2018 Winners

Category A: (1-49 Stores)

  • Al Gartner

    Al Gartner_SMA

    Lunds & Byerlys
    Woodbury, Minnesota

    Al Gartner was the first manager in a store that Lunds & Byerlys acquired in Woodbury, Minnesota. Starting on Day 1, his task was to introduce the existing staff to the Lunds & Byerlys culture, one in which a unique shopping experience is created for every customer. Among many other changes, Gartner and his staff initiated a program to help shoppers answer the age-old question, “What’s for dinner?” It was so successful in driving sales that the Woodbury store was selected for a pilot program this year offering meal kits.

Category B: (50-199 Stores)

  • Kathy Sweigert

    Kathy Sweigert

    Giant Martin's
    State College, Pennsylvania

    Kathy Sweigert rose to the challenge a couple of years ago when she took over leadership of the Giant Food Store near the Pennsylvania State University campus in State College, Pennsylvania. A year into Kathy Sweigert’s leadership, profitability grew from a negative 0.26 percent to a positive 1.67 percent. After 18 months, profitability was up to 3.02 percent and total store sales had increased 8.05 percent.

Category C: (200+ Stores)

  • Pam Hudson

    Pam Hudson

    Dillons Food Stores, a division of the Kroger Co.
    Hutchinson, Kansas

    Ken Deluca, vice president of the Kroger Co.’s Dillons Division, said, “Pam leads by example, not only by following and executing all company initiatives and goals, but also by serving the community around her.” Her daily store walks allowed her to mentor store leaders and provided an example to them of how they should manage their own department team members.

Category D: (International)

  • Joanne Walker

    Joanne WalkerSPAR Northern Ireland/Henderson Group
    Co.Down, N. Ireland

    Joanne Walker’s Spar store in Carrowdore, Northern Ireland, recently was re-branded as a Eurospar, but there was far more than a change of name involved. While remaining open for shoppers, her store underwent a nearly $2 million renovation that included doubling the store size; the introduction of a new butcher’s shop, deli and post office; and increasing staff by 50 percent. Despite the challenges that come with a physical remodel, sales increased 37 percent over last year. The keys to this success, Walker said, can be boiled down to two points: Attention to detail and developing a quality staff.

People's Pick Award

  • Mitch Cochran

    Mitch Cohran

    Food City
    Cleveland, Tennessee

    "Customers are family," says Mitch Cochran, respectfully known as “Mr. Mitch” to many in the community of Cleveland, Tennessee. He is well regarded as a “people person” – both in his Food City store and in his neighborhood. Cochran’s communications skills are his strength, most evident in how he works with his team. He invests in new hires to ensure their success, and he’s involved in every facet of hiring and new employee orientation.

Click below to see winners from previews years. 

  • 2017 Grand Prize Winners

  • 2016 Grand Prize Winners

  • 2015 - 2011 Grand Prize Winners

  • 2005 - 2001 Grand Prize Winners

  • 2010 - 2006 Grand Prize Winners