Progressive Grocer - June 2018 - 126

COVER FEATURE

2018 Top Women in Grocery
Jennifer
Gorham

Co-Manager,
Harris Teeter #021,
Cameron Village,
N.C.

During the past fiscal year,
Gorham's store finished as the
most profitable within Harris
Teeter, exceeding $6.4 million
in profits. The store also earned
high productivity numbers.
As the point person overseeing training and development,
her store achieved 100 percent
on successfully training all new
hires in the allotted timeframe,
and her facility is one of Harris
Teeter's training stores for
future leadership.

Kristi
Masterson

Store Director,
Hy-Vee Marion
Road, Sioux Falls,
S.D.

A store director for more than
18 years, Masterson oversees
both a grocery store and convenience store at the Marion
Road location.
In the first quarter of 2018,
her store's profit increased 66
percent and sales were up
almost 10 percent, both over the
first quarter of 2017 and leading
the district; additionally, customer
experience scores rose from No.
10 to No. 3 in less than a year.

Thanks to her morale-boosting
leadership style, Gorham's store
has seen an improvement of
more than 30 percentage points
in turnover in the latest quarter.

Among her community activities, Masterson is a Legends for
Kids board member and leads
the annual Legends Dinner for
underprivileged students, one of
Sioux Falls' biggest fundraisers.

Susanne Davee

Robin Middleton

The Kroger Co./
Central,
Kroger #928,
Bloomington, Ind.

The Kroger Co./
Cincinnati, Dayton,
Kroger #412,
Oxford, Ohio

Under Davee's
leadership, overseeing almost
400 active associates, Store
#928 exceeded sales forecasts
by more than 30 percent and
increased identical-store sales by
9.3 percent over last year.

With 20 years of
store management experience,
Middleton led the Store #412
team to three all-time-high sales
weeks, a feat achieved in a flat
market with little building or
community growth.

She regularly had the highest
store sales in her division,
achieving Top 5 store results for
earnings and expense control
while improving associate retention by 6 percent, a difficult feat in
a college town.

Her passion to lead, motivate
and mentor others led her to
act as a mentor and trainer in
Kroger's Management Training
program; her store continually
hires new associates due to the
influx of business generated by
nearby Miami University.

Recently promoted to
district manager, Davee led
local efforts for Kroger's Zero
Hunger Zero Waste initiative,
partnering with a local university and a food bank.

126

progressivegrocer.com

In 2017, Middleton was selected to attend the Kroger Leadership Academy for high-volume
store leaders.

Jan Nichols

Store Director,
Hy-Vee,
Fitchburg, Wis.

Nichols continued to grow sales
and profits, 2.57 percent and
10.59 percent, respectively,
year over year; this was in spite
of road construction on both
sides of her store that disrupted access to the main feeder
road to the location.

STORE
MANAGERS

Vicki Smith

The Kroger Co./
Atlanta,
Kroger #670,
Dawsonville, Ga.

In 2017, Smith
moved from Store #687 to Store
#670; during her tenure at the
first location, she led it to reach
the $1 million-a-week level.

In a very tight labor market,
she was able to attract and retain
superior employees.

Under her leadership, Store
#670 achieved more than $65
million in sales (without fuel) for
2017, which was the third-highest
in her division, and the store's
EBITDA rate rose to 6.18 percent.

Nichols' team won Hy-Vee's
Northern region Say Ciao to Italia
display and sales contest in 2017;
always on the lookout for the
trendiest general merchandise
items to offer customers, she's
also active in creating such store
promotions as "princess parties"
for mothers and daughters.

Driven by her passion for
employee development, Smith
worked to encourage associates
to satisfy customers, surpassing
several goals, including in-stocks,
friendliness, produce and meat
freshness; based on this success, her location became the
training store for the district.

Sonya Clagett
The Kroger Co./
Columbus,
Kroger #942,
Columbus, Ohio

Clagett took
a store with high turnover
and low morale, and turned it
around; in one year, she led her
team to a 21 percent increase
in the Associate Insight Survey,
the largest year-over-year
increase in the Columbus
division.
She tackled turnover by adding
a high-performing service director and recruiting externally; as a
result, staffing needs were cut by
80 percent.
This traditional store now
routinely ranks first in a
23-store district for total sales
without fuel, and Clagett's
store often leads the district
with double-digit weekly identical-sales increases.

Diann Lewis

The Kroger Co./
Dallas, Kroger
Marketplace #917,
Granbury, Texas

Lewis' store exceeded both division and district
numbers in 2017; she led her
store to a $39 million sales goal
and achieved budget on both
sales and EBITDA.
Her store is a training place
for new talent: Four of the Dallas division's store managers
were promoted while working
with her, and three current
drug/general merchandise
managers, a deli manager and
a seafood lead were also promoted from the location.
Among her 2017 honors, Lewis
was awarded the Best in Class
award in overall satisfaction
within the district.


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