By: Jordan Pietrak, Education Manager, Food Marketing Institute
Charlynne Stunder_Video

Charlynne Stunder, store manager for Overwaitea Food Group’s Vancouver, BC, Canada store, was named Category D grand-prize winner in last year’s Store Manager Award competition. Charlynne’s positive, upbeat personality has been the driving motivation behind the financial success of her store, which has demonstrated a steady increase of 13.1 percent in 2014. Among other things, she and her team members served free snacks to children at a local sports camp each Friday afternoon during the summer of 2014. After one of her customers suffered a tragic accident, she and her team regularly shopped for, and delivered groceries to, that customer free of charge.

“My career started as an after school job when I was in high school,” said Stunder. “Our company, under the original Overwaitea name at the time, was one of the most prestigious companies to be employed by in my hometown of Prince George, BC.” Stunder soon realized that she was learning valuable on-the-job-skills that not only applied to her work life, but her personal life as well. “I had a job where I was constantly being able to help people and make them happy. What other job can you get where you get paid to talk to people all day long and have fun doing it?” Stunder asked.

Hands down, it’s the people that Stunder enjoys most about working in this industry. “I love working with people; both my customers and my team,” Stunder said. “I get to learn new things every day from our very diverse workforce and get to learn what my customers want.”

When Stunder received the phone call from her vice president telling her she was selected for the Store Manager Awards, she was in shock. “I would never have dreamed something this great would happen to me.” After returning home from FMI Connect in Chicago, Stunder was surprised by her team with cake, balloons and a warm congratulation from everyone. Since winning the awards, Stunder has continued to build the ever-growing business at a new store, where she was recently promoted. “It’s such a great honor and will be a great challenge moving forward,” said Stunder.

“Our store continues with double digit growth and the possibilities are endless. Our community in the area is very new and vibrant, and growing at a rapid rate.” Shortly after Stunder returned from Chicago, she completed her certificate in Executive Leadership Management through Thompson Rivers University.

Know a grocery store manager like Charlynne Stunder? Nominate them for FMI’s Store Manager Awards by March 14!