Employee Spotlight: Ricci Pruden

Ricci Pruden

Vice President, Account Director
Smart & Final, New Business, Davis Elen

We asked Ricci a few questions after her trip backpacking the Trans Catalina Trail (TCT).

In our world of WFH, endless video chats, scheduling challenges, long hours at your desk – were you looking forward to unplugging?

Definitely. I was really looking forward to no screen time, stripping down to the basic necessities and really having the space and time to reflect and disconnect. Early mornings are my favorite and on this trip I got to wake up to the waves crashing, the full moon setting over the ocean while the sun was rising. True morning magic before the long days of hiking began.

Ricci of Davis Elen

Did you have any goals or aspirations for this trip? If so, what were they? And did you achieve them?

Well, two weeks prior to leaving on this trip I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Although I’m still navigating what this means for my daily life, my intentions for this hike quickly turned from a physical challenge to more of a mental challenge. I wanted to prove to myself that I may have this disease, but the disease does not have me. After four days off the grid, surrounded by beauty, my best friends, and a helluva lot of hills to climb, I definitely achieved my goal of forming a new relationship and connection with my body.

Catalina Trail

A lot of your job is spent solving problems, do you find any correlation between a backpacking trip and let’s say, a client presentation?

For both backpacking and client presentations, you can prepare and rehearse all you want, but there will always be curveballs where you have to improvise and just go with the flow.

Channel Islands

Do you find a new spark or energy in your work after completing such an awesome journey?

For me, camping trips or spending time in nature is like hitting the reset button for the mind, body and soul. This allows me to come back to work with my “batteries” fully charged and a clear and fresh mind.

Ricci of Davis Elen camping in front of a bonfire