Issue link: http://magazine.progressivegrocer.com/i/689994
74 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | June 2016 Rising staRs Dawn gates-Bishop senior it Manger, ahold Usa Gates-Bishop led the U.S. finance team ahead of Ahold's merger with Delhaize, identi- fying all finance impacts and coordinating the IT team to execute the project. She created a process for resource demand planning for internal and external re- sources, which can identify a work queue 12 months out for optimal management. Gates-Bishop reworked the invoice validation process for a large external vendor, saving more than 5,000 labor hours and $175,000 for the company and its business partners; her leadership on the above projects earned her several iStar awards from her Ahold USA peers. JUlie gRant senior Manager, portfolio, ahold Usa In her previous role of business consultant, Grant initiated key IT projects such as the GC Friday Ad Break, which resulted in labor and sales improvements. She kicked off a project that moved a major vendor to EDI invoicing and honor receiving, resulting in labor savings, guaranteed delivery and random-audit credit. In her current role, Grant helped define "ways of work- ing" for a new commercial organization, which was implemented and is exceeding expectation; she also received the Commercial All Star Award from the merchandising strategy and support leader- ship team. lisa gUintheR Category Manager, ahold Usa Guinther was the strategic lead for reinvention of Ahold USA's bakery department, including building assess- ments, departmental strategy, design/fixture layout, pilot, capital approval, merchandis- ing and execution; to date, the department has seen 6 percent sales and 16 percent unit increases. She was the team lead for avian flu navigation, manag- ing changes to assortment and pricing, supporting stores to ensure needs were being met, and maintaining or exceeding sales expectations despite flu impacts. Guinther supported the Hu- mane Society, Ronald McDon- ald House and the Salvation Army's Angels program. paUlette haRlanD Front end specialist, ahold Usa/stop & shop new York Metro Harland supported the con- version of 25 A&P stores to the Stop & Shop banner within six weeks; advance work included associate training, supply or- dering and mentoring teams. She rolled out Operate for Less for the front end, working with the director of operations to reduce the cost of rollout by more than 50 percent by centralizing within the division the production of all components needed to sup- port the savings effort. Harland received the 2015 People's Choice award for be- ing a district support leader, and the New York Metro Divi- sion's Spirit award for leader- ship at work and beyond. KaRen BRassel Category Manager, Frozen, ahold Usa Brassel drove 3 percent growth in the frozen depart- ment through ideas that positively influenced shoppers' perceptions of frozen foods, including the "Aisle of Joy" and "Froduce" décor packages to support the ice cream and veg- etable programs, respectively. She shifted promotional spend to alternative and digital; her improvements to display plans resulted in lifts of as much as 22 percent. Brassel identified key value items in her categories in which to invest in pricing strategies, and worked with vendors to increase sales and offer value, resulting in line improvement of between 9 percent and 20 percent. Diane CoUChMan Manager, space planning, ahold Usa Couchman executed the remodel/conversion of 25 A&P stores to the Stop & Shop banner, opening five stores in five weeks; one store opened in six days. She led initiatives to grow sales, profit and households for Ahold USA that required new processes and the coordination of departments that hadn't worked together before, includ- ing the generation of more space for major initiatives, and col- laboration and communication with cross-department teams. Couchman solicited food and toy donations from Giant Landover associates and ven- dors for a Christmas party for needy children at Baltimore's Mercy Hospital. linDa CRowDeR senior Director, peapod interactive, ahold Usa/peapod Crowder achieved revenue increases of more than 20 percent for shopper marketing programs, through increased support from existing and new partners. She drove a "launch-and- learn" mindset within the teams from vendor partners to push understanding of, and innovation in, the online grocery business. Crowder co-led the de- velopment — from idea to execution in 10 weeks — of a new category of meal kits, sharing consumer insights and resources with a key partner; based on preliminary success, the kits have expanded into all key markets, with plans to grow the product line. ChRista FoRtieR human Resources generalist, ahold Usa/ stop & shop new York Metro Fortier created a divisional engagement committee to help improve associate en- gagement survey results, and developed and executed a plan of action for the leader- ship team, exceeding goals by six points. She oversaw the divi- sional human resources team through the conversion of 25 A&P stores to the Stop & Shop banner, interviewing and hiring more than 3,000 as- sociates, and onboarding more than 75 exempt managers. Fortier received ONEHR awards for Making Ideas Hap- pen and for her work with the A&P human resources conver- sion team.