Issue link: http://magazine.progressivegrocer.com/i/689994
June 2016 | progressivegrocer.com | 41 Senior-LeveL executiveS Suzanne Long vP, corporate initiatives, albertsons cos. Long coordinated all integra- tion activities for the Albert- sons-Safeway merger, leading the conversion of the Southern and Houston divisions to in- house technology within nine months of the deal's close. She actively facilitated a culture of collaboration and cooperation between two distinct company cultures to build a strong, unified and enthusiastic team. Long's team provided train- ing and support for hundreds of associates to facilitate the conversions and prepare employ- ees for large-scale change; her leadership enabled the newly combined company to execute its aggressive integration plans on schedule, with several areas outpacing expectations. cathy Lord vP, corporate human resources, albertsons cos. After the Albertsons-Safe- way merger, Lord worked with a new management team to restructure and reorganize the corporate offices to align with a strategic focus on decentral- izing many roles and responsi- bilities; she executed the proj- ect, which affected hundreds of associates, with compassion and professionalism. She was a valuable partner of a small team that focused on combining the merged compa- nies' human resources programs and policies, including multiple contract renegotiations that yielded profitable savings. A mentor for women at the corporate offices of Albertsons and Safeway, Lord is past chair for the Single Mom's Network Group. amanda martinez vP, corporate Procurement-grocery, Liquor and Bakery, albertsons cos. For the legacy Safeway distribution centers, procure- ment for grocery and GM/ HBC was centralized under Martinez's leadership before the merger with Albertsons. Her team led the track- ing and evaluation of key supply chain initiatives and participated in the planning process for multiple national sales events throughout the year and other cost-reduction efforts. Martinez worked with other women leaders to start an employee resource group at Albertsons corporate head- quarters in Boise, Idaho, with the aim of connecting talented women across the organization. SuSan morriS evP, retail operations- east region, albertsons cos. To facilitate the Denver divi- sion's conversion to a decentral- ized operating model, Morris quickly built a team of seasoned professionals to manage pro- curement, pricing, advertising and all other key functions; she also created 5 Minute Friday, an update delivered to employees by email or smartphone on the last Friday of every month. Under her leadership, the division boosted its fund- ing of nonprofit community organizations; she empowered store directors to choose fund- ing partners, allocating nearly $500,000 in local grants. Morris is an active member of Colorado Concern, an as- sociation of CEOs and business leaders committed to ensuring economic growth. mandy FieLdS vP, Finance and analytics, albertsons cos. Under Fields' leadership, the Own Brands finance team estab- lished data sources and analytical and reporting tools that allowed the organization to seamlessly gather insights on business perfor- mance across divisions in a timely manner; during this critical first year of integration, Fields kept executive leadership apprised of Own Brands' financial health. Her team created a system to track Own Brands products sell- ing in the company's divisions, which was instrumental in meet- ing several sales milestones. Fields was the point person for Own Brands synergies, identifying multimillion-dollar savings from integrating into Albertsons' banners and driving incremental EBITDA. deBra FiFLeS vP, consumer and Shopper insights, albertsons cos. Fifles' team established a baseline of shopper perceptions for Albertsons banners and their competition across the new trading area of the merged com- pany, and she advanced division leadership's understanding of the drivers of loyalty, price, shopping experience and customer service. She developed and facilitat- ed a marketing and merchan- dising vision/mission/strat- egy session with leadership, resulting in a comprehensive strategic plan. Fifles directed her team to assess shopper reaction to a new advertising campaign to understand breakthrough, persuasion and communica- tion, resulting in optimized launch materials for rollout. cindy garnett vP, human resources and Labor relations, albertsons cos./Shaw's and Star market Working with the leader- ship team, Garnett developed new tools and methods to identify, source and develop high-potential employees from both inside and outside the organization. She and her team launched the Training Fundamentals program to provide a baseline of knowledge in the areas of customer service and financial acumen to all management- level employees, both at the stores and the support center. Garnett conducted succes- sion-planning sessions for all levels of employees, launched targeted career day events, and revitalized campus recruitment efforts, focusing on culinary and business programs. JeweL hunt group vP, Bakery, albertsons cos. Upon the completion of the Albertsons-Safeway merger, Hunt, then group VP of pharmacy, was asked to return to bakery, which she had previously run with success; under her renewed leadership, bakery achieved sales growth outpacing industry growth by 350 percent, consumer experience and satisfaction im- proved substantially, and market share penetration increased. Hunt and her team developed multimillion-dollar cost-savings initiatives and best practices during the first year of company integration with Safeway. She helped launch, and is a board member, of a new Albertsons resource group, WIIN: Women's Inspiration and Inclusion Network.