Randy Kruse, Ames No. 2 Hy-Vee, Inc.
Randy is not satisfied with simply increasing sales, though he consistently does. In 2013, sales rose 5.6 percent and profits increased 43 percent in his store. Randy is also a leader in every sense of the word, from mentoring his employees to being a respected partner in the Ames and Iowa State University communities. Randy has expanded his store’s connection with Iowa State and quadrupled the amount of business the store gets from the university and companies associated with ISU athletics. In addition to the store’s involvement with the university, they support community groups including Big Brother Big Sisters, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and Habitat for Humanity. This year, Hy-Vee introduced a bonus program for part-time employees based on store performance. To announce the change, Randy created a presentation showing that Hy-Vee’s core values are directly related to their store’s performance and explaining his “Top 10” list of expectations. This approach was so successful that many other store directors used Randy’s presentation to explain the bonus program and service expectations to their part-time employees. Randy encourages his team to be creative, and requires each department to plan and execute an in-store promotion every month. This effort has helped 12 departments reach new sales records. In 2013, Randy’s peers recognized his contributions and achievements by selecting him as 2013 Store Director of the Year for Hy-Vee’s Northern Region.
Doug Malenoski, King Soopers, a division of The Kroger Co.
Doug, a thirty-six year veteran of the food retail business, is insistent that any recognition bestowed upon him is redirected to his team. TEAM 50, as Doug’s associates call themselves, has flourished under Doug’s leadership despite incoming competition in the market area. Doug’s team feels a sense of ownership of the store, which results in a commitment to company goals such as key retailing, customer engagement and safety goals. One of the highest volume stores in the division, Doug’s store has experienced a streak of 400-plus accident-free days and an increase of 30 points on the employee engagement survey. Communication and the sharing key data, results and success empowers the team to offer creative suggestions and solve problems on the floor. Due to his team’s exemplary results, Doug was selected to serve as a mentor in the company’s comprehensive management program. TEAM 50 is also active within the community, contributing to local food drives for Thanksgiving and Easter as well as raising the most money in the district for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
Ray Waldrop, BI-LO
Rock Hill, South Carolina
Ray’s commitment to the business, the customer and his team has created a culture that repeatedly produces satisfied customers, strong community relations and sustainable results. Ray’s store is number one in total sales volume at BI-LO, even in the face of numerous competitive retailers in his market, and his store was voted “Best Supermarket” for the past seven years by the citizens of Rock Hill. Since 2005, Ray has been a Center of Excellence Store Trainer and contributed to the promotion of four store directors and two co-managers. Ray has also developed tools that are used company-wide for training and inventory control, including a Store Director Tool Box that includes leadership training, a list of job responsibilities for direct-reports, and an email reminder system to ensure timely execution of key activities. While serving on the Company Store Director Leadership Council, Ray was nominated by fellow Council members to be the Council Chairman. The community of Rock Hill recognizes the commitment of Ray and his store as well, and awarded Ray the “Friends of our Neighborhoods” award. Ray’s team partners with substance abuse services, the Boys and Girls Club, local elementary schools and police departments to bring to life community events and fundraisers that benefit all who live in Rock Hill.