Issue link: http://magazine.progressivegrocer.com/i/689994
136 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | June 2016 Store ManagerS Joy Swartzbaugh Store #305, San Dimas, Calif., Smart & Final She increased sales by more than 31 percent versus the previous year, reduced shrink by 0.89 percent, and was promoted to the role of perishable merchandiser in early 2016. An outstanding trainer and developer, Swartzbaugh identified and developed numerous associates within the district. A graduate of the Retail Management Certificate Program, she continually developed her skills through professional activities and educational programs like Portland State University's Today's Managers, Tomorrow's Leaders program. renée harriS Store Director, Lakeview Family Fare, battle Creek, Mich., Spartannash Co./ Family Fare Representing the best in store leadership and associate engagement, Harris' associate recognition program includes appreciation potlucks, thank- you cards, and acknowledge- ment of associates who go above and beyond. She improved the perfor- mance of her store through increased sales; reducing shrink; lowering labor costs, both direct and indirect; and increasing profitability. Harris connected her store with the community by organizing such events as the Supermart Sweep, and leading the store's participation in the Cereal City Food Festival. taMMy SLuCk Store Director, gaylord Family Fare, gaylord, Mich., Spartannash Co./ Family Fare Sluck led the Gaylord Family Fare from defeat to become the No. 1 SpartanNash comp-sales store in north- ern Michigan by building a results-driven, highly motivat- ed team. She encouraged team members to work together to build "their" store. Her leadership was a game changer, empowering as- sociates to create a customer experience that has earned the highest positive cus- tomer feedback scores in the district. When a local pharmacy closed, Sluck led her team to improve the in-store pharma- cy experience, and the depart- ment's sales volume nearly doubled as a result. MiCheLLe hayeS Store #230, elk grove, Calif., Sprouts Farmers Market Under Hayes' leader- ship, Sprouts Elk Grove's weekly store sales went from $200,000-$300,000 to exceed $400,000; she drove addi- tional store profits by adding efficiencies to team member schedules. In addition to being store manager of one of the region's most successful stores, she assisted in training new team members for several regional store openings. Hayes was recently pro- moted to the position of deli/ bakery trainer-Sacramento/ East Bay region, in which capacity she will manage the deli departments and training for nine stores. LeSLie SoLorzano Store team Leader, Store #522, gold river, Calif., raley's/bel air Markets Solorzano encouraged cre- ativity and a passion for top- notch work among her staff, empowering team members to take reasonable risks and make mistakes. She improved her store's performance and profitability through such efforts as in- store events and an enhanced presence with local schools, recreational sports and com- munity clubs. Solorzano led the store's customer service performance to the top position in the company by creating a fun and inspiring team focused on a common vision. Mary-Megan DePaSquaLe assistant Store Director, Store #54, bel air, Md., redner's warehouse Markets DePasquale played a pivotal role in managing her store's community outreach programs, which more than doubled and led to higher customer counts. Under her leadership, the store achieved 20 percent sales growth in the past year, due in large part to her ability to sell nontraditional items. DePasquale's work spurred excellent store conditions and customer service and, beyond the store, a doubling of community outreach programs; a new holiday- giving basket initiative, for example, garnered more than $30,000 in sales. tereSa athaS Store #919, westlake Village, Calif., Smart & Final Athas successfully led her team through a challenging relocation from a high-volume core store of about 17,000 square feet to a 27,000-square- foot location with expanded selections, including full produce, bulk foods and meat departments. Even under a different operating model, the store remained successful. She graduated from Smart & Final's 2013 Store Manage- ment Development Program and completed Dale Carnegie training. Athas and her store team received a certificate of ap- preciation from the Boys and Girls Club of Oxnard, Calif. CarLa Meza Store #935, Coronado, Calif., Smart & Final Meza demonstrated superb management skills and ex- celled at mentoring, training and developing her associates, almost all of whom wanted to move up in the company. She helped to find and develop associates for three new stores that opened in the San Diego marketplace, and also proved strong adminis- tratively, helping the district with training and mentoring. Meza beat her shrink bud- get by 0.12 percent last year, is working toward her Retail Management Certificate, and participates in her local Network of Executive Women chapter.