Progressive Grocer - June 2018 - 52

COVER FEATURE

2018 Top Women in Grocery
Cheryl Pick
Sommer

Owner/President,
Kaune's
Neighborhood
Market

Sommer heads up Kaune's
Neighborhood Market, a
family-run specialty market
in downtown Santa Fe, N.M.,
that dates back to 1896; she is
currently chair of the board for
the National Grocers Association, and served on the board
of the New Mexico Grocers
Association.
Sommer is a member of the
board of trustees of the Louisiana
Lasallian Education Corp., which
oversees the operation of St.
Michael's College and four other
Lasallian schools in Louisiana
and Colorado.
She's also an attorney at a
firm founded by her late fatherin-law.

Anne Maness

Director, Digital
Site Experience,
Corporate Digital
Marketing,
The Kroger Co./
General Office

Maness leads all of Kroger's
digital marketing strategies
and operations to expand
the company's ecommerce
capabilities around the United
States and the world.
Promoted to her current role
in 2017, she has significantly
increased digital engagements,
exceeding 2017 goals for new
digital accounts, doubling the
number of ecommerce households and acquiring 6.7 million
additional digital accounts in
the past year; her efforts have
driven sales, as digital engaged
households and ecommerce
customers tend to spend more
per period.
Maness is also an active leader
on Kroger's Cultural Council.

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Kris Geier

VP, Costco
International,
Kellogg Co.

Geier was
instrumental in
achieving No. 1 sales and profit
growth for Kellogg Co. through
product development, customer penetration, leadership and
execution; Costco Wholesale is
a top-five customer of the $500
million company.
Responsible for the multifunctional sales and profit leadership
of Costco Wholesale globally,
she developed and led a global
discount channel strategy enabling more than $75 million in
annual global sales.
Geier used custom shopper
research to lead a more than
$25 million price pack architecture project, informing Kellogg's
Opening Price Point strategy.

Kate Ward

President, Kroger
Personal Finance,
The Kroger Co./
General Office

Known in her
previous role of
director of investor relations
as the face of the company
on Wall Street, Ward kept
investors up to date on financial
information and the company's
unique story; she was promoted to her current position in
April 2018.
Under Ward's leadership, Kroger's engagement with corporate
governance stakeholders has
grown, and she's credited with
saving the company from what it
calls "serious investment battles."
Ward was recognized as the
Best Investor Relations Professional in the Food Retail Industry
by Institutional Investor in 2017;
outside of work, she volunteers
with Girl Scouts of America.

Chris Albi

VP of Operations,
The Kroger Co./
Fred Meyer

Overseeing the
budget for the
entire Fred Meyer division and
spending half of her time in store
locations identifying operational
opportunities and solutions, Albi
led a smooth transition during a
major organizational change last
year, maintaining the division's
positive business results and
strong team performance.
She also successfully oversaw
a waste integration project in her
division and helped transform
four Spokane, Wash.-area
stores through remodeling and
expansion.
Albi is a member of the Salvation Army board of directors and
is treasurer for the Northwest
Grocers Association, among
other activities.

Amy Simeri
McClellan

SVP, Retail, Martin's
Super Markets Inc.

In charge of
merchandising,
marketing and
store operations teams for family-owned Martin's, as well as
a member of the organization's
executive committee, McClellan
launched strategic initiatives
and new customer programs to
improve the customer experience and the store's bottom-line
performance.
She helped introduce the
company's click-and-collect
shopping service, which is
already profitable, and partnered
with a local hospital to open a
new Martin's Café there.
McClellan serves on the
Retail-Foodservice Board of
Directors for the United Fresh
Produce Association, and is
a volunteer for Prevent Child
Abuse Indiana.

SENIOR-LEVEL
EXECUTIVES

Christina Groth

VP, General
Merchandise,
Health and Beauty
Care and Nonfoods,
The Kroger Co./
General Office

Using customer insight to
renew Kroger's overall general
merchandise and health and
beauty care strategy, Groth
helped create an exclusive
brand and a reinvention of
the retailer's national-brand
approach to apparel.
She developed an improved
customer communication
strategy through an enhanced
media mix, helping to market
new offerings like an exclusive
own-brand housewares line. 
Groth led an organizational
redesign to centralize functions
across corporate and division
teams, aligning categories on the
merchandising team to support
the way customers shop, versus
a more traditional P&L alignment.

Stephanie Naito
VP, Talent
Management,
Meijer

Naito led the
initiative to develop
and implement
the Meijer Competency Model,
composed of 14 competencies
that outline key behavior anchors
for selection, performance and
development at all levels.
She was pivotal in the launch
of the Meijer Heritage Center,
part of corporate campus, which
tells the company story through
12 exhibits and eight interactive media stations; in 2017, a
virtual tour was launched for all
associates across the grocer's
operating area.
Naito implemented mTeam, a
company-wide recognition and
engagement platform, to encourage leaders and team members
to give social- and points-based
recognition.


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