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Standing Up Against Racism.

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Celebrating Black History Month: Meet Carl, Domain Architect and Jennifer, Pharmacy Technician Leader

In honor of Black History Month, each week our B.L.A.C.C. (Black Leaders and Collaborators Collective) Business Resource Group (BRG) will be highlighting several of our Team Members, including Team Members who are an "ally" in fighting for social justice.

According to Webster's Dictionary, an "ally" is one that is associated with another as a helper; a person or group that provides assistance and support in an ongoing effort, activity, or struggle.

As we continue our commitment in Standing Up Against Racism, we are defining an ally as a Team Member who:

  • Acknowledges that racism exists and has a desire to learn more
  • Are listening and learning to gain understanding
  • Are willing to share your actions. Actions can be as simple as having a conversation with someone who doesn’t look like you, to joining the B.L.A.C.C Business Resource Group, or even reading a book

At Giant Eagle, we will continue to find numerous ways to use our time, talents and other resources to fight for the social and economic equality for our Black Team Members, guests and neighbors. We are grateful for ALL of our Team Members, who are joining us in this commitment.

This week, we are putting the spotlight on:

  • Carl, Domain Architect 
  • Jennifer, Pharmacy Technician Leader

Thank you, Carl & Jennifer, for all that you do today and every day!

Carl Capozza

Carl, Domain Architect

Based out of Pittsburgh, PA

Years of Service: 4

What do you want people to know about you?

I was born, raised, and am currently living in Southwestern Pennsylvania. I grew up in a small town located in Fayette County. I am a proud father of one incredible young man.

For as long as I can remember I have always been interested in computers. Throughout my 20-year career in Information Technology, I have been able to work in many roles including Support, Management, Analysis, and System Administration. I feel that my adaptability to Information Technology roles has come from a mix of hard work, abundant curiosity, and a strong foundation in computing related technologies including networks, multiple operating systems, and coding languages.

Describe your Giant Eagle career journey and what was the biggest influence on your success.

While working at Giant Eagle, I have been working with some brilliant and passionate individuals. These Team Members have become not only my work colleagues but my friends. We constantly work on shared goals and continuously pull our Team Members up instead of pushing them down. This overwhelming support of Team Members can be attributed to a great group of managers. My manager has given me the freedom and support to explore and leverage new technologies that have benefited Giant Eagle.

What do you like best about your work at Giant Eagle?

The best thing about working at Giant Eagle is working with my team. Throughout my career, I have found that the one thing that can make or break a person’s ability to affect change and enjoy their role is the people they work with. The Team Members that I work with to support the organization’s technology needs have continuously proven to be committed, engaged, and supportive.

What advice would you give a new Team Member to be successful in their Giant Eagle career?

Do not silently follow but contribute to your team’s journey. There are days where you will be wrong.  There are days where you will be right. Critically assess feedback from peers and don’t let a negative experience today prevent you from a positive experience tomorrow.

How do you seek to educate and promote inclusion and diversity in your professional and personal life?

I have worked with several nonprofits to provide after school homework help for kids in the inner city and most recently, helping with a summer program focused on providing vocational skills to inner city youth. I have also given technology talks within the IT-space to some global audiences and started Information Technology user groups in the Pittsburgh-area. 

Name a social justice leader who has been meaningful to you, and why? 

In recent times, I follow and read items from Shaun King, a journalist who is very active in justice reform which I believe to be a significant issue in America. There’s a large number of activists that are worth a read or follow these days, including George Lee (Conscious Lee), Colin Kaepernick, and locally Leonard Hammonds and Leon Ford.

Historically, I am a big fan of President Barak Obama, John Lewis, Malcom X, Martin Luther King Jr., Maya Angelou, Huey Newton, and James Baldwin, as well as a very long list of others. I personally feel that these individuals set an example for the youth in our community and provide an articulate awareness of the communities’ experience. For today’s youth, having representation is so important but it’s equally important that they understand that the adversity they face is not isolated to them, and that they are not alone.

What is something about your own family traditions and/or culture that you honor and value?

Family is the most important thing. Many of our traditions are rooted in standard Western PA routines of Christmas and Thanksgiving. They all revolved around family, getting together and appreciating each other.

Share your favorite recipe that represents your culture.

To be honest, I eat everything. As far as recipes go, one of my favorites during the holidays is my mom’s potato salad. I still don’t have the recipe :) 

Jennifer Kupay

Jennifer, Pharmacy Technician Leader

Pharmacy Central Processing Center

Years of Service: 7

What do you want people to know about you?

I am a recent graduate of Franklin University and have 3 children and 2 dogs at home that keep me busy. Games have always brought my family together and I enjoy game nights with my siblings as well as video game nights with my kids. 2020 brought a lot of family movie nights to my household, but I still prefer to be curled up with a good book. 

What do you like best about your work at Giant Eagle?

I enjoy working with my team every day to provide the best possible service to our customers while innovating and adapting in an exciting and ever-changing healthcare field. Our work is constantly evolving, and I love helping to develop new programs and watching my team succeed. The best part for me is helping my team develop and meet their professional and personal goals.

What do you enjoy most about the Giant Eagle company culture, and the specific culture at your store/department?

The culture of Giant Eagle is one of the first things I talk about during interviews or policy meetings. I am so proud to work for a Company that values all its Team Members and is willing to speak out against injustice.

In my own department we have Team Members ranging from 18 to 70 years old with a variety of life experience. While we can be very different, we are all united in creating a safe, positive workplace that allows each Team Member to be their authentic self. I value the relationships I have with my team and our unique culture that thrives.

Do you actively participate in any Business Resource Groups? If yes, can you speak to your experiences and how the BRG improve the workplace?

I am a member of the Womens Business Resource Group and have used some of the valuable resources provided by the B.L.A.C.C. Business Resource Group. These groups are a fantastic way to become a more inclusive workplace and allow Team Members from different business units to come together to make a positive change. The Womens BRG does a great job volunteering and donating to local charities while the B.L.A.C.C. BRG has been instrumental in raising awareness for social justice. They provided great resources for our discussions on Standing Up Against Racism.

“Jennifer has been a Giant Eagle Team Member for 7.5 years. She is a great Team Leader who show compassion and concern. She led the Standing Up Against Racism group discussions for our Pharmacy Central Processing facilities and the Polaris Giant Eagle and has done a wonderful job.”
- John, Call Center Technician

How have you promoted inclusion and diversity in your professional and personal life?

Inclusion and Diversity is very important to me in my personal life because my children are growing up in a multi-racial household. We have had many difficult and powerful discussions over the last year as we try to make sense of recent events. These conversations helped me open up at work and have open and honest dialogues with my team regarding standing up to racism and speaking out when we see injustice. While some of these discussions were painful, they also brought our team together in understanding and commitment to making a change. We continuously look for ways to improve our workplace so that everyone knows they belong.

Name a social justice leader who has been meaningful to you, and why? 

Civil rights leader John Lewis left an amazing legacy that really inspires me to continue to have hope for positive change and to continue to fight against injustice. He was a powerful believer in speaking up for what is right regardless of the consequences. “When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to say something; you have to do something.” This correlates so well to Giant Eagle’s Core Values of See It, Own It and Do Right. His words remind me not to give up and to continue striving for change even when circumstances look bleak. They also encourage me to have hope that more people will stand up against injustice and fight to do the right thing.

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