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Celebrating Women's History Month: Meet Our Women Leaders

March is Women’s History Month, our time to commemorate and acknowledge the vital role of women in history. In celebration, our Women's Business Resource Group is excited to conclude our Team Member spotlights by sharing a little about these six women from our corporate and store leadership teams.

WBRG Logo

The women of Giant Eagle came together to inspire one another with the Women’s BRG, which served as our founding Business Resource Group. Together, they offered us a platform to honor the many talented women who make our Company great and inspired us to continue down the path of inclusion and equity through all our BRGs.

Our Women's BRG's mission is to advocate for the success of women at Giant Eagle providing support and opportunities to network, to lead, and to give back to the communities in which we serve.

While leading with their mission in mind, our Women's BRG works to:

  • Have a positive effect on the Giant Eagle culture. The intent is to change the way women participate in Giant Eagle’s success, and how women are seen and understood within the organization.
  • Complement, reinforce, promote, and accelerate Giant Eagle’s success and strategic goals by leveraging women’s alternative and valuable perspectives, skill sets, attributes, and traits.
  • Provide support to women as they navigate the changes that occur throughout their careers, finding the balance between winning at work and winning at home.
  • Promote Diversity such as talented women moving into positions of influence, talented women having a voice and a comfortable seat at the table, talented women driving real business results, across the enterprise, and creating a culture where women want to advance and succeed.

Giant Eagle Team Member Valerie

Valerie, Curbside Specialist

What does Women's History Month mean to you?

Taking the time to recognize all of the amazing, driven women who not only helped pave the road to get to where we are, but also those who are continuing on with the work and trailblazing even now in 2021. Look at our Curbside business? The majority of the leadership team, as well as the Corporate Operations team, is women; how awesome is that?!

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Although there are many different projects I have been proud to be a part of, I have to say I am most proud of becoming the Senior Curbside Team Leader for the Fulfillment Center that opened at our Parkway Center Giant Eagle during the pandemic.

Though it was short lived, it was able to service so many people in our community who were looking to use our Curbside service during a very scary and uncertain time, but unable to get a spot at our already standing locations. Seeing so many people from all different areas of our Company come together to quickly convert that store so it could help as many people as it could in our community is something that will stay with me for my whole career.

Who has helped you develop into who you are today?

I could write a book about everyone who has had a hand in getting me to where I am right now! Coming to work for the Company, I was simply looking to work a few hours a week while staying home with my son. But my Store Leader at the time, Pat, saw qualities in me and really took the time to show me all the different opportunities that this Company has to offer.

From there other store leaders, like Anna and Nate, believed in me and supported my growth as I led the rapidly growing Curbside business in our high volume store. After a few years of working closely with our corporate team, Rachel recognized the value I could bring to our company in eCommerce operations by joining the team as a Curbside Specialist. I am so thankful for every person who has been part of my Giant Eagle career; from every Team Member on my team, to my peer Team Leaders and Regional Business Leaders. Every one of them has had a hand in my Giant Eagle story. One thing I always tell people about Giant Eagle is that there are so many opportunities, and so many people who want to help you achieve your goals – even if you don’t always know what they are yourself!

How do you stay passionate in your career?

eCommerce is continually changing and growing. Who would have ever though we would have this unprecedented growth in 2020? It was always clear that it was an up and coming line of business, but to see the tremendous work and advances it has made in such a short time, you cannot help but to get excited and passionate about it! To even dream what another five or ten years could mean is incredible!

What would people be surprised to know about you?

For as energetic and excitable (and quite the talker) as I may be at work, I am a quiet, homebody off the clock. I thrive off the fast paced environment of our Curbside departments, but cherish the quiet time to unwind and recharge. I am much more of a reserved, introvert than most people would guess.

What is your favorite quote?

“You don’t know what you don’t know.”

More of a phrase, rather than a quote, but an important one to remember. We all have opportunities, are never done learning and should never settle. No matter what position you are in, continuing to ask questions, starting the conversation, looking for improvements and striving for more, helps to continue your development and growth as a person and professional.

Giant Eagle Team Member Julianna

Julianna, Data Integrity Specialist

What does Women's History Month mean to you?

The opportunity to recognize the unique perspective that women bring to the workplace and the innate ability to influence contemporary society.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

In 2018, I was nominated by my peers and colleagues and awarded the Team Member Development Award. This was in recognition of my core belief in the development and promotion of Team Members. My greatest sense of accomplishment is in seeing Team Members advance to positions that fulfill their goals and add value to the organization.

Who has helped you develop into who you are today?

I have been very fortunate in my 41 years to have worked with some amazing Team Members. The time and experience working in retail locations for 20 years prepared me for the transition to the corporate environment. I have been very fortunate to have worked in numerous roles with leaders who encouraged me to face new challenges. The evolution of the organization and the continual change has worked to strengthen and advance my personal skillset, as well.

How do you stay passionate in your career?

My passion stays ignited because the Company is constantly changing and providing new opportunities and challenges. I am in a role that constantly works with new Team Members and it is extremely rewarding to learn from them, be able to develop them, and provide a solid foundation to expand their skillset and talent.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

Now that Giant Eagle has changed the Team Member email names everyone knows my real name is Julianna!

What is your favorite quote?

"You can give a man a fish and feed him for a day or teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime."

Giant Eagle Team Member Misty

Misty, Director of Customer Analytics & Insights

What does Women's History Month mean to you?

For me, Women’s History Month is a time to remember how powerful and smart women are. It’s inspiring to see the ways that women have risen above the traditional titles of ‘wife’ and ‘mother’ to contribute to so many fields and improve the lives of others.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Looking back, I’m most proud of the times when I was able to take someone’s idea and turn it into numbers. Building financial models isn’t something most people get excited about – but seeing an idea move from creation, through analysis and development and then come to life in the markets we serve, it’s very cool.

Who has helped you develop into who you are today?

My mom. She always told me that if I’m willing to put in the effort, I can succeed at anything.

How do you stay passionate in your career?

I try to keep learning and to challenge myself with new ways of thinking.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

In 2019, I fulfilled a life-long dream of getting my Open Water Scuba certification.

What is your favorite quote?

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." – Maya Angelou

Giant Eagle Team Member Wei Ming

Wei Ming, Store Leader

What does Women's History Month mean to you?

Throughout history, women have played a vital role in the world's most important moments, and they are continuing to make their marks in every facet of the world we know today. Women's History Month is a celebration of those women who have not only made significant contributions in their own right, but have influenced others around them, as well. This is a time to educate ourselves about the past, celebrate the present, and support the young women of our future who will continue to alter the course of business, technology, health care, and education.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

I honestly cannot say that I have one yet. I haven't lived long enough to see my children grow into adults and blaze their own trails, and I am not finished blazing my own. I still have so much to learn and contribute, and there are many other lives I wish to touch and positively impact.

Who has helped you develop into who you are today?

My mom came to the United States from Taiwan when she was 27 years old; she had just married my dad, and he brought her here at the end of the Vietnam War. They settled in a small, rural town in Pennsylvania, as strangers and outsiders to everyone in the community. She struggled being so far away from her family, in a culture foreign to her, and barely able to speak English. I can recall as a young child sitting in a rocking chair with her, watching Sesame Street, and falling asleep in her arms, and it was years later that she told me her reason for that was twofold - first, to help me learn my letters and numbers, and second, to help her learn English.

She taught herself to sew, dressed me in the most beautiful dresses one could ever hope for, and became a pillar in our church and school communities. She started her own business, taught herself to play the trumpet and guitar, and now, at the age of 79, she is taking violin lessons. She instilled in me a love of music, the English language, and taught me how to sing, play the piano, and be a great mom. She lives her best life each and every day, and finds ways to make a difference in the lives around her. I've only accomplished a fraction of what she has throughout her life, but she has made me into the woman I am today, and I hope to continue in her path as a role model for my children and store team.

How do you stay passionate in your career?

Each day brings something new to get excited about, whether it's new merchandise, technology, innovation, or interactions with my Team Members. But what I love the most about what I do is the opportunity to teach and motivate my team. There is nothing better than seeing the brightness in someone's eyes when they are learning something new and applying it to everyday operations, or when they are doing something they've never tried before and experiencing the fruits of their labors. Watching my team step out of their comfort zones, carve out their own paths to success and getting to be part of that journey keeps me coming back for more every day.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I have a small obsession with the English language, grammar, and linguistics. I took Latin in middle school, which made me love English even more, and I occasionally go online to refresh my knowledge of the Roman culture and Latin. As an English major in college, my concentration was in Shakespeare, and I can still recite most of Hamlet's soliloquy by heart!

What is your favorite quote?

"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
- Muriel Strode (Poet)

Giant Eagle Team Member Nancy

Nancy, Team Member Engagement Specialist

What does Women's History Month mean to you?

To me, Women’s History Month means to recognize the achievements and countless contributions in society and of all our women Team Members at Giant Eagle. It very impactful to work for a Company, who has a CEO & President woman leader.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

The pandemic had forced us to change our traditional annual Service Award luncheon that Team Members treasured. For 2020, I came up with a solution to continue to celebrate these milestone anniversaries across the Company and to recognize the dedication and commitment of our long-term Team Members. In leu of the luncheon, a personalized letter from Laura Karet, Giant Eagle Gift Card, and 5 x 7 certificate were sent to all Team Members that celebrated a milestone anniversary in 2020. The stores and retail support centers also received a poster with the names and years of service of the honorees for that location to be hung in their breakroom to recognize these Team Members.

Who has helped you develop into who you are today?

There are many people that have contributed to my development starting with my parents. My parents have influenced me throughout life. They have shaped me to become a better person.

I have also learned from many bosses, including Vicki Clites, Beth Stutsman, and Jane Ann Regan. They helped me to see things I couldn’t see in myself and always believed in me. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their influence.

How do you stay passionate in your career?

I embrace the adventure and I’m not afraid to take risks. I’m tenacious and will work hard until I solve a problem. I never give up.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I enjoy bartending on the side. I learned how to bartend when I was 18 years old at the Rathskeller Lounge in Tarentum and have worked at several establishments throughout the years. I have met so many customers that I’m still friends with today.

What is your favorite quote?

“Always be a first-rate version of yourself instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” - Judy Garland

Giant Eagle Team Member Margaret

Margaret, Sr. Manager, Real Estate Analytics

What does Women's History Month mean to you?

For me, Women's History Month serves as a reminder that a lot of the positive changes in women's representation in society happened in the very recent past. It shows that while women have always had an important role, the opportunities that have been available to me weren't necessarily available even a generation ago.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

For the past five years, I have worked on a committee from my church that does an annual Thanksgiving outreach to supply dinners to local families in need. In our initial year, we served sixty families, since then we have grown the program immensely and in 2020, we prepared and delivered over 1,000 dinners to people in our community.

Who has helped you develop into who you are today?

My dad and my stepmother have always been a huge influence. They always encouraged me to work hard for the things that I want and they were also great examples of using your gifts to give back when you can.

How do you stay passionate in your career?

I try to stay open to new opportunities and challenges that force me to stretch beyond my comfort zone. I have found that leaning into projects that force me to develop new skills is incredibly rewarding.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

One of my prized possessions is a Yamaha scooter that my husband gave me for Christmas a few years ago. I love zipping around town on it when the weather allows!

What is your favorite quote?

I was working in a restaurant when I was 17 and one of the tables I was waiting on was very challenging. It was a really stressful situation and I was getting upset. That's when another guest in the restaurant pulled me aside and said, "It's their bad day, not yours."

I think about that a lot - you never know where someone is coming from, but you are in control of how you let their actions impact your attitude.

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