I discovered my affinity towards retail in two of my first few jobs as a teenager. The first was as a clerk in a convenience store and then, later while in college, as a seasonal store clerk working at the Camp Store at Glacier National Park’s Rising Sun campground.
I found that I enjoyed my interactions with customers and doing what I could to make them happy with my customer service. My supervisors were impressed with my sales production and my merchandising skills.
Immediately after graduating from college, I went to work for the Bon Marche, now Macy’s and worked my way up through the ranks gaining roles of greater responsibility.
I started as a Management Trainee where I shadowed a seasoned Department Sales Manager for about four months. I was then promoted to Department Sales Manger in a small store, a role I worked in for two years before I was promoted to Department Sales Manager in a large store where I worked for two years. From there, I was promoted to Divisional Sales Manager in a medium sized store and after two years there, I was promoted to Assistant Store Manager in a small store where I was responsible for the HR and Operations functions of the store. After two years in that role, I had the success, skills, and background to take on the General Manager position and was promoted to that role and finally had my own store!
During my 14 years as a General Manager, I took everything I learned from my way up and applied my own spin and creativity and experienced a great deal of success. In fact, my stores and I earned more performance awards than any of my peers in the company, including twice earning the highest and most coveted award of Store/Store Manager of the Year in each of my stores.
I was also identified as a “HiPo” and attended an extensive executive leadership training program at the Effectiveness Institute in Redmond, WA for two days every month for a year. This program groomed the identified HiPos for future executive roles in the company.
I left the company shortly after Macy’s took over for an exciting new opportunity doing the things I enjoyed most about being a General Manager, the Human Resource Management side of the job.
Looking back at my time with The Bon Marche’/Macy’s, I learned a great deal. I learned how to work effectively in a very fast paced, constantly changing corporate environment; how to lead and motivate a team to high performance; how to recruit, develop and coach talent; how to develop and execute a strategy to accomplish LT and ST goals. I learned how to successfully run a consistency high-performing business.