Issue link: http://magazine.progressivegrocer.com/i/689994
122 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | June 2016 Store ManagerS Wendy evanS Store #6466, altoona, Pa., ahold USa/ giant Carlisle Evans turned an "opportu- nity" store into a profitable one, with 4.79 percent growth over the prior year, by focus- ing on customer support and improving "bench strength" through employee training and coaching. She received Better Neighbor recognition from the executive board for her work to support the A+ School Rewards, Children's Miracle Network, Bag Hunger, United Way and Support Our Troops programs. Evans' store successfully participated in such major corporate initiatives as Project Thunder to increase savings, service and selection. Cindie JoneS Store #0146, Prince Frederick, Md., ahold USa/ giant Landover Jones drove positive sales growth of 3.3 percent year to date while a pricing strategy was rolling out throughout the organization. Her store was the first to introduce Bakery of the Fu- ture in Giant Landover, work- ing closely with a sales spe- cialist and a bakery manager on training and merchandis- ing; the initiative increased sales more than 20 percent, improved gross profit over budget and reduced shrink. Jones improved associate engagement 11 percent from last year by taking the time to listen and understand her team; she also saw positive results on profit and loss and improved customer experience. SUe KUrta- PavLoviC Store #0823, Sparta, n.J., ahold USa/Stop & Shop new york Metro Kurta-Pavlovic managed the top store in contributions to the district bottom line: 4.62 percent positive identical-store sales in 2015 and tracking for 7.58 percent sales IDs in 2016. Her customer count was up 4.47 percent, and she upped the store's customer-tracking score in cashier friendliness by four points in one year. Associate development at her store was up 25 percent from year ago, and communication was up 9 percent; the store carried a 7.37 Plus One rating, with Own Brand shares for 2015 of 39.72 percent. Kurta-Pavlovic was the first Stop & Shop associate to be in- vited into a year-long New Jersey Food Council leadership program, which she completed last year. MaUreen McLeLLan Store #0455, Winchester, Mass., ahold USa/ Stop & Shop new england McLellan achieved posi- tive sales and strong EBITDA, surpassing her store's nonper- ishable shrink goal amid an onslaught of new competition. By working closely with store associates to develop an orchestrated strategic plan to combat potential sales erosion and increase its customer base, McLellan solidified her store's stance as "Winchester's Stop & Shop" via extensive training, excellent service and high-profile community involvement. McLellan received the Win- chester Peace & Social Justice award in February 2016. PatriCia deL gUeriCio Store #6335, Whitehall, Pa., ahold USa/giant Carlisle Del Guericio implemented and executed the district mentoring circle of bimonthly meetings to combine learning and fun to extend the skills of female man- agement, receiving Giant's 2015 Diversity & Inclusion Award and 2015 District Human Resources Award. She also planned and acted as MC for the 2015 Best Bagger Competition. She drove fresh sales more than 24 percent versus the previous year by implement- ing creative merchandising and associate training. Del Guericio introduced a fresh shrink initiative that im- proved results by 0.62 percent over budget and 1.38 percent ahead of the previous year. adrienne evanS Store #0132, Bethesda, Md., ahold USa/ giant Landover By boosting morale, meet- ing customers' needs, and ensuring employees worked efficiently and appropriately to their skill sets, Evans drove a 8.13 percent sales increase. Her management improved shrink by 33 basis points, earn- ing her the Sales Award and the Process Award for her district. An active member of Ahold USA's Women Adding Value and Excellence resource group, Evans is currently pursuing a business degree, with a minor in human resources. She is a member of the Frederick Optimist Club and promotes an active interest in good government and civic affairs to the area's youth.