Category: Employee Experience

Mar

31

 

 

As an organization focused on our people, we recognize the importance of career development opportunities for the Premium family. In addition to hiring from within and continuously producing new training content within our current systems, we desired to formalize and strengthen our approach to employee development.

 

Introducing the University of Premium.

As Premium’s first-ever, company-wide career development program, the University of Premium is dedicated to enriching the talent of our existing employees. Whether a field or corporate team member, the University of Premium offers a wide range of accreditation and certification opportunities to further the careers of everyone at Premium. As Premium continues to grow, we want our employees to grow with us.

 

 

While the University of Premium is new and will continue to mature, we’re excited about our first few development pilots available including:

  • Zone Leader Accreditation: Provides an opportunity for Premium field representatives to be short-listed for Zone Leader positions when they open.
  • Field Manager Certification: Custom curriculum designed to prepare new Field Managers for their role, re-skill and certify existing Field Managers, and provide ongoing performance support throughout the year.
  • Elevate Leadership Program: Courses and development activities elevating the pre-existing skills and knowledge of Premium’s future leaders.

The main goals of the University of Premium are to exceed employee expectations for career and personal development and grow Premium’s learning culture.

In tandem with the opportunities presented by the University of Premium, we also recently released the first issue of our University of Premium e-magazine. The quarterly magazine features interviews with Premium leaders, information about new development paths and programs available to Premium employees, and aims to increase the visibility of a variety of development resources – both existing and new.

In the first issue, one of Premium’s presidents David Yenzer explains that “It’s part of a company’s responsibility to develop people. To make them better than they were when we found them.”

And that’s what the University of Premium is all about – our people.

Stay tuned for more about the University of Premium and future excerpts from our University of Premium e-magazine.

To join our team, we invite you to apply at wearepremium.com.

Mar

8

Original art by Premium Designer, Jenny Jones

 

On March 15, 2021, Rosalind Brewer became the only Black female to lead a Fortune 500 company when she assumed her new role as CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance. Women are also at the helm of Ulta Beauty (Mary Dillon since 2013), Best Buy (Corie Barry since 2019), Rite Aid (Heyward Donigan since 2019), and CVS Health (Karen Lynch since 2021).  

As we mark this year’s International Women’s Day, we’re inspired by these CEOs and the many talented women working across retail. At the same time, we reflect on the continued investment needed to accelerate female representation in management roles industry-wide.  Join us in celebrating the accomplishments of the women of Premium and meet a few of them below

Dolores Wilson, Field Director – Lenovo  

Gastonia, North Carolina 

Dolores has been at Premium for over a decade, joining the team in 2008. In her tenure, she has represented notable brands, including HP, Beats, Monster, Logitech, Olympus, JBL and OnStar. And since 2013, she has been working to develop, grow and maintain Premium’s highly successful Lenovo program. 

Says Jessi Curtis, VP – Strategic Accounts, “I admire Dolores for her tenaciousness and her ability to work through any challenge thrown her way. She is strong, dedicated, and super knowledgeable. Working with her for the past eight years has brought many amazing milestones and so much joy.” 

Dolores leads the team of 62 STARS (Sales, Training & Relationship Specialists) and 4 Assisted Sales Representatives with a strong focus on KPIs and kindness. Dolores sees the best in people and encourages the team with an outlook of “work hard, try your best and give thanks.” 

Her advice regarding career advancement is simple: work hard and don’t be complacent.

Mary Wolfe, Senior Director, Field Operations

Dayton, Ohio 

In 2009, Dolores Wilson (the Field Director from above) hired Mary for her first Premium role as an ad hoc sales rep  – a side gig in addition to her full-time job at the time. A few years later, Premium’s Senior Director of Field Operations Darla King asked Mary to interview for a full-time Regional Manager role on a pet care program, which she accepted. Next was the management of national retail execution for GoogleAs in-store displays became more technical, Mary worked to build a highly-skilled team of field technicians who troubleshoot and resolve problems on the spot.  

As Premium’s US Employee of the Year award winner in 2017, Mary has become a program development powerhouse helping to launch several new teams within Premium. Today, she oversees 500+ Premium employees, including our dedicated Pet team, Flex support team, Reset Team Leads, Zone Leaders, Google Field Technicians, and the Level 2 (L2) merchandising team providing technical work for many Premium partners. 

Kathy Risch, VP, Analytics & Insights who regularly partners with Mary says, “Mary is an effective and straightforward leader with a calmness that I admire.” 

Crediting her teams’ varying areas of expertise, Mary says she learns something new every day and finds herself surrounded by very smart people. She recommends, “Accept feedback and grow from it – it’s not personal. Be open to new opportunities and be confident! Don’t discount yourself by saying ‘I don’t know’ or ‘It’s just my opinion’ which tells the listener you’re not confident in what you’re communicating.” 

Monica McGlasson, Director, Operations Support Center

St. Louis, Missouri 

Premium’s Operations Support Center (OSC) provides a timely evaluation of field execution, identifying and flagging potential issues to improve compliance and minimize store revisits. Premium field teams rely on the OSC for dependable QTrax knowledge, multi-tiered troubleshooting, and a clear path for resolution or escalation.  

Before Premium, Monica had a diverse background in the fast food, hospital, university, and manufacturing industries. The common thread in all of her roles has been developing talent, growing new corporate functions, and managing cross-functional projects like new software implementation. 

Since 2015, Monica has led Premium’s in-house operations and call center, which she describes as “creative problem-solving with fun-loving people.” She is well-known for her can-do attitude, continually pushing for process consistency while promoting ideas to maximize efficiencies. Monica’s advice for tackling considerable challenges is, “What’s the mission? If you don’t know, find out. You’ve got to win buy-in from key stakeholders to see your project cross the finish line.” 

Says Kris Ventimiglia, VP, Enterprise Compliance, “Monica dives headfirst into any challenge with a genuinely positive outlook. There is no ‘can’t’ in her vocabulary.”  

 

Key highlights from Monica and the Operations Support Center team in 2020.

Lizz Sears, Director, Client Services – Drug 

Deerfield, Illinois 

Lizz started in CE retail as a Department Supervisor at Best Buy, before becoming a Samsung Experience Consultant. She joined Premium as a Client Account Coordinator in 2015, first supporting toy/specialty programs and partners. As Premium started building the Walgreens Partner for Retail Execution (WPRE) program in 2016, Lizz was promoted. She relocated to Deerfield, IL to work at Walgreens’ headquarters where her contributions were accelerated by her presence.  

Described by Senior Director Jim Malpeidi as “a true partner and driving force,” he says, “Lizz is proactive in finding solutions and improving practices for the greater good. Her intricate knowledge and process management within Premium’s proprietary systems coupled with her encouraging leadership style continue to drive results and motivate the team.” 

Lizz is proud of the trusting relationship the team has developed with Walgreens and enjoys the challenge of continually innovating the program while maintaining weekly service. She says, “Don’t wait for an opportunity. Take it.”

Jessica Miller, Director, Client Services – Google Merchandising 

Bentonville, Arkansas 

Jessica started at Premium in 2015, supporting Operations part-time. She piloted the first Field Coordinator position, which has become a vital component of the field operations structure within Premium. From there, she worked in recruiting and client services supporting two major consumer electronics brands. In her current role, Jessica is known for adding analytical prowess, strategic planning and process improvement to every initiative, ensuring we deliver beyond expectations. 

Because of her strong focus on building relationships with her clients and her team, Jessica makes leadership look easy. She says, “employees invest themselves most when they feel invested in which is what guides how I support our team. I believe every leader needs to be adaptable; don’t be afraid to do something that may feel uncomfortable at first.” 

Jessica says she joined Premium looking for a company to call home and to develop her career. She recommends that others thinking about their next career move not pass up the opportunity to grow in the retail space.  

Kim Gaddis, Director, Client Operations 

St. Louis, Missouri 

Premium’s VP of Enterprise Compliance Kris Ventimiglia describes Kim as “insightful and endlessly upbeat. She can quickly get to the heart of a challenge and suggest a thoughtful path to improvement.” Her positive attitude is a motivator to many of her Premium peers. 

Kim has been in retail for nearly 20 years, arriving at Premium in 2016 as an Account Coordinator. Since then, Kim has developed a team of account managers executing complex and high-visibility product launches, display installations, and store remodels. She has the unique ability to break projects down into actionable items, ensuring large initiatives maintain momentum. 

In her current role, she develops continuous improvement processes for client services, acts as a project management leader on new clients and product launches, guides Premium’s cross-functional “Get It Right” team, and is a University of Premium panel member helping to create a culture of continued learning. 

She has been instrumental in Premium’s client services trainee program through which she says, “I am able to help grow and influence what I believe will be the future leaders of Premium. I love contributing to the development of new talent and helping them succeed in their careers.”  

Sonya Verheyden, VP, Customer Success & Business Development  

Kitchener, Ontario – Canada

New to Premium in 2020, Sonya has built and led B2B and B2C retail programs across North America, Latin America, EMEA, and Asia. She has a rich background in mobile, having spent time with Motorola and Rogers Communications in Canada. In her 14 years with BlackBerry, Sonya had global accountability for field and channel marketing across all carrier and distribution partners. 

Premium Canada EVP Sandy Clarke says, “In her short time with Premium, Sonya has already been at the forefront of key customer initiatives and the acquisition of new partnerships. Her deep experience and long list of accomplishments are demonstrated in the collaborative and informed approach she displays in everything she does.”  

A true Renaissance woman, Sonya has a Master’s in French and has also started a Ph.D. in 17th-century classical French literature. 

Dawn Hopper, VP, Strategic Accounts 

Dallas, Texas  

Dawn recently joined Premium after nearly 20 years in leadership roles with Mosaic Sales Solutions. Her vast experience in consumer electronics includes Microsoft, HP, Google, Whirlpool, Brother, Epson, and TracFone, along with video game publishers and movie studios. She has also taken on critical roles in field management and operations, specializing in program design and best practices implementation 

She believes in everyday innovation, making incremental improvements to add tremendous value for clients and employees. Having developed and launched a mentorship program at Mosaic, she also recognizes the importance of team development and retention. Welcome to the family, Dawn!

While this is not nearly an exhaustive list of all the Premium women we’d like to shine a light on, we hope you’re inspired to grow your career in retail. Meet a few more female leaders here and follow our #PeopleofPremium series on social media.  

Dec

22

 

Premium recognizes team members who have eclipsed expectations through a handful of significant awards each year. Congratulations to our 2020 award nominees and winners for their outstanding representation of what it means to be Premium!

 

2020 Culture Hero Award

Jennifer Hovestadt, Senior Manager – Training

The Culture Hero award was first established in 2019. It recognizes the efforts put forth by a phenomenal member of Premium’s Culture Team. Behind the scenes, the Culture Team cultivates relationships among Premium’s remote and office-based teams, focusing on employee recognition, engagement, and fun.

Jennifer joined Premium in 2011 as a Field Representative. In 2012, she started working full-time as a Trainer and has since been promoted to Training Supervisor and now Senior Training Manager. She is instrumental in developing training for several clients and retailers and most recently spearheaded the creation of the University of Premium.

On the Culture Team, Jennifer is known for going above and beyond, always with a positive attitude and kind-hearted approach to our initiatives. She displayed leadership, consistently coming with ideas and repeatedly volunteering to lead projects – all with a full workload on her plate.

 

2020 Canada Employee of the Year Award

Sean Frydman, National Field Manager

Our Employee of the Year awards recognize outstanding Premium team members whose hard work and dedication are unmatched.

Premium Canada’s 2020 winner drives results through continuous innovation, leadership and excellence in program management. Sean joined Premium in 2018 to lead our Microsoft Best Buy Store-Within-a-Store program. In 2019, his responsibility expanded to all of Microsoft’s field marketing in Canada.

Sean’s commitment to the success of the program has inspired greatness with our Microsoft team exceeding targets for 17 months in a row.

 

2020 U.S. Employee of the Year Award

Pavin White, Senior Logistics & Distribution Manager

Pavin started on the Client Services team in 2016, making an early impact by streamlining a system to meet the needs of a complex break-fix program. Pavin joined the team at our National Logistics & Distribution Center (NLDC) in 2018 where he helped lead our massive NLDC expansion which enhanced the services we offer to our clients.

In 2020, as the pandemic hit and disrupted every part of our business, operations at our NLDC never stopped. Pavin showed grit and tenacity when procuring essential face coverings and other supplies became a paramount need.

While adhering to new protocols, Pavin and his team continued to safely execute major initiatives for our clients and performed at a higher level of excellence than ever before.

 

2020 U.S. Field Excellence Award 

Peter Rivera, Reset Project Coordinator

Since 2017, Premium field leaders have submitted annual nominations for the Field Excellence Award. The executive team votes to recognize one standout field team member for outstanding achievement, performance, personal interaction, and creativity.

Peter joined Premium in 2012 and has been promoted several times over the last eight years: Merchandising Representative, Zone Specialist, Team Lead, Project Leader, Project Manager, Zone Leader, Market Specialist and Reset Project Coordinator. Read more #GrowWithPremium success stories here.

 

 

Peter sets our clients up for successful reset projects, managing teams of up to 30 people. Not only is Peter a hard worker, but he embodies Premium’s core beliefs of family and eclipsing expectations.

He often travels to areas outside of his own territory to complete work – even during COVID-19. To date, Peter has traveled to 25+ states. Store managers often request Peter to be the project Team Lead in their stores.

 

2020 Canada Maple Leaf Award 

Madison Farris, Recruiter

The Maple Leaf award recognizes one individual on the Canada team that has demonstrated continual excellence in performance, leadership, and an overall positive influence on the team.

Madison joined Premium as a Recruiter in 2018 and immediately made a substantial impact on finding the right talent for each of our unique businesses and clients.

Year-to-date she has recruited 460 employees and staffed an entire holiday program in 3 weeks, all during a pandemic.

 

2020 Founder’s Award

Ron Travers founded Premium Retail Services in 1985 on a foundation of family, integrity, and service. After Ron passed in 2012, Brian and Kevin introduced the Founder’s Award to honor their father’s legacy, and it is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a Premium employee.

As you know, 2020 presented challenges that we never thought were possible. We faced circumstances out of our control with no idea how this crisis would impact our company and the world.

There is simply no way to award the Founders Award to just one person. Instead, we’ve chosen to recognize the entire Premium family as the 2020 Founder’s Award recipient.

We are so proud to work with each and every one of you. Thank you for your dedication to Premium, especially during a demanding year!