Issue link: http://magazine.progressivegrocer.com/i/689994
84 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | June 2016 Rising staRs Diana Wolcott senior it Director, albertsons cos. Wolcott oversaw the implementation of an IT e- commerce strategy and built a team to execute on a strategy designed to enable tremen- dous e-commerce growth. She presided over the start of a modernization of Albertsons' technology stack supporting its company-wide loyalty program. Wolcott helped establish the technology road map for the merger of digital systems employed by both Albertsons and Safeway, as well as their strategies and programs, also building up a Force.com development capability within Albertsons that provides application solutions for enterprise-wide needs. connie Yates Public affairs and communications Manager, albertsons cos./tom thumb Yates represents the compa- ny on numerous boards, whose work has a great impact on the grocery industry, either directly or indirectly. She participated in state- wide programs and activities to promote the food industry, as well as lobbying efforts at the Texas state capitol on im- portant legislation, including the defeat of the Bottle Bill. Through Yates' association with the North Texas Com- mission, which promotes and strives for the betterment of the region, she worked to resolve such issues as traf- fic affecting area retailers, including the approval of a strategic express-lane project. HeatHeR Hall Rewards Marketing Manager/Marketing account Manager- Macey's, associated Food stores (aFs) Hall and the rewards team launched digital coupons in print ads for all rewards stores, resulting in the clip- ping of 5,000 e-coupons and the redemption of 3,700-plus during the first week of the campaign. Under her guidance, AFS rewards reached a total of 600,000 rewards members at more than 65 stores. Hall's team increased pen- etration transaction rates by double digits at corporately owned stores by encouraging front end associates to discuss and promote the program with shoppers. saRaH Pettit Public Relations Manager, associated Food stores (aFs) Pettit was critical to the brand development of AFS' alternative store formats, leading on brand development, store design and all shopper- facing marketing, as well as team member culture/support materials. She helped develop Macey's bakery brand via packaging innovations and a unique Doughnut of the Month program aimed at boosting product trial and sales in the bakery department. Pettit worked with the AFS advertising team on a digital baby ad, Baby Steps, which of- fered parenting tips, product coupons and other valuable parenting information, paired with baby photography . PHoebe Vasconcellos Human Resources Manager, Districts 9 and 10, albertsons cos./ Jewel-osco Vasconcellos' eye for talent led her to hire 500 new em- ployees after participating in eight store-level job fairs, and she also organized Jewel-Osco's first outer-zone district job fair for store-level associates. She spearheaded Jewel- Osco's transition from the Unicru hiring system to Taleo, developing all training materi- als, creating more than 3,000 requisitions and providing day- to-day support for 185 stores. Vasconcellos demonstrated active coaching, teaching and training on a daily basis, and successfully organized pro- associate meetings. sanDRa Vox assistant liquor sales and Merchandising Manager, albertsons cos./Jewel-osco Vox became a certified beer cicerone, an accomplishment held by few grocery buyers, distinguishing herself as an expert in the field and a crucial marketing resource for her banner. She was instrumental in the successful incorporation of the first bar into a Jewel-Osco location, doing everything from researching equipment to choosing craft beers with greatest consumer appeal. Vox helped build one of the largest selections within the Chicago metropolitan market, receiving many sales awards from beer companies and mak- ing Jewel-Osco truly competi- tive as a liquor retailer. bHaRgaVi WHatleY senior Director, albertsons cos. Whatley led testing and quality assurance during the Albertsons-Safeway merger for the Southern, Houston, Inter- mountain and Denver divisions. To facilitate the integration process, she built and imple- mented an end-to-end strategy enabling validation of critical business functions across multiple complex systems, and established a test data management practice resulting in a 40 percent time savings in data service provided. Whatley developed 60 percent automation for point- of-sale and digital marketing systems to reduce the cost of running manual validations. teResa WHitneY assistant grocery sales Manager, albertsons cos./ intermountain Division Whitney scored a key promo- tional success when the divi- sion's first 10 percent-off frozen event achieved a 13.8 percent identical-store sales lift. She implemented the Gold Standard program for dairy department standards and cleanliness, achieving 190 basis-point improvements in department service scores within the first three months after the program's implemen- tation. Whitney successfully transitioned Albertsons' top- selling pizza brand to a new private-brand name without sales loss during the key selling season of September 2015-January 2016.