This year, 49 female Kroger associates were chosen by Progressive Grocer to represent the Top Women in Grocery in three categories, Senior-level Executives, Rising Stars and Store Leaders.

 

 

We would like to congratulate our 2020 class of Progressive Grocer Top Women in Grocery honorees in the Senior-level Executive category. Each of these women play critical roles within our company, their community and the retail industry. We’re proud of their accomplishments and feel honored that they chose Kroger for their career.

 

Meet this year’s Progressive Grocer Top Women in Grocery Senior-level Executive

 

Melissa Barr, Supply Chain

As Senior Director of Supply Chain Transformation, Melissa is responsible for enterprise-wide Supply Chain transformation, aligning Supply Chain with overarching enterprise goals for maximum efficiency. Melissa is leading efforts to establish a best-in-class Supply Chain, delivering exceptional service and creating a competitive advantage for Kroger.

 

The Supply Chain is a critical part of our Restock Kroger commitment to Redefine the Grocery Customer Experience. Melissa is a leader with a passion for people and an ability to collaborate and drive results for the enterprise. In her role, Melissa’s main areas of focus include establishing a new, faster approach to delivering on our goals and refining performance, improving operations and allowing us to lead differently while driving measurable results and leadership behaviors, and establishing a culture with a bias to action, empowering our associates and leaders to make decisions quickly. Melissa acts as a thought leader bringing together people, process and technology throughout Kroger.

 

Her optimistic and confident personality fosters collaborative problem solving while ensuring accountability and ownership throughout the Supply Chain function.

 

 

 

Tameka Carr, Manufacturing

 

As Director of Corporate Food Technology, Product Development and Quality, Tameka oversees all technical, scientific and regulatory aspects of product design and development for Kroger’s $23 billion private label brand portfolio, known as Our Brands. Our Brands portfolio stretches from corner to corner in our stores, with over 10,000 items, including Simple Truth®, Kroger’s natural, organic and free-from brand, Kroger®, Where Awesome Meets Affordable™, and Private Selection®.

 

Tameka’s responsibilities span all facets of the product development and manufacturing processes. As such, she has played a critical role in driving the success of the Our Brands portfolio, which achieved record-setting growth over the last two years. Tameka sets the strategic direction for sensory evaluation and other market validation methodologies in support of launching new or reformulated product.  Her team governs the ingredient and finished product specification program for all branded products, both manufactured and procured. Tameka also leads quality management programs for branded procured products, providing scientific direction to resolve and troubleshoot formulation and operational concerns across our 34 manufacturing facilities.

 

 

Erin Dyer, Columbus Division

 

As Vice President of Operations for the Columbus Division, Erin is responsible for directing and coordinating effective Operations of all store locations and business units within the Columbus Division, with 116 locations and more than 19,000 associates.

 

She leads six district management teams to ensure the execution of business priorities and initiatives that will maximize sales and profits and improve each store departments’ contribution. Erin is tasked with achieving/exceeding targeted goals and financial savings plans for the Columbus Division.

 

Her role requires her to spend roughly half her time in stores evaluating Operations and working directly with store and district teams to improve execution, the customer experience and financial goals.

 

 

 

Allison Garcia, Marketing

 

As Promo Planning and Marketing Director, Allison oversees a team of more than 80 associates who are responsible for the design, production and delivery of enterprise and division-specific print, marketing campaigns and in-store signage for Kroger. In her role, she partners with Marketing and Merchandising to strategically plan customer communications of merchandising, promo planning programs and sales events. She also works directly with retail divisions to create plans to support their business goals while tailoring enterprise collateral to reach local customers and fulfill their unique needs.

 

Allison is also hyper-focused on growing and empowering her team. She has designed and is leading her team through an intensive training program designed to empower her team to run their own lines of the business more efficiently, without delay waiting for approvals on the “run the business” side of the work. This empowerment has resulted in eleven of her employees being promoted during 2019 and a +11% increase in her team’s annual engagement scores.

 

 

Rachael Hadaway, 84.51°

 

Rachael leads the Product + Design function at 84.51°. In this role, she delivers end-to-end technology-driven products and services that drive value for our customers/partners, while supporting revenue growth and efficiency of the business.

 

As a Senior Vice President at 84.51°, Rachael directly manages and guides career development for 60 associates and is accountable for how 84.51° leverages development teams and technology budget. With a focus on user experience, Rachael has been leading a revamp of our product portfolio featuring the relaunch of 84.51°’s flagship products: 84.51° Stratum (our data intelligence product) and 84.51° Prism (our media enablement platform) in 2019. Both products have redefined the customer experience in their spaces, increased response times and scope, and supported shifts in our commercial models. Under her leadership, the Product + Design team also developed a new approach to delivering services (APIs) for Kroger category managers giving them the latest forecasting and scenario planning capabilities at their fingertips.

 

Rachael also serves as a business sponsor of the 84.51° Diversity and Inclusion Council and is an industry thought leader on product-related topics.

 

 

Jody Kalmbach, Technology & Digital

 

As Group Vice President of Product Experience for Kroger Technology & Digital, Jody is responsible for defining and driving our seamless experience that ensures the right solutions are built and optimized to best serve our customers, partners and associates.

 

Jody leads a team of more than 225 associates focused on Product Strategy and Planning, Product Management and Design, Digital Shopping Experience and Digital Analytics. Jody is also responsible for partnering with leaders across the enterprise to solve customer and associate business needs and ensure that Technology & Digital is at the core of everything as we continue to transform the grocery industry.

 

 

 

 

Jordan Kremm, Merchandising

 

As Vice President of Merchandising for Health & Beauty, Jordan is responsible for ensuring Kroger offers products that differentiate us in the market and, most importantly, meet the needs of our customers. She knows our customers through our robust data analytics and helps us connects with the more than 11 million people who shop our stores every day.

 

Jordan and her team of 46 associates manage 81 categories and make decisions every single day that help make Kroger a Fortune 20 company and one of the largest retailers in the world. In addition, Jordan has been chosen to lead a workstream of associates, overseeing 22 initiatives aimed at redefining our Center Store business and finding new ways of working to streamline processes and provide customers with an experience that is second to none.

 

 

Kate Meyer, Merchandising

 

As Director of Grocery & Natural Foods Merchandising at General Office, Kate leads a team of more than thirty associates responsible for delivering over $16 billion in sales from 90 center store categories. She has additional oversight in Natural & Organic Strategy and Execution for the Grocery department across the enterprise.

 

Kate is responsible for sales, gross margin dollars and rate for all Kroger center store categories. Center store categories include Breakfast, Baking, Dinners & Sides, International Foods, Canned Goods, Household Needs and the Pet Department.

 

To deliver on sales and profit margins, her team develops strategic sales plans weekly and quarterly, as well as shelving strategies (layout and assortment) that align to customer needs and preferences. Her team also collaborates with our 84.51° partners to develop best in class communication platforms to reach our customers in the most relevant way.

 

 

Paaras Parker, Technology & Digital

 

As Director of HR for Kroger Technology & Digital (KTD), Paaras leads a team of 20 Human Resource experts (based in Cincinnati, Ohio and Boca Raton, Florida) who support the nearly 2,000 full-time Technology & Digital associates across the U.S. (including Cincinnati, Boca Raton, Charlotte, Portland and San Jose). With an annual budget of nearly $2 million, Paaras is responsible for the development and execution of all people-related activities within Kroger Technology & Digital.

 

Under her leadership, the HR team manages the entire associate lifecycle from recruitment to development to retention. Paaras has led her teams’ work to prioritize creating and executing HR programs that develop our internal talent. This has included additional training opportunities for new managers and new development opportunities for our associates to meet the ever-changing capabilities needed within the Technology & Digital space as Kroger continues to redefine the grocery customer experience. She has also focused on creating and growing community relationships, partnering with strategic organizations that will help accelerate our areas of focus.

 

 

Cara Pratt, 84.51°

 

Cara is responsible for the development and execution of the commercial and product strategies for Kroger Precision Marketing (KPM), as well as the financial commitments of KPM to the Kroger enterprise. In this role, she defines the roadmaps and business plans that drive the development of KPM capabilities through data driven targeting and measurement.

 

As a vice president at 84.51°, Cara develops the careers and leadership skills of her team who include more than 75 sales, media planning and product strategy professionals and sets the strategy for a cross-functional team of over 200 to drive KPM development and growth. Cara and her team engage with more than 500 national CPG brands through their brand marketing, shopper marketing, media and ecommerce teams, executing top-of-funnel to point-of-commerce media campaigns. 2019 was a significant year of growth as KPM more than doubled in size and established itself as a leading national retail media platform. Guiding the industry to think differently about media investments and how brands connect with their customers, Cara was the driving force behind this growth.

 

Cara also led a redesign of the KPM sales team establishing new ways of working, creating channel and product centers of excellence, and embedding media industry experience to elevate the level of engagement with CPGs and agencies.

 

 

Mandy Rassi, Marketing

 

Mandy leads the Marketing function for Kroger. In this role, she is accountable for the company’s brand strategy, customer communication priorities, and the creation and execution of the annual marketing plan across channels. She leads a multi-disciplinary team, including brand strategists, planners, and the company’s internal creative agency.

 

Mandy spearheaded our 2019 brand transformation and led the selection of Kroger’s first-ever agency of record, DDB New York, while building a new, collaborative and high-performing brand building team of 120 high-performing associates. She has proven herself as a talented, driven leader with unique branding expertise who was promoted to Vice President of Marketing in August of 2019 to deliver a refreshed, stronger brand identity to support the company’s vision of serving food inspiration and uplift.

 

 

Megan Shaffer, Retail Operations

 

As Vice President of Retail Operations, Megan is responsible for leading our retail operations function and its transformation workstream. She oversees a team of more than 40 associates that work to achieve simplification, efficiency and digital innovation across all retail departments within Kroger.

 

Under Megan’s leadership, the retail operations team develops and implements solutions across the enterprise, directly impacting more than 350,000 in-store associates and the operations of more than 2,800 retail stores in more than 35 states. These improvements were instrumental in Kroger meeting goals for 2019.

 

As a senior-level executive, Megan is a vocal advocate for her team’s growth and professional development. With Megan’s enthusiastic support, her leadership team attended multiple professional development courses on change management in the past year. She also coordinates regular team-building and problem-solving activities with her team. As a direct result of her dedication to her team’s ongoing career development, all of Megan’s direct reports have received promotions in the past year and taken on more responsibility.