Self-Pourtraits Series: International Women’s Day


Our #SelfPourtraits series highlights Caribou Coffee® team members and how they live out our core values. We get up-close and personal (and have some fun) while sharing stories that spark how each of us can make a difference, one cup of coffee or conversation at a time. This month, we’re connecting with some of the (many) inspiring leaders at Caribou to talk about empowering and supporting women in the workplace.

Headshot of Director of Construction Emily Heuring smiling and holding a cup of Caribou Coffee
Director of Construction Emily Heuring has been a force at Caribou Coffee for over sixteen years, and we wanted to know all about her path and the lessons she’s learned along the way.

“To me, International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate the leaders, the caretakers, and the women who wear many hats.

I’ve learned something about leadership from every manager I’ve had, beginning with my time at a traditional architecture firm, and throughout my time here at Caribou Coffee. I try to instill collaboration and inclusion by creating opportunities for open discussion and dialogue. I encourage engagement and promote high morale with regular praise and appreciation while showcasing achievement and contributions. I encourage other leaders to share their stories of women who have impacted their own lives in meaningful ways.”

Headshot of Sara Edgren smiling and holding a cup of Caribou Coffee
General Manager Sara Edgren literally keeps the wheels spinning (she runs Caribou’s ‘Bou Truck). We love her go-getting attitude and couldn’t imagine Caribou Coffee without her drive and spirit.

“Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day are a time to celebrate women who make the world a better place. It always makes me think of my mother. She taught me to never give up and that I can do whatever I put my mind to. Even though I fought her on most things, she has made me the strong, independent woman I am today.

I would describe my leadership style as direct and leading by example. I like to be involved with everything and motivate my team by showing them that I won’t ask them to do anything I wouldn’t do.

I encourage other leaders to support woman-owned businesses, attend women-led events, and read books by powerful women.”

Headshot of Erin Newkirk smiling and holding a cup of Caribou Coffee
Chief Brand and Marketing Officer Erin Newkirk believes in “heart-led” leadership and working together for the most impactful results.

“Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day give us a chance to be more curious and celebrate our connectedness. It’s a time to listen more than we speak, to celebrate differences and be more empathetic. So many humans have influenced my belief in heart-led leadership that drives amazing results. There is a certain confidence and intelligence that comes with heart-led leaders—these are my people. The well-being of the person MUST align with the overall goals of the company or it’s a no-go. If anything, I think leading with your heart means you need to be even more planful, creative, and strategic. It’s about holding yourself and others accountable for how the work gets done, and not just checking the box of revenue-driving KPIs.

It’s way more interesting to live to learn versus live to know. Finding solutions in a sea of constraints is one of the most rewarding forms of creativity and doing that with others is pure magic. When you realize we are all part of this human experience together, you realize what you do here will be felt by humans half a world away and vice versa.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, I encourage other leaders to do one thing that will bring you closer to understanding what it’s like to spend some time in a(nother) woman’s shoes. Unconscious bias is a real thing; comments that seem complimentary or constructive might be an unpleasant reminder of the way women have traditionally been seen—especially in the workplace.

Seven years ago, I read an essay that forever changed my point of view on why supporting women is support for all humankind, We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.”