Issue link: http://magazine.progressivegrocer.com/i/689994
100 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | June 2016 Rising staRs KaRen BRush Director, Merchandise, Meijer Brush's overall direction and leadership of the buying team on assortment, pricing, marketing, store presentation and product development, along with the execution of eight pet events with full marketing support, led to a sales volume of $415 mil- lion, up 5.6 percent from the previous year. She focused on meaningful new and tier-one launches by executing a successful 360-de- gree campaign featuring vari- ous well-known pet brands. Brush was the first external recipient of the Nestlé Pu- rina customer service award, thanks to the strategic part- nership between Meijer and Nestlé Purina. CRystal Collins Director, Retail asset Protection, Meijer Collins developed and implemented a comprehen- sive, aggressive intruder/ active-shooter awareness program across the company to protect Meijer's customers and associates. She created a fraud mitiga- tion team that shut down more than $3 million in cloned credit card transactions and saved $4.2 million in profit and loss by instituting a com- prehensive plan leveraging vendor relationships. A recipient of an FBI award for completing the Domestic Security Executive Academy, Collins used her expertise to help the Greater Boston Food Bank upgrade its physical security. Jenny Coon Manufacturing Plant Manager, Meijer Coon implemented two manufacturing lines that led to the launch of 24 new items delivered to consumers and a resulting $7.2 million in new sales, among several strate- gic innovation projects she completed. She spearheaded the intro- duction of a seasonal summer corn-packaging business, launched on a rapid timeline, that allowed for greater cus- tomer convenience. Coon won Meijer's Custom- er First Award for her work with merchant partners, following her earlier Lean Forward Innovation Award from the manufacturing team leadership. She and her team can boast five years of zero lost-time accidents. CaRol heinowsKi Manager, logistics safety/ Compliance, Meijer Described as a role model for women entering the logis- tics field, Heinowski led ini- tiatives reducing Department of Transportation recordable accidents by more than 30 percent, leading the fleet to an unprecedented industry safety record. Under her guidance, Meijer's private fleet CSA score was in the top 96 percent of the nation, and the team member claims-to-treatment ratio was at 4.98 at year end, down from 8.44 the previous year end, and down 50 percent in clinic visits from last year. Heinowski was named the 2015 Michigan Trucking As- sociation Safety Professional of the Year. latasha williaMs Division Recruiter, the Kroger Co./ atlanta Division Williams developed a sourcing team concept for the division, in which cur- rent store managers assist their divisions in implement- ing and developing hiring plans, actively source for candidates and assist in strategic planning. She oversaw the division's first workforce planning session for business partners across various corporate areas; this resulted in a single strate- gic recruiting plan. Williams was recognized by the state of Georgia for her hiring contributions and for speaking at a workforce plan- ning meeting for the state school boards and various nonprofit organizations. Julie winneR senior leader, Central Planning, the Kroger Co./ Manufacturing Division Winner, a 26-year vet- eran at Kroger, earned the promotion to her current role because of her great work as a global sourcing leader for the manufacturing supply chain optimization team at the general office. In her previous role, she and her team worked with plants and third-party vendors to negotiate costs that saved $39 million for the company. She led and helped develop an organic dairy plan that, using four distinct strategies, aided in the identification of the right partnerships with the right suppliers, as well as addressing potential shortfalls in product. DoRi geng Production lead, lund Food holdings/Mitchell Road Production Facility Geng was instrumental in the operations of Lund Food Holdings' commissary, which serves the retailer's 28 stores; she worked daily to ensure each store had the correct amount of product ordered. She watched each item and kept them in a rotation to pro- vide the variety and quality that customers expected. She was the 2015 recipient of Lunds and Byerly's Brand Champion Award, the high- est honor given to company employees. Geng been with Lund Food Holdings for 36 years and is a volunteer with her church and in her community. Renée aPPeRt Director, Marketing- Brand, Foods and Visual Merchandising, Meijer Appert led the marketing strategy, campaign and visual merchandising involved in the opening of four stores in a new state for Meijer: Wisconsin. She lifted the impression of customer value by boosting digital savings enrollment by 23 percent. Appert reinvented the wine/spirits/beer department in 10 percent of the chain through store design and the launch of a comprehensive customer communications campaign; noted as the best in the industry by vendors, the revamp brought in an ad- ditional $1 million in top-line growth in three months.