Issue link: http://magazine.progressivegrocer.com/i/689994
86 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | June 2016 Rising staRs Mellisa eRickson corporate Bakery Merchandiser, Boyer's Food Markets In fiscal 2015, Erickson achieved a 47 percent im- provement in contribution to overhead in the total chain's bakery departments through aggressive merchandis- ing, pricing, shrink control, expense control and sales growth. Her bakery departments achieved an 8 percent same- store sales improvement, compared with 3.25 percent total store sales growth. Responsible for the chain's 18 bakery departments, she and her team attained a 1.27 percent improvement to total gross profit, and a 0.75 per- cent reduction to payroll and supplies expense. lauRie FaBina senior Manager, ko lab, the coca-cola co. Fabina helped guide an innovative remodel of the KO Lab with internal stakeholders and external contractors and vendors, assisting with the development and maintenance of the project budget. She created and launched a survey for customers to provide input, giving the team access to specific in- sights they could use to keep improving customers' KO Lab experiences. Fabina developed a process for setting up planning calls to ensure the sessions were as effective and efficient as pos- sible. She created a template for the calls to ensure all ac- tion items were achieved. Beth Faught Division Manager, crossmark Collaborating with a client, Faught aligned her team's in- store activities with overarch- ing event-programming strate- gies, leading to a significant increase in customer aware- ness for new item launches, promotions and key focus events. She implemented a sales incentive contest within her team that resulted in a 29 per- cent year-over-year sales lift. Faught implemented an employee recognition program for those going above and beyond, as well as delivering on key performance indica- tors, helping boost employee retention and satisfaction. natalie Runyan nPs Program Manager, crossmark Runyan rebuilt the Cross- mark message after a signifi- cant company-wide restruc- turing and rebranding, also developing a building tour that's relevant and impressive to clients. She played a significant role in a special project in which she helped to successfully and seamlessly roll out the com- pany's first-ever playbook to customer and client teams. She began the implementa- tion of Crossmark's Net Pro- moter System, allowing it for the first time to quantifiably track and manage customer and client satisfaction, and developed a process for con- tinual surveys. MinDy Rich category Manager, associated Food stores (aFs) Rich helped create and implement the successful Dinner 1-2-3 program, which highlights the dinner sauce section to appeal to Millen- nials through distinct shelf signage, monthly Facebook giveaways, coupons and Pin- terest recipes. She developed a protocol for securing Facebook giveaways for corporate stores to launch new products and boost brand awareness, earning each store's Facebook page new likes, multiple comments and thousands of impressions. She exceeded overall budget projections in her categories during AFS' nine-month fiscal year. heatheR Desoto sales Manager, Regional chains, associated Wholesale grocers (aWg)/VMc Within months of being promoted to her current role, DeSoto was able to work with retail customers to implement an online ordering system, address gaps in promotional and show plans, and aid in the conversion of two new customers. She even participated in overnight resets to make sure the conversion process went smoothly. She achieved 22.5 percent growth in her assigned ter- ritories — the highest sales increase at VMC — despite economic challenges and strong competition. Jeni ganzMan Promotional Manager, associated Wholesale grocers (aWg)/VMc Ganzman worked with vendor partners to simplify the advertising program's complexity. She was instrumental in the continued success of the turn- key end cap program, which drove incremental store sales and shopper conversion. Ganzman organized the successful biennial Selling Shows, which bring together more than 1,500 retailers, vendors and corporate associ- ates for a three-day promo- tional event; her leadership and strong problem-solving skills enabled VMC to have its most successful show to date. Joy koch executive Director, corporate traffic, associated Wholesale grocers (aWg) Under Koch's leadership, company profits increased by 6 percent and expenses decreased by 2 percent. Her work enabled AWG to realize a 40 percent increase in third-party business, reducing empty miles for the company's fleet. Working with leaders from several business areas, Koch successfully executed an ini- tiative that increased inbound produce shipments; her team also enhanced claim proce- dures addressing inbound dis- crepancies while fine-tuning a company-wide product-dating initiative.