Issue link: http://magazine.progressivegrocer.com/i/689994
118 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | June 2016 Rising staRs KRistin WalbouRn senior Regulatory and Compliance Counsel, supervalu Walbourn co-led strategic projects to ensure a best-in- class food safety program, and played a leading role in devel- oping a Food Safety Modern- ization Act cross-functional team to ensure Supervalu's compliance. She co-led efforts to design and implement a food safety and defense governance team, now fully operational, to pro- vide robust communication, best practice sharing and co- ordination among Supervalu's business, legal and compliance departments. She played a key role in managing Supervalu's enterprise risk management program. JennifeR WeisgRam District manager, supervalu/Hornbacher's Weisgram was project lead for two new stores, meeting with architects and construc- tion crews, assembling store teams, communicating with vendors on equipment instal- lations, and coordinating all in-store merchandising. She trained, coached and developed three new store di- rectors and six new assistant store directors, filling many of the positions with internal candidates. Her knowledge of the com- munity and culture proved beneficial in her ability to advance strategic recom- mendations while she stayed abreast of the changing retail climate. bRooKe smitH associate Category manager, Produce, topco associates Smith secured a USDA gov- ernment grant to help fund more than 50 local farmers in attaining the proper and legal food safety requirements to provide retailers with safe, locally sourced produce. She developed a relation- ship with the Wallace Center, which connects funders and investors with food systems research as part of champi- oning GroupGAP food safety certification, thereby increas- ing opportunities for retailers to offer Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) produce. Smith met with growers to encourage GAP practices when growing produce. KRistin ZavislaK associate Category manager, Center store, topco associates Zavislak developed 70 new items in the past year, which helped lead to 14 percent growth in the frozen food categories, outpacing national average sales declines; the new items capitalized on emerging trends like premium pizza and breakfast. She regularly participated in cross-functional teams designed to improve overall functions at Topco while continuing to oversee the $90 million frozen food category. Zavislak joined teams to define a better process for new product rollouts, and also advised on the development of a packaging development proj- ect management workflow. miCHelle Reitan senior Director, finance shared services, supervalu After Supervalu decided that the finance shared- services function would be partially outsourced to a third party, Reitan assumed responsibility for the transi- tion to the new vendor while building from scratch a new management team to provide transactional processing and information for finance and other teams. Her diligent approach included documenting every process for a planned, smooth transition of work and reporting. Reitan's vast network helped build a management team of top-notch talent while driving toward high-quality deliverables. sue saete Pricing/Retail integrity manager, supervalu/Cub foods Saete, who maintains retail integrity in all stores and oversees competitive price checks, spearheaded Cub's conversion to a new digital tag program, which resulted in cost savings and reduced labor, allowing associates to redirect time to customer service and active selling. During the midyear launch of the New Low Price Program, store category managers had unlimited availability to Saete and her team, leading to long hours but a successful imple- mentation. Her presence at every remodel, conversion and grand opening mitigated the potential for pricing function mishaps. bRooKe sCHools senior merchandiser, Deli and bakery, supervalu Schools and her merchandis- ing team provided bakery and deli leadership for 875 inde- pendent retailers. In 2015, she developed and orchestrated the implementation of Supervalu's cake/cupcake and prepared food programs into 100 percent of the target accounts. Cake/cupcake category sales improved 112 percent over the previous year, and prepared food category sales grew by 108 percent. She oversaw all areas of functional and strategic bakery and deli category management while directing the marketing team to create sales strategies, programs and events for stron- ger sales and profits. letiCia tHomas Human Resources Director, supervalu/ shoppers food & Pharmacy Thomas focused this year on leadership training and development by preparing successors so as to have talent ready to advance their careers within the banner. She led the effort to cus- tomize a leadership develop- ment program that focuses on key skill building to provide participants with development experience. Thomas centralized the hiring processes for store- level employees, a big-change management effort to create consistency in hiring pro- cesses across the banner while alleviating some of the store directors' recruiting work.