In this year’s Progressive Grocer Top Women in Grocery Awards, Meijer had a total of 12 winners across three categories, including store managers, “rising stars,” and senior-level executives. We asked these leaders to give us some insight into what fuels their success by sharing their personal mission statements.
Senior Level Executives
Lynette Ackley – Vice President, Fresh
Lynette demonstrated leadership as she steered merchandising and financial operations for our fresh division. She successfully navigated supply chain upheaval and developed several long-term initiatives, among them launching our Frederik’s own-brand label, expanding prepared food offerings, increasing offerings from local and diverse suppliers, and maximizing self-manufacturing capabilities. Lynette also served as a member of our corporate engagement committee and focused insights team.
Lynette’s Personal Mission Statement: To build connections amongst people that empowers and inspires them to better themselves and others around them and to live every day with the goal of creating a more positive, uplifting world for my two daughters.
Jenn Martin – Vice President, Merchandising, Health & Beauty Care, Over the Counter and Card & Party
Jenn helped lead efforts on a local art initiative and diverse and sustainable supplier events. She led the development and strategy creation for a reflow of our beauty department, which included the rollout of new fixtures to enhance the look and feel of the department. Jenn also joined the Grand Rapids Community College Foundation board and serves as a co-chair of our Women at Meijer board subcommittee.
Jenn’s Personal Mission Statement: To inspire others to be their best and help them realize their best is better than they previously imagined!
Amanda Mcvay – Group Vice President, Marketing & Consumer Strategy
Amanda helped launch our premium Frederik’s brand that will continue to expand into the future. As chair of the board of Feeding America, she facilitated the purchase of an expanded distribution facility that will allow Feeding America to aid more families in need and meet its national goals of distribution for the first time. Amanda also launched a new team focused on retail media, as well as kick-starting purpose marketing efforts, which amplified our brand purpose with TV/streaming video spots, community short-form videos and community social posts.
Amanda’s Personal Mission Statement: Strive to always be intellectually curious about the connections of surrounding behaviors to be a better understanding human in all roles of my life.
Maureen Mitchell – Regional Vice President, Central Region
Known to always ask associates how she can help them, Maureen envisions her role as the voice relaying information from corporate to our stores. Her style is transparent at all levels and leads to incredible sales results. Mitchell volunteered to speak on emotional intelligence and positive mindset to college students and community members and was an executive sponsor for the McKinsey Black Leadership program. Outside of the retail industry, she participated in the Best Buddy program helping kids with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Maureen’s Personal Mission Statement: To empower people to grow with self-confidence and authenticity, which will allow them to show up as their best self during their leadership journey.
Maria Curtis – Director, Business Development
This year, Maria guided product development, executed strategies for self-manufacturing expansion, and led our business capability team to identify and roll out IT infrastructure strategies that support our growth. She also headed up our celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and co-led the multicultural Mosaic team member resource group; additionally, on her own time, she co-founded a candle and gift company.
Maria’s Personal Mission Statement: Elevate and transform lives by promoting opportunities for education, mentorship, and career growth. Developing new ways to drive positive impact through inclusive leadership for my family, my workplace, and my community.
Kavy Lenon – Supplier Diversity Manager
Kavy diligently worked to create innovative ways to help raise internal and external awareness of diversity and connect diverse-owned businesses with our buyers, corporate partners and business partners. She led the Collection of Voices local art project, seeking local artists to partner on a culturally inspired product collection for Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Pride Month and Hispanic Heritage Month. Kavy is also active outside of work with Construction Allies in Action, the Grand Rapids Asian Pacific Foundation, the Veteran Owned Business Roundtable, Project4Purpose, the Lao Lahanam Association of Holland and the Grand Rapids Asian Pacific Festival.
Kavy’s Personal Mission Statement: My humble beginnings taught me to live a balanced life, make a difference every day, inspire others to reach their potential and lead with my heart.
Amy Messing – Senior Specialist, Organizational Development
Amy created a plan to improve the transition and development experiences of several Meijer leaders to help them best serve their teams. She earned her certification to debrief Leadership Potential Solution assessments, which measure an individual’s potential to successfully advance into significantly higher leadership roles. Known as a mentor, Amy volunteers with our Women at Meijer team member resource group and the Grand Rapids Kids Food Basket; she is also an athletic booster and parent volunteer who helps organize student activities.
Amy’s Personal Mission Statement: To serve as a trusted advisor and coach for impactful development that inspires confidence in others to exceed their own expectations.
Renée Vought – Director, Marketing Creative and Campaign Strategy
Renée led our brand marketing strategy, campaign planning, customer communication and creative development to bring the best experiences to our customers. She developed not only our company’s first brand program to communicate community giving to shoppers, but also the vision to connect community investments to stores while telling stories to our customers. Renée developed our Moms at Meijer team member resource group to support the success of moms through education, environment and connection, and is also an executive board member of our Women at Meijer team member resource group.
Renée’s Personal Mission Statement: To compassionately move others past what is known so that they can each discover their unique and unknown potential – to create positive change in each other, our brand, our customers, our world.
Jenny Barnes – Store Director – Springfield, Ohio
Jenny’s store surpassed financial plans for the fiscal year. A discussion that she had with her team about how our cashiers could directly influence the store’s culture and overall results resulted in an increase in cashier performance. Because of her high potential, Jenny was recently chosen to attend the FMI Future Leader Training course, and in her community, she works with the Project Women of Springfield organization, which empowers women and girls.
Jenny’s Personal Mission Statement: To bring excellent customer service to my local community in the way of conditions, in-stocks, and friendly team members who engage with our customers. I believe this starts with true leadership and understanding of everything and everyone around you.
Dawn Caustrita – Store Director – Defiance, Ohio
In the past year, Dawn’s store surpassed its sales plan. Her team received high marks in the areas of store sanitation and food safety. When not leading the team members at her store, Dawn chairs our Women at Meijer resource group for her region and is a board member of the Mosaic resource group, which focuses on diversity, equity and inclusion; she also serves on the board of her local Humane Society.
Dawn’s Personal Mission Statement: To encourage and Inspire others to have the courage to be their true selves.
Nichole Cole – Store Director – Aurora, Ill.
Nichole has been a Meijer employee since high school who steadily rose through the ranks to become a store director. She managed to deliver sales increases over plan and a digital sales boost. Her store donated more than 150,000 meals to local food pantries last year, while our in-store pharmacy hosted several COVID-19 vaccination clinics. In addition to her busy work schedule, she belongs to several employee resource groups; she is co-chair for Women at Meijer in the Western region and heads up the group’s mentorship program.
Nichole’s Personal Mission Statement: I will be present – with my family and at work-- embracing every season of life. I will serve others as a mentor, adviser and confidant, empowering them to learn and act. I will strive to illuminate different pathways for others to bring their best selves in any situation and to realize future goals.
Natalie Rubino – Store Director – Royal Oak, Mich.
Amid the pandemic, Natalie established a large selection of ready-to-eat lunches and dinners from local restaurants, making it easy for our customers to support local establishments when they could not accept dine-in customers. She hosted a sampling event showcasing a group of 20 diverse-owned businesses during the local Dream Cruise street fair, giving them a chance to tell their stories and sample their products. Natalie is on the board of directors of the Royal Oak, Mich., Chamber of Commerce, as well as of the Businesswomen’s Network of Royal Oak, and is a member of the Rotary and Women’s Club in Royal Oak.
Natalie’s Personal Mission Statement: To lead in the capacity to influence others through inspiration motivated by passion and generated by vision.