.A. and now calls Northwest Arkansas home. She and her husband have two girls who are her inspiration for life. Silvia also is co-chairing the American Heart Association Go Red for Women luncheon on May 19 with Debbie Alsup and Jody Pinson.
B.S. Marketing, University of Jordan
M.B.A. Consumer Marketing and Global Business, University of Arkansas
Talk about the American Heart Association:
This is my third year of being involved with the American Heart Association – first through Paint the Town Red, and now with Circle of Red. I care about helping children and empowering women. Educating women and fighting heart disease is a big deal. The statistics are astounding, and we have to change the course. Raising awareness helps save women’s lives.
Quality you admire most in women:
I’m inspired by women who show me everyday what it’s like to perform when you bring your authentic, open-minded, inclusive, curious and winning spirit to work.
What do you do for fun?
I play tennis. It’s a sport we do as a family and we love it! I’m still learning and my girls have a point of view on how I can get better. I encourage their critiques. We also love to travel. We love to learn and immerse ourselves in different cultures, enjoy their music and local cuisine.
Did you always know what you wanted to do?
Of all the scenarios that ever played out in my mind, never did I imagine this trajectory. However, I always knew I wanted my work to have a huge purpose; and wanted a phenomenal opportunity to impact people’s lives. I am proud to be part of this amazing company. As part of the food team at Walmart, we help lower the cost of feeding families every day. It is energizing and inspiring!
I believe in having a growth mindset, aiming to be and do better tomorrow, and creating an environment of continuous challenge, learning and a bias for action.
Best advice you’ve ever received:
There is one piece of advice I routinely follow whether at work or at home. I learned to model self-discipline from a mentor of mine who carved out time to reflect and get feedback. She was very thoughtful in how she reflected on a day, a meeting, a presentation, and encounter. “It’s like doing your homework so you are prepared and better the next time …maybe even giving yourself a chance to re-invent yourself.” I try do that every day … the drive to and from work counts!
Advice you’d give to other working women/moms:
I try to paint the picture that “IT is possible, and YOU can do it.” I give the advice I received early in my career: “Don’t shy away from change; but learn to deal with the emotion that comes with the uncertainty of it.”