Magazine Feature / People

Alumna says she’s addicted to change

In 2007, Tammy (Rivera) Berberick (BS accounting ’83, MBA ’90) decided to begin an early retirement, leaving her executive position with MolsonCoors after 19 years.

“I thought I’d walk my dog more, spend more time with my kids,” she says.

But Berberick quickly realized that she was not a person who could enjoy idle time.

“Here is the thing with doing nothing,” she says, pausing for a deep sigh. “‘Nothing’ is what I will do when I’m 70 or 80 years old. I realized that there is value in down-time, but when you always have it, it’s not that exciting.”

She also began reflecting on her extremely varied career and realized that she is a “change addict.”

While at the company, Berberick had been asked to step into many different departments and lead change. She worked in accounting, finance, human resources, sales, IT and strategy.

She says, “I like to find clarity in the mess.”

Former colleague Tim Wolf, chief integration officer of Miller Coors Brewing Co., worked with Berberick for 14 years.

“She has the gift of understanding the most important things that must be done and to push the less important things down,” he says. “Tammy has the ability and gift to make complicated things simple.”

So, what does a self-proclaimed “change addict” do when she realizes she’s bored? Several things at once, of course.

Berberick has launched her own consulting company, was hired to mentor a group of 16 CEOs through an organization called Vistage, and joined a software company as its chief operating officer.

In self-deprecating humor, Berberick rolls her eyes and says, “Every two years, I’m in transition.”

That humor is another of her assets, says Wolf.

“Tammy brings a sense a fun to her work. She can make people smile and loosens them up, which is a nice way for work to get done.”

Most recently, Berberick decided to launch a new software company, and her excitement is palpable.

“It’s still all so ambiguous! How will we get this done? I love it. I love the uncertainty and I love finding the path.”

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