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Pattison Food Group recognizes excellence in leadership at awards event

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Pattison Food Group celebrated the accomplishments of several of its leaders at the Leadership Excellence Awards gala, held March 1 in Vancouver, B.C.

The leadership awards are presented to leaders who create a positive environment for their teams, deliver outstanding customer service and achieve profitable growth.

The follower people received the awards, with commentary from the organization about their respective merits.

Alex Speckman, store manager of Save-On-Foods Northgate is a strong communicator, focused on operational excellence. He’s the epitome of a coach, he sets high standards and supports his team in delivering results.

Jennifer Sellars, managing director of business systems development & support, is a dedicated leader who has delivered on more than 10 major transformation projects resulting in significant financial benefits for the Pattison Food Group and major gains for business areas, including merchandising, marketing, supply chain and our retail stores. 

Brooke Nelson–St. Dennis, store manager at Save-On-Foods Brocklehurst, is an optimistic solutions-oriented leader who works alongside her team to develop strong quarterly plans that deliver on their financial responsibilities.

Andrew Sanders, store manager at Save-On-Foods Golden, has worked hard over the last 2 years to build a strong culture in his store. Through effective coaching and communication, he has redefined the culture while delivering on their financial commitments.

Nate Alcos, store manager at Save-On-Foods Willoughby, is a leader with a strong focus on delivering his business plan through collaboration with his team. He has a clear plan focused on operational excellence and has delivered on creating a positive shopping experience for his customers.

Paul Anacleto, store manager at Save-On-Foods Sydney, has taken a collaborative approach to operational excellence which has led to a high level of engagement and increased sales in all fresh departments.

Lance Bell, store manager at Save-On-Foods 9th & Jasper, has demonstrated outstanding mentorship and influence with our up-and-coming leaders with 5 of his assistant store managers being promoted to store manager in the last 5 years.

Special Achievement Awards 

These awards recognize individuals or teams for unique and exceptional accomplishments.

Jeff Woods, store manager at Save-On-Foods Revelstoke, is a leader who has shown exceptional leadership and community involvement resulting in big gains in store sales and productivity.

Darcy Ginter, store manager at Quality Foods Parksville, is known for having a big personality, strong customer service skills and a keen eye for merchandising.  Darcy took on the challenge of opening a brand new location on Vancouver Island – an opening that has been a big success!

Tyler Wall, store manager at Save-On-Foods Fort Nelson, is known for holding himself to the highest standard and teaching by example. By coaching his management team on the little things that matter most to the customer, they have improved their shopping experience and made their store a place where customers keep coming back.

Lydia Leonard, Roth’s West Salem, market director, made a big difference supporting the Chuck’s team through the transition as a newly acquired business. With her support, the team morale has never been better.

Mike Lefebvre, general manager, Save-On-Foods B.C., is a true ambassador of the Overwaitea culture. He is a highly respected, honest, straightforward leader who always advocates for what’s right for our retail operations.

Sam Corea, chief operating officer, Buy-Low Foods and Dereck Hein, vice president, retail operations Buy-Low Foods were recognized with a team award for the incredible leadership and resilience they have shown throughout our integration.

The Rising Star Award is given to a leader under age 40 who exemplifies our culture of innovation in their work and is committed to personal and professional development. Stephanie Benbow, store manager at Save-On-Foods Guildford, is a very humble leader who is laser-focused on understanding her customer needs. As our youngest female store manager, she was entrusted to open one of our newest locations in 2021 and in just under one year the store overachieved all performance targets. 

The Anne Kidd Inspire Award is given to a leader in our company who demonstrates excellence in positive influence, communication, dedication, and leadership. Laura Hudson, store manager, Campbell River Quality Foods, is a trailblazer in industry who uses her exemplary people and organization skills to run one of the most successful stores in the Quality Foods banner. She is hard-working, determined and an inspiration to future female leaders.

The Prospector’s Award is given to a company leader who successfully identifies or facilitates an acquisition opportunity or innovative idea for the Pattison Food Group that leads to company growth. Darin Rybloom, director of grocery buying at Roth’s Fresh Markets had his finger on the pulse in the industry and recognized that Chuck’s was selling and there was an opportunity for us to make a move. The addition of Chuck’s Produce has been a great fit for the Pattison Food Group.

The Customer Service Excellence Award is highly competitive and given to the store with the best customer service metrics in our company. For 2022, the winner was Save-On-Foods Crestonaccepted by store manager, Steve Smeaton. In this small community the store has become a community gathering place, customers come to shop but also to connect with team members and friends they see in the aisles.

Business Leader of the Year and Store Leader of the Year

Carey Leblanc, director of merchandising, centre of store, was named 2022 Business Leader of the Year. Knowledgeable and dedicated, Carey makes an impact in every business he is involved in and is a strong advocate, acting with integrity to do what’s right for our business. He is highly aware of the environment we’re in today and always pushes for what’s right for our business and our customers. He has a strong understanding of merchandising and how to handle our inventory and played an integral part in getting our procurement team rolling.

Alan Kaarsemaker, store manager at Save-On-Foods Chilliwack, was named 2022 Store Leader of the Year. Alan has progressively held more senior roles and responsibilities, including being entrusted to open and establish our brand in a number of new markets throughout Western Canada. Alan is always looking for opportunities to save money, drive sales and do things differently, all with the goal of supporting an operationally sound store. With a back-to-basics plan, his team delivered some truly incredible financial results – most notably in shrink reduction and improved contribution.

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