GM Report

Moving Forward and Meeting Challenges

To Our Community,

I have several brief updates for our members and shoppers today.

White River Junction Store

As I wrote last week, we had a breakthrough case of COVID-19 in our White River Junction Store. Most importantly, I am happy to report that all employees at the store are fine. Given the close contact of several individuals, advice from the Vermont Department of Health with respect to quarantining, and the ability to open and close the store without a hitch, we closed for two days and three nights for deep cleaning, then reopened last Saturday as planned. Since then it has been business as usual.

Once again, I want to commend our team members from across the Co-op for coming together and for handling the entire event with grace and professionalism. I would also like to thank our vendors for making quick adjustments to their delivery schedules to our store.

I am proud of our Co-op’s response, and the constructive and supportive feedback from our members and the wider community.

Assistant Store Manager Training Program

Our Assistant Store Manager (ASM) training program begins next week and runs through early November. I am a big believer in providing career development through opportunities for training and skill expansion, so I am excited about this project, to say the least.

We have five candidates signed up for the program. The training sessions cover a wide variety of topics, including:

  • Management & Leadership
  • Coaching
  • Understanding Public Relations
  • Professionalism
  • Strategy and Planning
  • Finance
  • Communication
  • Marketing
  • Information Technology
  • And many more

My thanks to all of our candidates, to the employees who have volunteered their time and energy to present training sessions, and to our Human Resources staff for all of their work making this program a reality. I look forward to their capstone projects at the completion of their training sessions.

Employment

In closing, last week I told you that I was holding an employment summit with two members from my leadership team and our store managers.

The goal was to be creative and tackle the many pandemic-related employment challenges we face as a cooperative and a community.

The meeting was held on Monday, August 16. It was a robust discussion that identified many areas where we can make progress. One of the many topics we discussed was our compensation structure. I want you to know that the leadership team has been involved in a comprehensive review of our structure, and this meeting furthered my resolve that the topic should be at the top of our list of our priorities.

Although we have additional analyses to complete, I expect to have more to say on our compensation structure on September 9.

Wrap Up

Thank you to all of our members and shoppers for your continued support. Remember to be kind to one another and to yourselves, and we look forward to serving you in our stores and at the curbside.

Onward and upward,

Paul

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Paul Guidone

Paul Guidone

Paul Guidone, CFA, spent the better part of four decades in the investment management business here and abroad. He held positions ranging from analyst through Deputy Chairman and Group CEO, at organizations such as Citigroup (US) and The HSBC Group (London and Hong Kong). He joined the Co-op in 2016 as the CFO and in 2018 became Strategic Advisor to the General Manager. Paul was appointed by the Co-op Board as interim General Manager in March 2020 and General Manager in September 2020. To contact, email PGuidone@coopfoodstore.com.
Paul Guidone

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