Three Topco associates named to Progressive Grocer’s 2021 Top Women in Grocery List
Three Topco associates have been named Rising Stars on Progressive Grocer’s 2021 Top Women in Grocery List.
The awards program is in its 15th year and “recognizes the integral role women play across all segments of the North American food retail and grocery industries.” Winners were announced Tuesday, June 15 (click here for the full announcement).
The Topco winners include Program Operations Manager Mandy Plewniak, Center Store Senior Category Manager Carla Rydberg, and Store Equipment and Construction Category Manager Jenn Young.
All three women played an integral role in ensuring Topco members were given the tools and guidance to succeed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mandy serves as the Program Operations Manager for the Produce and Floral program at Topco’s West Palm Beach office. She stepped up to take the lead on sourcing and category management for garlic and mangos. She established goals and led members to success in both categories. Under her direction and leadership in a one-year period, member purchases increased 449% in mangos and 33% in garlic to nearly $8 million in total volume. While there were several significant fluctuations in cost and product availability during the COVID-19 pandemic, members saw a more stable supply than the market and, thanks to Mandy’s guidance, also experienced significant cost avoidance.
As Senior Category Manager for cookies, crackers and salty snacks, Carla was honored for her success of rolling out a brand transition – moving a variety of Own Brand and member labels into a single Crav’n Flavor brand label. This transition included more than 65 new items in cookies and crackers and set the stage for future categories to round out this brand. She also managed to do this during a global pandemic where stress on supply and demand was at an ultimate high. Despite the circumstances, Carla partnered with suppliers and led proactively, helping members achieve own brand penetration increases while also offering member shoppers new quality products to indulge their cravings while sheltering in place.
Jenn co-leads Topco Indirect Spend Program’s Store Equipment and Construction category, leading strategic sourcing initiatives for 48 grocery retailers and wholesalers across the country. During COVID, Jenn and her team held a variety of conference calls and ran surveys in order to develop a package of solutions that could quickly and efficiently help our members as they struggled to serve their own communities. She also worked with supplier partners to obtain a variety of items including checkout sneeze guards and ultra-cold vaccine freezers for pharmacies and was able to leverage the scale of the co-op to negotiate aggressive pricing and reduced lead times. She also assisted with e-commerce and COVID solutions.
The three women will be honored at the Top Women in Grocery Awards Gala this November at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, Florida.