Image
TWIG 2023 Hero Article
Advertisement
06/15/2023

2023 Top Women in Grocery: Store Managers

Progressive Grocer reveals this year's awards program winners in Store Managers category

Progressive Grocer’s 2023 Top Women in Grocery awards program recognizes the integral role women play across all segments of the North American food retail and grocery industries. This is the 17th year for the food retailing industry's longest running program recognizing and celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of thousands of women at all levels in the industry.

Females employed in all sectors of the grocery industry – from the retailer, wholesaler, supplier and solution provider communities – were nominated for above-and-beyond achievements in subsequent categories:

  • Senior-Level Executives (titles of Vice President or higher)
  • Rising Stars (titles lower than Vice President and Area/Region Director)
  • Store Managers (titles of Store Manager/Director/Leader and Assistant Store Manager/Director/Leader)

Below are the Store Managers honored in this year’s Top Women in Grocery awards. You’re sure to find them, as the late, great Tina Turner — like many of our honorees, no stranger to reinvention — so memorably sang, “simply the best.”

Image
twig 23 rs

Dana Barksdale

Store Manager, Store #1540, Augusta, Ga.

Food Lion LLC

  • Barksdale was among 53 store managers out of 1,100-plus nominated for Food Lion’s 2022 Store Manager of the Year.
  • She had the store with highest average weekly sales volume for the region in 2022, and her location maintained an outstanding balance of driving sales and meeting shrink targets.
  • A trusted leader who knows customers by name, Barksdale volunteered in the community to further solidify her ties with the area; not only did she support Calvary Baptist Church Food Pantry with unsold edible food that might otherwise have gone to waste, but she also helped sort and stock shelves to expand the church pantry’s capacity.
Image
twig 23 rs

Danielle Bond

Store Manager, Store #144, Washington, N.C.

Food Lion LLC

  • In the small town of Washington, Bond knows every shopper in her store, and out of 1,100 managers, she was among just 53 nominated for Food Lion’s 2022 Store Manager of the Year. 
  • She delivered on all financial expectations, growing customer counts by almost 5% and delivering double-digit increases in same-store sales, while her net promoter score was 74%.
  • Bond diligently mentored her 93 associates: She hired and trained a new customer service manager and assistant customer service manager, both of whom led the region in metrics; also, by focusing on Food Lion to Go, her team increased sales by 400%-plus.
Image
twig 23 rs

Christian Dendy

Store Manager, Store #575, Elizabeth City, N.C.

Food Lion LLC

  • As a child, Dendy wanted to be a teacher, but instead she’s spent the past 30 years learning from and teaching store associates; in 2022, she was named Store Manager of the Year for the Richmond/Norfolk, Va., region.
  • Her calm, effective communication style helped her team achieve positive same-store sales growth year over year while growing the food-to-go customer base; additionally, she cross-trained associates and hosted hiring events for other locations. 
  • One regular shopper wrote a letter saying that she’s never been anywhere as welcoming as Dendy’s store; Food Lion President Meg Ham saw the letter and recognized Dendy’s exceptional abilities.
Image
twig 23 rs

Tonya Diggs

Store Manager, Store #1334, Charlottesville, Va.

Food Lion LLC

  • Last year at Diggs’ store, sales increased 20%, buoyed by strong fresh department sales, and her food safety, workplace safety and customer ratings achieved scores exceeding 95 out of 100; as a result, she was named a 2022 Store Manager of the Year for the Northern division.
  • Facing supply chain challenges, her team kept a strict inventory of items on hand; in-stock positioning helped her store repeatedly rank among the top five — out of 1,100-plus locations — in home delivery.
  • When two sister stores in her community were plagued by labor shortages and other challenges, Diggs was quick to lend her support.
Image
twig 23 rs

Lisa Locklear

Store Manager, Store #1217, Lumberton, N.C.

Food Lion LLC

  • For the fourth consecutive year, Locklear was named one of the top three Store Managers of the Year in her region, leading with financials and key performance indicator data.
  • Locklear created authentic relationships with associates: She was the only manager in her region who retained her core team of seven department managers throughout and after the pandemic, and her 2022 Associate Engagement Survey score was 85%, a 7% increase over the previous year.
  • The store’s customers are as dedicated as its employees: During the pandemic-driven coin shortage, one shopper brought in more than $2,500 in change over a period of several weeks.
Image
twig 23 rs

Hasija Hodzic

Store Manager, Store #6548, Lancaster, Pa.

The Giant Co.

  • A 20-year Giant veteran, Hodzic led her store with passion and purpose, excelling at recruitment, team building and cross-training; in 2022, the locations’s annual engagement score was 81%.
  • She served on her region’s hiring panel where she facilitated interviews with high-potential employees across the area; in 2022, her leadership team identified and promoted 10 individuals into leadership roles, and she also identified talent gaps and taught her team new skills to take on more responsibility.
  • Hodzic was a mentor for the region’s successful Diversity Cohort, and as a member of Giant’s Central Penn Business Academy, she helped teach and develop employees.
Image
twig 23 rs

Cynthia Kirol

Store Manager, Store #6122, Williamsport, Pa.

The Giant Co.

  • Under Kirol’s leadership, her store went from unprofitability to having an underlying operating income of more than $1 million in fiscal 2022; her 150-person team received a net promoter score of 144, the region’s highest, and at 97%, the store had the region’s strongest food safety average.
  • She helped two hourly associates prepare for salaried positions and helped certify five employees as key carriers.
  • Kirol was part of Giant’s Store Manager Council, where managers identify opportunities and solve challenges; she was also the commerce pillar lead for Giant’s CARE program and regional lead for BARRIER Free, which focuses on meeting the needs of customers and employees.
Image
twig 23 rs

Roxanne Merritt

Store Manager, Store #6553, Philadelphia

The Giant Co.

  • At the 7,000-square-foot Giant Heirloom Market that Merritt runs in Philadelphia’s Graduate Hospital section, sales increased more than 6% last year and she promoted 10 employees to full-time positions. 
  • She taught her 45 associates to learn what shoppers want and spent time talking to customers, as well as improving omnichannel, enhancing Giant Choice Rewards and making checkout easier for shoppers.
  • Merritt labeled breakroom waste bins and trained employees to use them, with the result that her store led the region in sustainability; she also provided team members with pins for Women’s History Month, Black History Month and Pride Month.
Image
twig 23 rs

Heather Potthoff

Store Manager, Store #6572, Doylestown, Pa.

The Giant Co.

  • Potthoff successfully led her store team through a major remodel at the Coopersburg, Pa., location, with minimal disruption to customers, before transitioning to her current store in Doylestown, Pa. 
  • Store sales continued to climb after the Coopersburg remodel, and comparable sales were above region trends, while the location’s net promoter score improved nine points over the prior year.
  • Aspiring to enhance her current skillset, Potthoff enrolled in Capella University and began her academic journey toward earning a bachelor’s degree in human resources; so far, she has maintained a 4.0 GPA and made the dean’s list.
Image
twig 23 rs

Michelle Rex

Store Manager, Store #6320, Lehighton, Pa.

The Giant Co.

  • Rex’s store exceeded underlying operating profit by 5.7%, met both perishable and nonperishable shrink budgets, and achieved its food waste sustainability goal; it was also a high performer in food safety and internal audits.
  • The location also achieved a Top 10 net promoter score and was third in the region for an associate engagement score of 80%, with the highest participation rate at 83%; It was also voted Best Grocery Store both nationally and regionally by readers of a local newspaper.
  • Inspired by Rex, her team volunteered at the Trinity Food Pantry, in Lehighton, and the Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital.
Image
twig 23 rs

Adrienne Powell

Store Manager, Store #348, Clarksville, Md.

Giant Food

  • Powell managed 120 people at her store, where she was always on the sales floor directing her business forward. 
  • She outperformed her sales budget by 12.3%, posting 7.11% versus last year, and her operating earnings were among the district’s best, at almost 10%; Powell beat her shrink for both fresh and nonperishables and earned one of the highest internal audit scores for any location.
  • In addition to working hard at her store, where she led a food donation program, she attended Capella University, working toward a dual major in business administration and human resources; set to graduate in September, Powell maintained a 4.0 GPA.
Image
twig 23 rs

Gloria Richardson

Store Manager, Store #117, Catonsville, Md.

Giant Food

  • Richardson managed 120-plus people at her store, where she supported her team with a careful, positive and honest attitude that inspired peers and colleagues.
  • Her store posted sales at 14% to her budget and 6.67% to last year, one of the highest to budget in the area, while earnings exceeded 9%; her store posted the district’s best fresh shrink rate, at under 4%; and nonperishable results beat the budget well in hand.
  • Once a month, Richardson volunteered at Harford Women’s Correctional Facility through her church, teaching women how to transition from jail back into society; this included helping them find housing and food resources.
Image
twig 23 rs

Cheryl Rondenelli

Store Manager, Store #8168, New Hartford, N.Y.

Hannaford Supermarkets

  • Last year, Rondenelli’s location beat an aggressive budget by more than 14%; overtime rate was 1.29% of labor dollars, a company-leading stat in a tight labor market, and 90% of employees rated Rondenelli positively, a four-point increase.
  • She found fun, engaging ways to recognize her 200-person team: For International Women’s Day, her store partnered with another Albany, N.Y.-area district to sponsor two contests. 
  • A lifelong resident of the region, Rondenelli is committed to her community, regularly volunteering with the Utica, N.Y., chapter of the American Heart Association, United Way and the Foodbank of Central New York.
Image
twig 23 rs

Chelsea Marandola

Store Manager, Store #474, East Wareham, Mass.

Stop & Shop

  • As a new manager, Marandola led her team in improving nonperishable shrink to beat budget estimates; this was accomplished through creative merchandising and by following company initiatives and standards.
  • In 2022, associate morale improved, as did net promoter and sanitation scores; these factors, coupled with her focus on preventing front end cash loss, helped lift the bottom line.
  • Marandola was chosen to be a “training store manager,” training new managers at her location; she was recently selected as her district’s customer service lead, and in 2022, she won her region’s Rookie Store Manager of the Year Award.
Image
twig 23 rs

Kim Yankee

Store Manager, Store #497, Westborough, Mass.

Stop & Shop

  • Following the sudden loss of a valued store manager, Yankee volunteered to lead its associates; born and raised in the same town as the store, the company veteran started building community connections and a strong leadership team, and her process changes and team accountability dramatically improved the shrink rate.
  • She was selected to train and develop newly hired and promoted associate store managers, all of whom have demonstrated mastery of key concepts.
  • In 2022, the Westborough, Mass., Girl Scouts chapter presented a Community Certificate to Stop & Shop and Yankee for supporting its events.
Image
twig 23 rs

Carrie Nobach

Store Director, Safeway Store #1472, Mount Vernon, Wash.

Albertsons Cos./Seattle Division

  • Beyond her job of leading 100 store associates, Nobach was a district leader for multiple programs; additionally, her location acted as the set store for the spring/summer district walk-through, and she was also the district deli operations mentor.
  • She took on the director role at a higher-volume store in September 2022 and guided associates through a major renovation while still showing positive sales for the quarter.
  • Nobach co-chaired a golf tournament and a hockey night to help an organization that raises money for breast cancer research; through her efforts, she was able to help donate nearly $50,000 to the cause.
Image
twig 23 rs

Colleen Benavides

Store Director, Shaw’s Store #1402, Gilford, N.H.

Albertsons Cos./Shaw’s

  • As a leader of 90 associates, Benavides worked directly alongside her team and set an example for her people that she would never ask them to do anything she wouldn’t do herself.
  • Benavides took personal ownership of her associates’ growth and success, creating an environment where the team wanted to move up within the company; as a result, she has promoted dozens of team members over the past year.
  • She recently took over as the New Hampshire district Community Champion, now supporting all 18 stores in the district in regard to their community outreach.
Image
twig 23 rs

Sharon Brua

Store Director, Tom Thumb Store #1972, Mansfield, Texas

Albertsons Cos./Southern Division

  • During the last four quarters, Brua and her team of 155 associates have raised the bar and produced double-digit increases over the previous year, while also increasing customer count and units per transaction.
  • She put a premium on mentoring her team, as well as setting associates up for successful promotions; a big believer in hiring, mentoring and developing a team to provide her guests with the ultimate shopping experience, she strove to create customers for life.
  • Brua served as the hiring lead for her district and also volunteered outside of work with Prairie Paws Animal Adoption Center and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Image
twig 23 sm

Reannon Emmot

Store Director, Randalls Store #2484, Georgetown, Texas

Albertsons Cos./Southern Division

  • Emmot supervised127 associates within her Randalls and fuel and convenience locations; her store is near a retirement community with more than 18,000 residents, and her enhanced focus on Drive Up and Go helped the store achieve significant sales increases.
  • This year, she and her team achieved their store’s highest sales ever, with Emmot working hard to fill in gaps in a limited staffing environment.
  • Selected as a training mentor for the division store director and assistant store director training programs, she also donated hundreds of pounds of food to the local food bank.
Image
twig 23 sm

Dinah Jackson

Store Director, Albertsons Store #4289, Dallas

Albertsons Cos./Southern Division

  • Jackson surpassed projections with average profits for the year of more than $1.1 million and earned recognition for exceeding the million-dollar sales challenge for Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks.
  • She helped to successfully build e-commerce business and drive sales as one the top three stores in the division for Drive up and Go orders.
  • In addition to being on the Southern Division Diversity Interview Panel and serving as a trainer for future store directors, Jackson regularly volunteered for Attitudes in Attire, an organization that helps women leaving abusive relationships gain a fresh start through job interview training.
Image
twig 23 sm

Kimberly Maris

Store Director, Albertsons Store #4152, Denton, Texas

Albertsons Cos./Southern Division

  • While leading 140 associates at her store, Maris helped increase the location’s sales year over year by carefully controlling labor and expenses; she notched back-room inventory numbers that were consistently within the guidelines of 7% or better, and a shrink goal of 1.85% was also achieved. 
  • She personally engaged in the associate selection process and prioritized team huddles to continuously engage associates. 
  • Additionally, Maris worked with local organization First Refuge to set up and maintain stock for the grocery stores that have been established in the area’s local high schools. 
Image
twig 23 sm

Nicole Sandman

Store Director, Tom Thumb Store #3641, Richardson, Texas

Albertsons Cos./Southern Division

  • Known as a great merchant who creates exciting themed events that draw customers into her store and drive total store sales, Sandman deployed immaculate store standards and innovative merchandising to increase her total store sales by more than 18% for the year.
  • Chosen to be mentored for advancement to a center store operations specialist position, she accordingly took on control and review of district store inventory builds.
  • Serving as an example to many in the Southern division, Sandman volunteered with the North Texas Food Bank, through which she provided numerous meals to the community.
Image
twig 23 sm

La Tisha Thompson    

Store Director, Albertsons Store #4272, Fort Worth, Texas

Albertsons Cos./Southern Division

  • Thompson has worked for more than 20 years at Albertsons and has held roles ranging from cashier to service operations manager; she was promoted to store director in May 2022 and has worked to create an environment of inclusion and belonging.
  • Her store exceeded district projections on all metrics, such as sales and identical sales, gross, inventory, shrink, labor, and customer satisfaction.
  • Enrolled in the McKinsey MBA program, Thompson was a member of several Albertsons committees, including the Diversity and Inclusion Council and the Women’s Inspiration and Inclusion Network (WIIN).
Image
twig 23 sm

Tisha Blanco

Store Director, Vons Store #2832, La Verne, Calif.

Albertsons Cos./ Southern California Division

  • Blanco beat her sales goal by 2.97% in fiscal year 2022 and helped raise a total of $27,862 for Nourishing Neighbors, more than doubling what the average store raised.
  • During the holidays, her store volume was more than $1 million, with her average week being $650,000; additionally, she won the Freezer Floor Challenge, the 4 for $20 Meat Challenge and the Chicken Triple Crown Contest, as well as being in the top three in the Own Brand Contest for the district.
  • Blanco volunteered with United Way making food bags for underprivileged kids, donated to local churches, and, with her team, bought Christmas gifts for children in need.
Image
twig 23 sm

Yadira Gonzalez

Store Director, Vons Store #2209, Lakewood, Calif.

Albertsons Cos./ Southern California Division

  • Gonzalez beat her sales projection by more than $1.8 million last year, achieved the lowest shrink in the district and consistently led the district in identical-sales increases year over year.
  • Her store delivered exceptional EBITDA results, achieving $432,000 over projection for the year; always led the district on promotional events and challenges; and was repeatedly selected to appear in model store videos for the division.
  • Gonzalez supported local organizations and was considered a leader at Special Olympics events, for which she and her team volunteered to make sandwiches for athletes and staffers.
Image
twig 23 sm

Denise Hahn

Store Director, Vons Store #2861, Long Beach, Calif.

Albertsons Cos./ Southern California Division

  • Hahn developed an Instagram page to connect with her customers and team in a brand-new way, even inspiring several other stores to start their own accounts. 
  • She navigated the quick cleanup and reopening of her store during the nationwide protests against police abuse that led to her store being broken into and looted.
  • Hahn partnered with the Anaheim Orange Cherry, 7th Street Neighborhood Group, which aims to join businesses to activate the community, and was a member of the Long Beach Downtown Alliance, which strives  for a united, inclusive community. 
Image
twig 23 sm

Martha Martinez

Store Director, Albertsons Store #3559, Palm Desert, Calif.

Albertsons Cos./Southern California Division

  • At Martinez’s store, she ran strong sales results for fiscal year 2022, and she also took on the role of district trainer for all new store director and assistant store director trainees.
  • She has partnered with the local Galilee Center over the past two years to host toy drives and food drives, and, most recently, employed the company’s Nourishing Neighbors program to provide food gift cards for families in need.
  • Martinez was also selected for the Next Step — Rising Star Program last June and participated in the leadership conference in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Image
twig 23 sm

Katie Hogan

Store Director, Safeway Store #2054, Sun City, Ariz.

Albertsons Cos./Southwest Division

  • As the leader of 100 associates, Hogan developed a culture that caters to her senior citizen shoppers, and she and her staff assisted with technology and frequently responded to shoppers with health-related issues.
  • She worked one-on-one with team members to help them develop their skills and abilities, maintained a laser focus on exceeding shoppers’ expectations, and took a keen interest in her associates’ well-being and struggles.
  • Hogan also led several volunteer efforts, among them rebuilding a backyard garden area for a Phoenix-area nonprofit that serves the disabled.
Image
twig 23 sm

Jaye Davis

Store Director, Hen House Market #32, Olathe, Kan.

Balls Food Stores

  • Davis led her store through a major remodel, increased store profit and sales volume while mentoring five department managers, and, due to staffing shortages, managed the floral, general merchandise and health and beauty care departments.
  • The store’s pharmacy was a top company performer in providing immunizations and COVID testing; that focus led to its being named a Neighborhood Favorite by the NextDoor app. 
  • Davis’ store worked closely with the local school district to provide students with life skills and increase their potential for employment.
Image
twig 23 sm

Kathy Scott

Store Director, Hen House Market #35, Fairway, Kan.

Balls Food Stores

  • Scott kept morale up and the atmosphere positive during the closing of her location; she maintained transparent communication during a time of uncertainty and ensured that every team member was transferred to the store of their choice.
  • As a volunteer/board member for the nonprofit organization Executive Women International, she helped develop annual membership drive toolkits for the group’s chapters.
  • She also served as a speaker at Executive Women International events, where she spoke about membership and presented at the awards ceremony.
Image
twig 23 sm

Melissa Zoni

Store Director, Store #117, Derby Conn.

Big Y Foods

  • As the leader of 150 associates, Zoni created a fun, competitive and energetic a work environment, but she was also laser focused on company success.
  • Her store finished 2022 with excellent financial results, including sales that exceeded budget and a customer count that was up by 42,000 people over the previous year; her food safety and safety audit scores were also above chain average.
  • In the past year, Zoni was directly responsible for working with Big Y’s sales office team to advocate for and coordinate her stores to carry items from local producers.
Image
twig 23 sm

Evelyn Dewane

Store Director, Reasor’s Store #918, Owasso, Okla.
Brookshire Grocery Co.

  • Dewane drove store sales and ensured that her store remained well stocked by effectively communicating store needs with partners and local vendors; the location experienced a record-breaking increase in floral sales for Valentine’s Day.
  • She improved her store’s financial performance while maintaining high scores for mystery shops and customer service.
  • Dewane took store walks a step further by bringing employees outside of their own departments to give them insight into department functions, merchandising, quality of products and how to cut unnecessary shrink.
Image
twig 23 sm

Rachal Jones

Store Director, Spring Market Store #730, Sterlington, La.

Brookshire Grocery Co.

  • Jones’ store exceeded goals for store-level cash flow, sales and labor; additionally, her location’s sales were significantly above plan for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2022 and the first quarter of fiscal year 2023.
  • In addition to her responsibilities at her store, she stepped up to assist leadership when information needed to be gathered or communicated from the 11 other stores in her district.
  • Jones helped senior citizens by volunteering at luncheons, and her team also worked with the First Baptist Church of Sterlington to provide food donations for people in need within the community.
Image
twig 23 sm

Thereza Morgenstern

Store Director, Brookshire’s Store #3, Lindale, Texas

Brookshire Grocery Co.

  • Morgenstern has led her store to be one of Brookshire Grocery Co.’s top-performing locations in sales increases over the previous year, and it also exceeded site-level cash-flow budgets.
  • She focused on actively hiring the right people and worked closely with each new employee-partner so that they understood expectations; Morgenstern also motivated and encouraged her associates to consistently learn and do more.
  • Morgenstern led her team to participate in the Lindale Turkey Trot, which supports Lindale Independent School District, as well as in the Lindale Rotary Club’s annual Christmas parade.
Image
twig 23 sm

Nicole Palmer

Store Director, Spring Market Store #712, Diana, Texas

Brookshire Grocery Co.

  • Palmer worked her way up from a cashier role in 2016 to lead 25 associates at her store, where she became known for her innovative leadership, financial achievements, purposeful impacts and exceptional team-building abilities.
  • Her store was the only location in the company to achieve a 100% score on the direct-store-delivery portion of its operations on every audit conducted during fiscal year 2022.
  • Palmer was chosen to serve on Brookshire’s inaugural Chairman’s Advisory Council in 2022, a prestigious honor that recognized her leadership skills and capacity to provide valuable insights to company leadership.
Image
twig 23 sm

Brittany Shumard

Store Director, Brookshire’s Store #60, Quitman, Texas

Brookshire Grocery Co.

  • The manager of the Quitman, Texas, Brookshire’s store for nearly three years, Shumard worked with her team to increase profits by more than 4% and sales by 3.8% in fiscal 2022, as well as coming in on budget with 2.6% total store shrink and below plan for the meat, produce and grocery departments.
  • She also won several company sales contests and kept turnover at one of the lowest rates in the district. 
  • Described as a strong leader and mentor with grit, Shumard also gave her time and talent as a member of civic organizations like the Kiwanis Club and as an active supporter of local schools. 
Image
twig 23 sm

Christine Davinich

Commissary Officer, Great Lakes Commissary, Great Lakes, Ill.

Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA)

  • Davinich worked with the field engineer and DeCA HQ to remove outdated equipment and create a clean and safe work environment at the facility.
  • She had a refrigerated truck transported from Robins AFB to Great Lakes to make weekly shipments to Fort McCoy Commissary, in Wisconsin, eliminating a delivery contract that saved DeCA hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • Davinich started a drop-off program for soldiers at the Great Lakes installation and began delivering to Rock Island Commissary, in Illinois.
Image
twig 23 sm

Jaleisha Freeman

Assistant Commissary Officer

Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA), Fort Gregg-Adams Commissary, Fort Gregg-Adams, Va. 

  • Freeman fostered teamwork within the store to build a “One Team” vision, with every member understanding their specific role in the overall  picture.
  • When the store shifted from a six-day to a seven-day operation, she guided her team through the challenges of the new schedule, and the store’s Monday sales went from $31,069.90 on average to $55,079.74.
  • Freeman partnered with Acosta vendor reps to support the Colonial Heights, Va., American Legion’s Annual Christmas Food Baskets program.
Image
twig 23 sm

Trina Hawkins

Grocery Manager, March Air Reserve Base Commissary, Moreno Valley, Calif.

Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA)

  • Hawkins helped identify not-in-stocks (NIS), developing and implementing a store-level plan that reduced the NIS rate from 7.3% to a phenomenal 2.1% in less than five months.
  • Her efforts helped lead to a year-to-date increase in sales of 8.17%, the highest in DeCA’s Central California zone of military grocers.
  • Hawkins garnered two Silver Penguin awards from the NFRA for in-store displays, one for March Frozen Food Month and the other for the June/July Ice Cream & Frozen Novelties promotion.
Image
twig 23 sm

Andrea Kirby

Commissary Officer, Fort Bragg Commissary, Fort Bragg, N.C.

Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA)

  • Kirby led the Fort Bragg South Commissary as one of eight pilot stores in a new e-commerce initiative; she grew program use at her location to an average of 200 orders per month.
  • Through creative marketing, community outreach and a strong partnership with the contract provider, Kirby provided an extremely positive and user-friendly experience for first-time users.
  • The wife of a retired Marine Corps gunnery sergeant, Kirby regularly attended newcomers meetings to promote commissary sales events.
Image
twig 23 sm

Tonya Landry

Store Director, Camp Foster Commissary, Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan

Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA)

  • Landry thought up the “Foster Wheel” used at sidewalk sales to increase customer service survey participation by giving customers a chance to spin the wheel to win a prize if they completed the survey.
  • She engaged staff and industry members to create a jingle promoting the agency’s Commissary Click2Go service.
  • The recipient of numerous professional honors, Landry voluntarily traveled from her own location to the Iwakuni store, filling manager shortages and working upwards of 48 hours weekly to ensure no interruption in customer service.
Image
twig 23 sm

Linda Ruffin

Assistant Commissary Officer, Fort Bragg North Commissary, Fort Bragg, N.C.

Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA)

  • Ruffin led her team to receive three major sales awards over the past year and a Large Best Commissary nomination.
  • She continued to overcome supply chain challenges exacerbated by the pandemic, as evidenced by an on-shelf fill rate of 95% and a fiscal-year-to-date transaction increase of 8.77%.
  • A military retiree spouse, Ruffin has dedicated her life to serving the military community; this includes a passion for addressing food insecurity among service members by using her local partnerships with food pantries and dietitians to work toward eliminating hunger.
Image
twig 23 sm

Dana Kubistek

Store Leader, Store #103, Greensburg, Pa.

Giant Eagle

  • Overseeing more than 200 associates, Kubistek earned the region’s highest customer satisfaction score; had one of the highest ratings in the country; exceeded financial goals by 10%, driving sales through exciting events and contests; and receiving 100% on her OSHA audit.
  • She hired and promoted seven future leaders and mentored three women leaders.
  • Kubistek sat on Giant Eagle’s Store Leader Council, where she collaborated with executives on retail leadership and guest experience; She also held discussions with transportation and sales planning and operations about costs, warehouse space and other issues.
Image
twig 23 sm

Brittany Dell-Pryor

Store Director, Store #370, Fort Mill, S.C.

Harris Teeter LLC

  • At her location, Dell-Pryor raised customer service to a new level, improved the store’s failing audit and increased its composite score more than three points; within two weeks of her arrival at the store, she had led it to become one of the most successful holiday store walks in the entire Southern region.
  • She completed the Harris Teeter Emerging Leader certification program and was a member of Harris Teeter’s Young Professional Group, which provides input on how the company can develop up-and-coming young leaders.
  • Dell-Pryor worked with underprivileged families in the Rock Hill, S.C., area.
Image
twig 23 sm

Jacque Gilliard

Store Director, Store #451, Johns Island, S.C.

Harris Teeter LLC

  • Despite staffing challenges, Gilliard increased headcount by 25% through “outside-the-box” approaches; her focus on building meaningful relationships with her associates and leadership team contributed to high retention rates and a cohesive team. 
  • Passionate about the customer experience, she drove her store’s customer service metrics from the worst in the district at the beginning of 2022 to the best by the end of the year; the store reached a $4 million profit mark by the close of the fiscal year.
  • Gilliard volunteered with the Low Country Food Bank and the Cooper River Bridge Run.
Image
twig 23 sm

Sandra Ladson

Store Manager, Store #182, Waxhaw, N.C.

Harris Teeter LLC

  • Ladson served on Harris Teeter’s Women’s Empowerment Group, where she worked to create and launch Harris Teeter University, an online program that provides associates with career information and tools to advance their education and careers.
  • She received Harris Teeter’s $4 Million Club award and also advanced her leadership skills by completing Harris Teeter’s Emerging Leaders Training Series.
  • Ladson co-partnered with the Parkwood High School Work Program, teaching high school juniors and seniors with disabilities the fundamentals of entry-level grocery positions.
Image
twig 23 sm

Donna Maxwell

Store Director, Store #487, California, Md.

Harris Teeter LLC

  • Maxwell’s experiential shopping strategy drove sales at her store: Her outdoor cooking event resulted in double-digit increases for fresh food, a two-day outdoor Seafood Boil resulted in more than $8,000 in sales, and a Hatch Chile Pepper Event generated sales of 6,000-plus pounds of Hatch chiles — a record for the store.
  • She led her store to a total profit of more than $3.7 million, reduced labor costs and increased overall profitability.
  • A true community partner, Maxwell participated in many events to enrich the lives of local residents and volunteered for a local youth soccer team.
Image
TWIG 23 sm

Tracy Blanchard

Store Leader, Kroger Store #923, Pekin, Ill.

The Kroger Co./Central Division

  • Under Blanchard’s leadership, Store #923 achieved 4.4% sales growth while attaining all five goals of Full, Fresh and Friendly customer excellence in relation to friendly service, fresh product and full shelves. 
  • She also achieved all store controllable goals in terms of wages, shrink and expense. 
  • Blanchard’s skills have reached beyond her location: She was chosen as district trainer for all assistant store leader candidates and bench candidates for promotion to store leader; she also participated in a mission program to support underprivileged Native American children.
Image
twig 23 sm

Amber Carter

Store Leader, Kroger Store #418, Cincinnati

The Kroger Co./Cincinnati Division

  • Carter’s store achieved a 5.87% sales improvement versus last year and a 10.71% improvement versus 2020; profitability also improved by 64 basis points. 
  • She and her team went above and beyond when it came to sales plans by first meeting the plan at 100%, and then brainstorming how they could make it even better. 
  • With a strong focus on shrink for the fourth quarter, Carter led her team to show an improvement of 88 basis points for the quarter; this was achieved through leveraging the effective daily walk and perfecting daily operations and back-room conditions.
Image
twig 23 sm

Danielle Deaton

Store Leader, Kroger Store #910, St. Mary’s, Ohio

The Kroger Co./Cincinnati Division

  • In 2022, Deaton was named top store leader of the year for District 1; she was chosen by her district manager for this achievement for her talents of consistently driving results, coaching and developing people. 
  • Under her leadership, the St. Mary’s team has improved on pickup fill rate and pick speed, consistently finishing in the top 10 each week; as a team, they drove positive identical sales by an average of 8% on a goal of 2.18%. 
  • Deaton developed a partnership with the St. Mary’s community board on her store’s behalf to focus more on giving back to the community. 
Image
twig 23 sm

Summer Clingo

Store Leader, Kroger Store #957, Toledo, Ohio

The Kroger Co./Columbus Division

  • Clingo moved her store up from the bottom to one of the top stores in the district and company in terms of metrics, including sales increase, pickup fill rate and process completion with in-stock. 
  • Her store ended the fiscal year 7.18% ahead of 2021 in sales and 91.33% for in-stock, meeting five out of five Full, Fresh and Friendly metrics for the quarter. 
  • Thanks in large part to an action plan that Clingo developed with the store’s Our Promise Team, her store engagement score increased 14%, supervisor effectiveness jumped 18% and in the category of “I am proud to work for my company,” the store’s score went up 13%.
Image
twig 23 sm

Monique Jones-Murphy

Store Leader, Kroger Store #966, Hilliard, Ohio 

The Kroger Co./Columbus Division

  • Before Jones-Murphy arrived at her store, the location was averaging 59% for process completion on a goal of 95%; after she took over, that score jumped to 95%.
  • Her store had a record $1.5 million sales week in 2022, which the team wouldn’t have been able to accomplish without having a strong foundation in place when it came to following processes. 
  • Jones-Murphy grew the e-commerce department in 2022, increasing orders and sales while achieving a pickup fill rate of more than 95% and achieving the division goal for a wait time under five minutes. 
Image
twig 23 sm

Rachel Lister

Store Leader, Dillons Store #068, Lawrence, Kan.

The Kroger Co./Dillons Division 

  • Lister served as the champion of a highly effective team, with a passion for people and a tenacity for achieving business results. 
  • Under her leadership, Dillons Store #068 beat its sales goal by more than 12% in 2022, despite an intensive renovation and reset touching all aspects of the store. 
  • Lister’s location served as a training store for leadership development in the areas of meat, grocery, front end and deli; when not focused on training, she maintained partnerships with The Salvation Army; Just Food, a commuity food pantry; The Humane Society and local schools near her store.
Image
twig 23 sm

Lorena Aguilar

Store Leader, Food 4 Less Store #363, Los Angeles

The Kroger Co./Food 4 Less Division

  • Aguilar’s exemplary leadership resulted in increased sales as she worked with her teams to make sure that product was in stock and merchandised in a way to ensure that customers found everything they needed.
  • Her location was one of the company’s highest-volume stores, and in the top three in the entire division, averaging more than $1.2 million per week; 2022 sales showed an increase of 10.1% over the prior year. 
  • In recognition of her talents, Aguilar was handpicked to receive a scholarship to participate in the 2020 USC Food Industry Management Program.
Image
twig 23 sm

Lauren Cross

Store Leader, Fred Meyer Store #209, Marysville, Wash. 

The Kroger Co./Fred Meyer Division

  • Cross developed a culture of success, growth and milestones, such as her produce team achieving its 33rd consecutive perfect sustainment check for Kroger’s end-to-end fresh initiative. 
  • Her store was ranked in the top third of the district in engagement, according to the retailer’s annual Associate Insights Survey. 
  • Cross has been instrumental in associate development and retention; in her time as a store manager, she has been a mentor and helped cultivate many new leaders; she was also recently moved to one of the division’s highest-volume stores because of her outstanding results.
Image
twig 23 sm

Erika Spear

Store Leader, Fred Meyer Store #143, Hillsboro, Ore.

The Kroger Co./Fred Meyer Division

  • Spear not only ran her store with success, but also took on the role of running another store in distress for four months; she turned around conditions that were below 80% and brought the other store to consistent conditions of more than 85%. 
  • She worked with the Pickup team to improve fill rate, which was the worst in the district, to goal and sustained it; the store was also third in the district for shrink results in Q4.
  • She won the district’s Women of Inspiration Award in 2022, and was the district Women’s EDGE associate resource group leader for the Community pillar.
Image
twig 23 sm

Barbara Johnson

Store Leader, Fry’s Store #680, Surprise, Ariz.

The Kroger Co./Fry’s Division

  • Under Johnson’s leadership, her store accomplished a 9.7% sales increase and improved shrink by 1.72%. 
  • In addition, her mystery shops exceeded the division while also surpassing the region’s Associate Engagement Target goal by a highly impressive 20%.
  • Believing that a strong leader is someone who leads by example and can connect with their peers, Johnson strove to build trust with her associates so that they would feel comfortable coming to her for advice and feedback; she also gave back to her community by serving meals to people in need at the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank.
Image
twig 23 sm

Katherine Lunde

Store Leader, Fry’s Store #679, Sahuarita, Ariz.

The Kroger Co./Fry’s Division

  • Lunde ran one of the district’s top-performing stores in EBIDTA, shrink, and Full, Fresh and Friendly metrics, and she continued to lead the only store in the district that operated as 101% effective according to Kroger’s “Elevate We Train for Grocery” metric for efficiency. 
  • She has been a staunch champion for her people to advance and grow within the company. 
  • Lunde actively volunteered in various community school districts and was heavily involved in the local elementary school district and the community through various public safety programs and community give-back efforts.
Image
twig 23 sm

Rachael Dewey

Store Leader, King Soopers Store #112, Bennett, Colo.

The Kroger Co./King Soopers Division

  • Dewey achieved food safety reviews of 94.20%, with zero critical repeats; improved InStock process completion from 90% to 96%; increased replenishment from 82% to 96%; drove fresh over deliveries down from 12% to 5.4%; and exceeded her sales goal by 19 basis points.
  • She identified product mixes that were creating loss and implemented strategies to reduce shrink, such as reducing organic produce items while expanding conventional items.
  • Dewey’s proactive approach to staffing shortages included reaching out to surrounding stores to arrange training for fill-ins to help support her team.  
Image
twig 23 sm

Jennifer Jenkins

Store Leader, Kroger Store #360, Louisville, Ky.

The Kroger Co./Louisville Division

  • Jenkins’ store achieved all of its Full, Fresh and Friendly objectives, one of only two stores in her district to do so; her location also met all three of its controllable cost objectives in 2022 — again, one of only two stores in her district to achieve this distinction. 
  • Due to her leadership in providing a satisfying shopping experience, her store became a “go and see” location for store management teams and department leaders as a visible demonstration of Kroger’s standards and processes.
  • Jenkins participated in Louisville Leadership Center activities to further develop her team-building skills. 
Image
twig 23 sm

Elle Smith

Store Leader, Kroger Store #744, New Albany, Ind.

The Kroger Co./Louisville Division

  • In February 2023, Smith was No. 1 in her district in achieving percent-to-sales budget, at 114%; her store exceeded the sales budget of $30,000 by more than $7,000. 
  • In 2022, she and her store were in the top three in the Louisville division for corporate-brand sales for three periods in both increased sales percentage and unit increase.
  • As chair of the African American associate resource group for the Louisville division, Smith helped organize its first annual Bridging the Gap Book Drive, for which the group collected more than 10,000 books for kids to continue their reading over the summer.
Image
twig 23 sm

Debbie Frey

Store Leader, Kroger Store #375, Cave Spring, Va.

The Kroger Co./Mid-Atlantic Division

  • Frey had a year-end sales increase of 12.5%, putting her in the top 25 of the Mid-Atlantic division, and for Valentine’s Day 2023, her store had a record sales day of $12,941.
  • She hosted four standards walks from July to September 2022, often with little notice; each walk scored better than the last, which led to her being asked to speak at the Division Store Leader Meeting.
  • Frey worked with the store Our Promise Team and the broader community to coordinate the donation of 1,600 jars of peanut butter to a boy who was collecting items for a local food pantry. 
Image
twig 23 sm

Kerri Parkins

Store Leader, Kroger Store #794, Scott Depot, W.V.

The Kroger Co./Mid-Atlantic Division

  • Parkins’ store had average weekly sales of more than $1 million, was No. 2 in the division in EBITDA sales and consistently delivered on four of five Full, Fresh and Friendly metrics.
  • She created a fresher, cleaner and friendlier produce department for customers and associates through the End-to-End Produce Sustainment program, a key enterprise initiative.
  • In addition to her team’s work with Backpack Buddies to donate goods and pack bags to enable food-insecure children to get through the summer, Parkins attended the Generous Ladies on a Mission Gala to support kids in foster care.
Image
twig 23 sm

Rachel Somers

Store Leader, Kroger Store #596, Brentwood, Tenn.

The Kroger Co./Nashville Division

  • Somers’ store achieved first place for its food safety year-to-date score in the district, which was up more than 9% from the previous year.
  • Her store achieved a significant reduction in perishable department shrink through the new stock process, which the store executed at a 98% completion rate; additionally, by reducing additional inventory and developing key associates, the store sustained some of the best back-room conditions in the division.
  • In addition to being a member of the Women’s EDGE associate resource group and NextUp, Somers volunteered at various ministries across the country. 
Image
twig 23 sm

Angie Vanater

Store Leader, QFC Store #874, Bellevue, Wash.

The Kroger Co./QFC Division

  • Vanater’s store received the highest ratings average in the district for holiday tours due to great store standards and her friendly staff, and the store won an award for its efforts toward Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste initiative.
  • Her collaboration with her team resulted in overall sales exceeding the goal of 4%, landing at around a 6% total store increase versus the previous year, and she maintained one of District 2’s lowest turnover rates, at 33%.
  • Vanater volunteered for We Heart Seattle, an organization that offers resources to the homeless in the Emerald City. 
Image
twig 23 sm

Shalma Smith

Store Leader, Ralphs Store #087, San Pedro, Calif.

The Kroger Co./Ralphs Division

  • With her passion for people and results, Smith led her team to achieve increased identical sales in 2022 and set a new store sales record of more than $1 million for the week ending Dec. 24, 2022.
  • She achieved the highest fresh meat sales increase in her district, 11.27%, and introduced a new safety program at her store that led to a significant reduction in general liability and workers’ comp claims.
  • As a member of Ralphs’ multicultural associate resource group, Smith provided support and mentorship to help minority associates achieve their potential.
Image
twig 23 sm

Mary Reske

Human Resources Assistant Store Manager, Roundy’s Store #890, Mequon, Wis.

The Kroger Co./Roundy’s Division

  • In the absence of a store director, Reske ran Store #890 during the fourth quarter, the most critical time in the fiscal year, and achieved a record-breaking Christmas week, with 21% over in sales versus the year-ago period.
  • She led the company in associate retention, overseeing 187 associates with a 31% turnover rate; additionally, she was selcted as the Every Customer, Every Time Captain for the district.  
  • Before Thanksgiving, Reske and her team assisted the School Sisters of Notre Dame with meal baskets for families in need.
Image
twig 23 sm

Johanna McLeod

Store Manager, Store #1477, Buford, Ga.

Lidl US

  • McLeod led her team to all-green audit checks for the first 16 weeks of the Buford, Ga., store opening.  
  • In addition to being committed to growing the brand during the store opening, she engaged in the community by partnering with Feeding America to have a team volunteer day and joined forces with local schools. 
  • McLeod and her team set new records for Lidl US and the Atlanta market, achieving one of the top day-one sales in Lidl US grand-opening history and a top first week of sales in the Atlanta region, with the second-most myLidl signups on opening week. 
Image
twig 23 sm

Lauren Gaffney

General Manager, St. Paul, Minn.

Mastel’s Health Foods

  • Taking the time to get to know her associates, Gaffney established an open-door policy and organized group dinners and potlucks, birthday lunches and clothes swaps to connect with her team.
  • She worked as grocery buyer in addition to her general manager role, putting in the research to find ongoing and quantity discounts for her company.
  • Gaffney volunteered with a group mentorship program that assists small-business leaders in overcoming obstacles, and also sponsored community environmental efforts by adopting a storm drain near her store that helps prevent litter and pollution from entering the Mississippi River.
Image
twig 23 sm

Jasmine Edwards

Store Director, Store #228, Rolling Meadows, Ill.

Meijer

  • Under her leadership, Edwards’ store has experienced the lowest turnover in her market; she has improved retention by 15 points since becoming store director, and achieved 100% retention during the last two periods.
  • She worked diligently to get to know all team members on a personal level, and has personally assisted her associates with locating housing, transportation and other personal necessities.
  • Edwards began piloting a program that she developed, LeadHERship Journey 2023, which is geared specifically toward assisting aspiring female leaders with their career development.
Image
twig 23 sm

Marla Hellings

Store Director, Store #250, Gaylord, Mich.

Meijer

  • Even as her store underwent a remodel, Hellings was able to achieve total direct contribution and profit above plan, as well as having one of the best shrink percentage totals in the company.
  • Recognizing the importance of mentorship and showing an example of good leadership, she focused on leading by example, making meaningful connections and taking care of the team, customers and community.
  • Following a tornado touchdown in her town, Hellings and her team helped with disaster relief efforts, coordinated to get extra products on her store’s shelves, and helped support local businesses with food, water and other essential needs.
Image
TWIG 23 sm

Marla Hellings

Store Director, Store #250, Gaylord, Mich.

Meijer

  • Even as her store underwent a remodel, Hellings was able to achieve total direct contribution and profit above plan, as well as having one of the best shrink percentage totals in the company.
  • Recognizing the importance of mentorship and showing an example of good leadership, she focused on leading by example, making meaningful connections and taking care of the team, customers and community.
  • Following a tornado touchdown in her town, Hellings and her team helped with disaster relief efforts, coordinated to get extra products on her store’s shelves, and helped support local businesses with food, water and other essential needs.
Image
twig 23 sm

Morgan Lackey

Store Director, Store #184, Lexington, Ky.

Meijer

  • After she took the helm at her store, Lackey’s internal culture survey increased 14 points, and she helped drive further engagement through supplemental surveys that helped her execute each quarter a different action plan that addressed specific areas of concern.
  • For a second year in a row, her store achieved every profit-and-loss metric, outperforming the total store shrink plan by 22 basis points.
  • Lackey and her team supported a local nonprofit organization for children and families in the local foster care and adoption systems, as well as the Sons of the American Legion.
Image
twig 23 sm

Robin Owczarzak

Store Director, Store #180, Grand Haven, Mich.

Meijer

  • Leading her store with the motto “one team, one dream,” Owczarzak developed a Pick Me Up posse with associates who bring additional cheer each day, and encourages her cross-functional to team to help in areas across the store.
  • In 2022, her store led the market in digital sales, was 19th in the company in overall sales and led the market for speed of checkout; the location also received the Safety Excellence Award.
  • Owczarzak hosts Shop with a Sheriff, which brings in members of the Ottawa County, Mich., Sheriff’s Office each year to shop for holiday gifts for local underprivileged children.
Image
twig 23 sm

Miranda Pfledderer

Store Director, Store #127, Goshen , Ind.

Meijer

  • Pfledderer led her store to impressive business results, including increased sales over the previous year, increased market share and its emergence as one of the company’s most profitable stores; she helped reduce overall shrink and saw a 4.5% increase in overall customer satisfaction.
  • She also achieved the lowest overall customer wait time in her market for Meijer Pickup, improved on-shelf availability metrics and reduced turnover by 20%.
  • Pfledderer’s store received additional donation funds and was able to give to three local nonprofits. 
Image
twig 23 sm

Catherine Renton

Store Director, Store #240, Colerain Township, Ohio

Meijer

  • Renton’s laser focus on training helped her team average a 99.5% score in omnibus training throughout the entire year, and her store was able to surpass its sales goals for the year by 102%. 
  • Her service team led the market and was at the top in the company on customer focus scores; internal culture survey scores also increased under her leadership, including in 12 categories last year.
  • As the market champion for Women At Meijer, Renton has initiated period-based recognition that spotlights an exceptional hard-working woman in every store within the market.
Image
twig 23 sm

Aurelia Forrester

Store Manager, Market 32 Store #244, Sutton, Mass.

Price Chopper/Market 32 Supermarkets

  • Managing one of the chain’s flagship Market 32 stores, Forrester oversaw 250 team members and was the zone representative for the company’s Store Manager Council. 
  • Her location was chosen Store of the Year by the organization in 2022 after she delivered more than $41 million — $2 million above budget — in year-to-date sales and a net profit of almost $4 million; the location also beat inventory shrink and was the zone leader for food safety results. 
  • Forrester sponsored such special events as the Sutton Chain of Lights and gave her support to Sutton Public Schools and local food banks. 
Image
twig 23 sm

Rachel Drullinger

Store Manager, Store #427, Overland, Mo.

Save A Lot

  • Drullinger’s 30-associate pilot location — a testing ground for the Save A Lot loyalty program and for selling beer and wine in-store — ranked No. 1 among corporate-owned St. Louis stores, with $7.9 million in sales between April 2022 and February 2023; on average, her store brought in $180,000-$200,000 per week in sales
  • Reflecting her commitment to her store and associates, she used her nearly 23 years of experience at the company to adapt to new situations and retain team members.  
  • Drullinger regularly worked with such charitable groups as the Jewish Food Bank to fulfill both kosher and non-kosher food needs for local residents.
Image
twig 23 sm

Monica Mazzini

Store Manager, Schnucks #188, Ladue, Mo.

Schnuck Markets Inc.

  • The manager of one of the company’s top five stores in terms of sales volume, Mazzini was able to increase store sales more than 7% even after a new club store opened within 1 mile of her store, and she handily beat her store’s EBITDA plan.
  • Through her leadership, the Ladue Schnucks’ floral department was the first in the company to achieve a $1 million sales year, and she and her team beat her net promoter score goal by more than five percentage points.
  • Mazzini volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis and attended local diversity leadership events.
Image
twig 23 sm

Tina Robenstine

Store Manager, Schnucks #269, Godfrey, Ill.

Schnuck Markets Inc.

  • Robenstine led her team through an extensive remodel at the Godfrey store while at the same time delivering EBITDA results of 8.5%.
  • In addition to managing her store, she mentored new company store managers and category managers and led diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives in her division through such efforts as setting up bulletin boards in stores and initiating weekly conversations.
  • Robenstine and her team provided gifts and needed items to an “adopted” family in need, and she recently volunteered with the local American Red Cross chapter to help install new smoke alarms in homes.
Image
twig 23 sm

Kameka Curtis

Store Manager, ShopRite of Colonie, N.Y.

ShopRite Supermarkets Inc.

  • While continuing to perform her duties as an assistant store manager — overseeing daily operations, building a culture of engagement and delivering bottom-line results — Curtis was selected to join the Store Manager Talent Bench program and assumed the responsibilities of managing the store while the store manager was on a leave of absence.
  • She worked in various locations, driving sales at each store, and consequently was the first to come to mind fill a vacant store manager position in March 2023.
  • Curtis co-facilitated a skills-building class for her peers, focused on de-escalating associate and customer issues.
Image
twig 23 sm

Chelsea Stanton

Assistant Store Manager, ShopRite of Montgomery, N.Y.

ShopRite Supermarkets Inc.

  • Since coming to the Montgomery store, Stanton, who was assigned to oversee the perishable departments, led associates to set several sales records in meat, floral, dairy, bakery, deli and cheese; the location also exceeded budgeted sales as well as direct store contribution.
  • She also placed an emphasis on training and development within the store; this has enabled her store not only to promote from within, but also to help surrounding stores by providing associates ready to step into leadership roles.
  • Last year, Stanton’s store raised more than $28,000 for the veterans campaign, finishing in the top 10 for the company.
Image
TWIG 23 sm

Elizabeth Stubbs

Assistant Store Manager, ShopRite of Scarsdale, N.Y.

ShopRite Supermarkets Inc.

  • Stubbs trained and mentored three new assistant store managers and helped train and develop the staff of the company’s 37th store, in Elmsford, N.Y.
  • She improved sales and improved bottom-line contributions over the prior year in the grocery, health and beauty, produce, and floral departments at her location, despite the openings of a Whole Foods Market and a DeCicco’s store within the trade area.
  • Stubbs was nominated to share her story at the company’s Annual Moment to Connect Series for Hispanic Heritage Month and Women’s History Month.
Image
twig 23 sm

Sheri Sigafoose

Store Director, Family Fare Store #1523, Harrison, Mich.

SpartanNash

  • Sigafoose  managed 48 associates at her store, which outperformed the 2022 sales budget by more than 10% and beat the previous year’s results.
  • She made sure that her associates were well trained, consequently evolving into a mentor with a wider reach: Her location became a training store for new associates and store directors. 
  • In 2022, Sigafoose received SpartanNash’s Circle of Excellence award, which recognizes those who live the company’s core values, strive for results, and are considered “respectful, reliable and essential.”
Image
twig 23 sm

Lindsay Schultz

Store Director, Cub Foods Store #4974, Eagan, Minn.

UNFI

  • In a tight market, Shultz managed to increase store sales by 2.5% and push positive identical sales to win her store a place among the district’s top five locations; her focus on food safety across the store led to 31 Green Ecolab audits, one of the best results across all Cub Foods stores.
  • She increased customer service responses from week to week, exceeding the company goal of 30 per week.
  • Schultz created a partnership with the Open-Door Food Pantry for an annual Superbowl bagging event that raised $2,300 worth of groceries for the food pantry.
Image
twig 23 sm

Dehliah Martinez-Wilson

Store Manager, Store #182, New York

Village Super Market Inc.

  • Martinez-Wilson’s store raised the most donations in the company’s milk drive and more than $20,000 for City Harvest, and was also the top-earning location for the Jimmy Sumas Holiday Meal Bag fundraiser.
  • She surpassed budgeted EBIT for the past four quarters, with increases of 42.59%, 16.65% 15.71% and 25.65%, respectively; her store was the top performer of all 38 locations during the last quarter.
  • Two of the three assistant store managers promoted by Martinez-Wilson in the past year went on to run stores of their own.