Issue link: http://magazine.progressivegrocer.com/i/689994
60 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | June 2016 Senior-LeveL executiveS Suzanne Schmitz owner/operator, Save-a-Lot Owner and operator of a four-store chain of Save-A- Lot stores, Schmitz focused on driving sales and improv- ing profitability of her store, successfully lifting sales and earnings. She planned and executed a store remodel to drive customer traffic, and began planning her next Save-A-Lot supermarket. Schmitz received a Busi- ness of the Month distinction in November 2015 from the Ontario, N.Y., Chamber of Commerce, and was awarded the Keys to the Village by Mount Morris, N.Y., for her work operating a store there; she's also always willing to speak with potential and new Save-A-Lot licensees. LiSa inSeLman vP/controller, raley's Inselman joined three cross- functional committees/initia- tives, including one to find $30 million in cost savings in 100 days — something that was ultimately done in 76 days. She spearheaded an effort to find savings through process improvements that saved the company $5 million in store and administrative expenses, and has begun leading another cross-functional team in a shrink initiative to find $8 mil- lion in savings. Selected by the company's executive committee to at- tend the USC Food Industry Executive Program, Inselman subsequently prepared a pre- sentation for her team mem- bers on what she learned. nicoLe townSend vP, talent development and communications, raley's When she was promoted to VP, Townsend asked to become a member of the company's executive steering committee. She implemented the company's first learning management system, Raley's U, to simplify the training of front-line team members and, ultimately, improve workforce skills and productivity. In the first six months of the program, 11,600 team members took more than 80,000 courses online. Townsend led the evolution of the company's internal web- page, The Pantry, and created a 12-week leadership devel- opment program for future store team leaders to impart company leadership traits. courtenay tyLer vP, merchandising, relay Foods Tyler delivered a 10 percent increase in the average basket and a 27 percent improvement in monthly revenue at Relay Foods, an online grocer. Her efforts included a new pricing and promotion strategy, a new visual merchandising strategy, a category expansion in Relay-branded products, and, in a first for an e-grocer, the successful acquisition of a license to offer beer and wine to customers in Virginia. She also professionalized the company's merchandising team, provid- ing coaching and mentoring to young category managers. Active in the Charlottesville food community, Tyler played a leadership role in the Ameri- can Cheese Society. aLLiSon rouSe roySter managing Partner, rouses markets A third-generation fam- ily member in a fast-growing family-owned company with 50 stores and 6,000 people across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, Royster led automa- tion initiatives, including the company's financial reporting processes and the IT team's proj- ect to automate employee health care enrollment and reporting. She created a specialized marine supply operations unit to provide the offshore oil services and fishing industries with dockside pickup, delivery and shopping options. Royster advised The Idea Village, host of the annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, which helps Rouses foster new food startups. Beth cozza vP, Quality assurance, Shopper events Cozza partnered with Walmart to redesign its in- store sampling experience and maximize the impact of investment dollars and sales trhough strategic identifica- tion of focus stores. As part of the redesign, she led an initiative to hire and onboard 2,000 Walmart field associates dur- ing the fourth quarter, as well as to increase speed to work by seven days and reduce the new-hire drop-off rates of the company's hourly field-based talent. Working with IT, she developed a card management and expense reconciliation tool that reduced the time to invoice on Sam's Club and Walmart accounts by more than 50 percent, and reduced rework by 75 percent. Jody mitcheLL vP, Business development, events demo, Shopper events Mitchell, who led the team that launched the Walmart Neighborhood Market demo program, also created a fresh-focused demo program that delivered a 14:1 ROI for Walmart, improved customer perception of the retailer's fresh departments and in- creased sustainability. She developed a 360-degree gluten-free shopper program for Walmart, which showed an overall 522 percent sales lift for the 14 items sampled, a 1.8 million blog reach and more than 7.9 million social impres- sions; the retailer has since requested that the event be held multiple times a year. Mitchell's department drove a 98 percent growth in rev- enue year over year. StePhanie SchuLtz Senior director, wellness and corporate communications, Skogen's Festival Foods While driving her dieti- tian team to find innovative ways to educate shoppers and associates about food and health, Schultz implemented the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System and developed the Eat Well at Festival Foods ad program. She headed Festival's social media team to engage a grow- ing audience of more than 112,000 Facebook fans, 8,300 Twitter followers and 1,600 Instagram followers, and pro- vided insights and guidance for the grocer's website. Under Schultz's direction as president of the board of directors for Cerebral Palsy Inc., its recent telethon raised more than $1 million.