Store Director, Hy-Vee, Omaha, Neb.
For someone who started working at Hy-Vee before he had a driver’s license, Brandon Lampkin has certainly contributed to the success of colleagues and the business over the past 31 years.
Working his way up from a part-timer at age 15 to his current role as director of one of Hy-Vee’s largest volume stores in Omaha, Nebraska, Lampkin is a proverbial people person who has turned that trait into a leadership advantage. Overseeing a staff of 675, he meets with department and operational managers weekly, holds all-staff meetings regularly and walks the sales floor daily, talking with customers.
Often, the personal connections Lampkin makes are profound. When a long-time employee was headed to a cancer screening after previously expressing concern about the disease, Lampkin accompanied him to the appointment and ensured that he got the best care through the company insurance plan; subsequently, that employee transferred with Lampkin every time he changed stores and won a company customer service award of his own.
Lampkin’s coolness under fire became all too real in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when an armed person entered the building and began shooting. The gunman was quickly tackled by an off-duty law enforcement officer and Lampkin led his team to clean, restock and reopen the store the next morning.
Engendering loyalty is only one aspect of his strong leadership skills. A believer in setting goals while providing employees with some freedom of implementation, Lampkin has worked with seven assistant managers who were later promoted to store manager or store director roles. Six department managers who worked for him have been elevated to Hy-Vee executive staff as department supervisors.
Stores have flourished under Lampkin’s direction. His current location saw a sales growth of 10.5% without fuel and a profit surge of 37.2% last year. In addition, Lampkin’s Hy-Vee was named Store of the Quarter for the first quarter of 2021.
Lampkin has been recognized for his performance in many ways. He received the inaugural Hy-Vee President’s Cup earlier this year and has been inducted into the Hy-Vee Hall of Fame twice. He also served on the retailer's board of directors in 2020.
Finally, Lampkin's leadership through engagement is evident in local community initiatives. While leading the store through changes to best meet shopper needs during the health crisis, he donated several meals to local residents in need and raised funds for a nearby children’s hospital and health foundation.
“Brandon knows that leadership is about the strength of the group. He is motivated in being the best at what it takes to win in all aspects of the operation.”
--Frank Woodward, senior vice president of Hy-Vee’s west division
From June 7 – 11, 2021, FMI will host our People’s Pick category, where we ask the public to vote for their favorite Store Manager Awards finalist.