Progressive Grocer - June 2018 - 62

COVER FEATURE

2018 Top Women in Grocery
Kimberly Cowen
Regional Manager,
Advantage
Solutions

To help increase
EBITDA, Cowen
stepped in to offer her organizational skills for major events and
activations such as the Meijer
LPGA Classic and Back to College events.
She maintains a regular
presence in stores and at events,
doing whatever's needed,
whether it's event prep, setup or
cleanup, to help the team and
her company.
This past January, Cowen was
given several additional responsibilities, including crafting weekly
client updates, summarizing
field execution, and highlighting
key operational initiatives driving
innovation and creativity to meet
Advantage's platform annual
EBITDA and revenue goals.

Amanda King
Sales Manager,
Advantage
Solutions

When Advantage transitioned
to a new financial system, King
developed a new approach to
the month-end reporting and
processes, providing enhanced
revenue detail and helping with
the preparation of the month-end
financial summary.
She was recognized as a
significant contributor to the
success of the headquarters
sales services division's ending
the year 2 percent to budget.
King began serving as a coach
for an Advantage leadership
development associate team,
which entailed collaborating with
members on their responsibilities and learning assignments,
and enrolled in the company's
year-long Accelerated Career
Experience program.

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progressivegrocer.com

Kelli Ficke

Senior Category
Manager, Team
Leader, Advantage
Solutions

Ficke's analysis
led to a brand's expansion of its
twin-pack solutions business at a
major retailer, and she also identified opportunities in the retailer's
divisions; the brand's business
subsequently grew more than
6 percent, driving the retailer's
eye care category growth of 3
percent.
She identified the right organic
items for a brand undergoing
SKU rationalization at a retailer,
so that its business grew 16 percent with a reduced SKU count,
while the retailer's category rose
more than 5 percent.
Ficke received a brand's Category Manager of the Year award;
she also volunteers as a coach
for youth soccer and basketball
teams.

Amy Knox

Account Executive,
Advantage
Solutions

Knox secured
a divisional
partnership with
Kraft to promote its Hockeyville
local community sports outreach
initiative; the program generated
370-plus events over five weeks
in the Eastern division.
She was instrumental in securing Albertsons' Eastern division's
first community involvement
program, facilitating the donation
of 15 cases of food and toiletries
on behalf of Albertsons/Safeway
to a local food bank.
Asked by Rasmussen College to assist college students
in enhancing their interviewing
skills to gain employment after
graduation, Knox volunteered
her time to conduct mock
interviews and provide coaching and feedback.

Jennifer Gruber
Senior Director,
Analytic Solutions,
Advantage
Solutions

Gruber developed an online training program
specifically focused on proper
data use for all professional
associates; the course was a
critical element of Advantage's
efforts to ensure proper use of,
and compliance with, high-value
data assets.
She led the development of
new data visualizations and
applications for Adlumina, a
next-generation Speed to Insights analytic tool for clients and
internal users.
Gruber pioneered the creation
of a three-part shopper analytics
online workshop, in which
50-plus associates participated
in a fun, engaging program to
develop their panel analytics and
storytelling skills.

Amanda Reaves
Sales Team
Leader, Advantage
Solutions

Chosen as a retailer's and a CPG
brand's Top Branded Broker,
Reaves achieved 16 percent over
last year and secured $14 million
in gross shipments by developing
and executing key promotional
plans to gain top- and bottom-line growth.
Her focus on building new
brands through category leadership, commitment to identifying and communicating trends,
eye for developing presentations, successful track record
in regard to the overall strategy,
and expertise in identifying retailer opportunity gaps resulted
in two new vendors/brands
being sold into a retailer.
Reaves is a board member of
NFRA's Central Florida Chapter.

RISING STARS

Brooke Heintz
Client Service
Manager,
Advantage
Solutions

Tasked with
securing 30,000 in-store activations, Heintz surpassed the goal
by an extra 2,000 events, equivalent to an additional 7 percent
increase to the overall profit.
For Family Meals Month in
September, she helped introduce
an event for Mars' Uncle Ben's
brand; the customized event
strategy, featuring uniquely
branded carts with recipe cards,
led to results exceeding those of
previous programs.
Having determined that it
would be beneficial not only to
herself, but also to Advantage,
Heintz is pursuing a business
degree while continuing to excel
at her full-time job. 

Crystal Rossel

Client Team
Leader, Advantage
Solutions

In a year of
declines for most
of the categories in which her
clients participate, Rossel
managed to deliver impressive
overall combined growth of
108.4 percent compared with
the prior year.
Her dedication, analysis, and
desire to create win-win situations for both Advantage and her
clients resulted in a more than
an $800,000 (four-point) margin
improvement for her businesses.
Rossel played a key role in
identifying and closing incremental business-to-business
opportunities across her portfolio, successfully addressing
specific client business needs
that have delivered $1 million
in incremental revenue to
Advantage.


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Progressive Grocer - June 2018

Contents
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