Sophie Bacchi, 37
Senior manager, IT service performance operations

Nominator’s quote: “Sophie’s passion and energy give her a natural ability to rally and lead people across various areas of the business to collaborate effectively.” — Dorothea Klein, CN

Education: B.S. in applied human sciences, major in human relations, Concordia University. Diploma of College Studies in business administration and general management, Vanier College.

Job responsibilities: Driving the strategic transformation of CN’s IT department toward a service management model and leading initiatives for service effectiveness and efficiency, driving service improvements. Manage the performance, relationships, financials, engagement and outcomes for CN’s Infrastructure Management Services program.

Career path: Started at CN in IT as the strategic adviser and chief of staff for the executive vice president of IT. Implemented a new operating model that drove IT process clarity and optimization across various teams. Promoted to a business relationship management role before becoming senior manager of IT service performance operations.

How did you get into the railroad industry? After spending five years in the banking industry, I was looking for an opportunity to join an industry that has a greater purpose in driving the economy, as well as an organization that would provide more growth opportunities.

Only after joining CN did I find out that my late grandfather had previously worked for CN for his entire career as a locomotive engineer, so I’m very proud to continue the railroading tradition within my family.

What is the best career advice you’ve received? Work hard, stay focused and be curious. Just because you don’t know something doesn’t mean you can’t learn and create value.

What advice would you give to a new railroader? Learn how things work and learn how people, processes and technology are connected — it will bring you great value in any role you play.

What was your very first job? I started selling shoes at 15 years old at a nearby shoe store called Rubino Shoes. Even at a young age, I was motivated by the workplace and the possible achievements I could attain.

Describe a fun fact about yourself. I have been a member of the Girl Guide organization for over 20 years, and it has brought me joy throughout my life to be part of such a wonderful women’s movement that is focused on empowering and mentoring young girls and women.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Baking and cooking are my passions. I love discovering new foods and recipes. I also love to bake and decorate cakes, which I started doing when I had kids so I could make their birthdays special. It’s a tradition I look forward to every year when special events come around.

How has the pandemic changed your views of your career and life in general? The pandemic has shown me how resilient I really am. Balancing my family life and work commitments has never been so challenging.

The pandemic has reminded me how much I enjoy spending time with my kids and family members and how important it is to make time for just the normal, simple things with them. When confinement started, it was so weird to have no activities, just living the home life. But as time went by, I realized how nice these simple times are, and I want to make sure I keep them part of our routine even as the hustle and bustle restarts.