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People's Pick Award, Winner

John Snavely

Food 4 Less, The Kroger Co.
Coachella, California

How did John Snavely manage to get the best Overall Satisfaction score of the entire Food 4 Less chain in his Coachella, Calif., store, despite a very rough Southern California retail food market and his location in a migrant farm worker community? Why was the year-to-date Overall Satisfaction score for Snavely’s store 91 percent? Why is the Associate Insight score of 92 percent among the top five stores in the company? Finally, how did his 2016 EBITDA increase by 2.96 percent and shrinkage go down 1.29 percent?

Snavely did it first and foremost by communicating constantly with his associates, the community they serve and other store managers in his district. He follows leadership guidelines he learned that have caused him to be highlighted as one of the most outstanding store managers in the Food 4 Less chain over three consecutive years.

His associates are so accustomed to his twice-a-day huddles to talk about sales, customer engagement and safety that they have begun to take leadership of the meetings themselves without being asked. Many of the company’s most outstanding store managers have passed through Snavely’s Coachella store, where he has worked to mentor them. As a member of his district Cultural Council, he has worked to reinforce quality leadership skills throughout the company and his legacy extends far beyond his store’s four walls.

In the local community, Snavely has made sure his store has a high profile, even though 90 percent of shoppers are Spanish-only speakers. He is involved with important community outreach initiatives like Brainstorming4us, Lifestream Blood Bank and the Coachella Valley Autism Society. Last year, Snavely was recognized by the City of Hope Desert Women’s Council for his outstanding support of breast cancer research via the “Hike 4 Hope” and “Running Wild” events he and his associates participated in.