After reading this, you might wonder: is there anything Jenn Scates can’t do?
Jenn is the Vice President/Marketing at Central Smith Creamery, a local staple along Lindsay Road just outside of Peterborough, which she co-owns with her husband, Ian Scates.
Jenn officially started in the family business four years ago. Since then, she has been a motivating force for the Central Smith team.
“I think I have an ability to bring people together with a common goal and I’m able to execute a plan to meet any challenge,” she says, noting that though her official involvement began only a few years ago, she’s been helping from the sidelines for several years.
Central Smith has been in the Scates family since 1978 when Jenn’s in-laws purchased the property. The ownership officially transferred to Jenn and Ian about a year ago with the passing of Ian’s father.
“Ian and I are the second-generation owners, and our daughter Jillian is now the third generation working in the business,” says Jenn, explaining that her daughter now works as a Sales and Operations Analyst at Central Smith.
When Jenn came on board, one of her main goals was to take Central Smith from a “Ma and Pa” store to a national competitor in the ice cream industry. She helped to revamp the company’s marketing strategy and online presence to create a more professional image.
Jenn also took on the role of managing the parlour store, which employs around eight staff members throughout the summer months. She encourages the public to visit the store to sample the wide array of ice cream flavours.
In all her roles at Central Smith, Jenn says it’s important to get people to believe in a common goal.
“I try to act as a leader. When you carry yourself that way, people form around you. Sometimes things don’t go as planned, but it’s your ability to be resilient that often matters most,” she says.
Central Smith has been shipping coast to coast for approximately 15 years, and Jenn’s vision is to continue delivering ice cream across Canada and to expand into new markets.
And, her track record shows she’s more than capable of leading the team towards this vision.
Prior to her current role at Central Smith, Jenn honed her planning, organization, and people management skills as a public school teacher and also at the Arrowsmith school in Peterborough. As a teacher, she looked forward to organizing special events.
“I liked seeing it all come together,” says Jenn.
Jenn has also put these skills to use in her many volunteer roles within the local community.
In 2011, Jenn was the Event Coordinator for “Dancing with Docs: Disco Fever”, held to support the Closer campaign of the Peterborough Regional Health Care Centre Foundation.
In 2013, she was on the organizing committee for the Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada Peterborough event. She held the role of Banquet Coordinator, which required a great deal of planning to ensure the evening went smoothly — especially in a snowstorm.
“We put on a huge event … the banquet dinner just happened to be on the night of the biggest snowstorm in Peterborough’s recent history,” says Jenn.
“But,” she adds, “every single person showed up, including Don Cherry and Ron Maclean,” which is testament to her ability to bring people together, even under less than desirable circumstances.
Jenn has been involved with Heather Doughty’s Inspire: The Women’s Portrait Project, and also volunteers with the Special Olympics as the Swim Team Manager.
Jenn credits these community experiences with enhancing her leadership skills, which have translated well to her role at Central Smith. While the company has turned its attention to external markets and expansion, the business is careful not to forget its roots.
“There are so many local people and organizations who have helped us get to where we are. It’s a pleasure working with our community partners, and with the community members who share my passion for organizing local events to benefit our community,” says Jenn.
And when she’s not busy with work, family, and volunteering?
“I like to run,” says Jenn. “It’s my meditation time.”
Central Smith Creamery is located at 739 Lindsay Road in Selwyn (one kilometre west of Chemong Road on the Lindsay highway). For more information, call 705-742-5867 (1-800-461-1464 toll free), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.centralsmith.ca. You can also follow Central Smith Creamery on Instagram and Facebook.