Premium is thrilled to announce Sonya Verheyden as Vice President of Business Development and Customer Success for Premium Canada. In her role, Sonya will spearhead business development activities across Canada by building successful new client engagements and bridging best practices from all of Premium’s geographies and market segments.
With 20 years of experience in global marketing and sales channel leadership roles, Sonya has built and led B2B, B2C and retail programs across North America, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Latin America. Most recently, Sonya led go-to-market efforts for a consumer health tech start-up, driving customer segmentation, acquisition and digital strategy.
When asked, what attracted her to Premium, Sonya said,
“Premium brings experience to the table that other partners only talk about and never deliver. Using technology as a key lever with an in-house development team allows Premium to create custom solutions. When I discovered those key differences, I knew I had to be part of Premium.”
Sonya went on to explain, “One of Premium’score beliefsis eclipsing expectations. Premium lives up to this belief every day and clients feel it with every execution. The proof is in the long-lasting relationships Premium has with clients who retain the partnership time and time again.”
Sonya brings to Premium her passion for the evolution of omnichannel retail. For years, brands have struggled with how much focus to put into online retail versus in-store. Propelled by the pandemic, the fight between online and retail has disappeared in terms of prioritization.
This omnichannel trend forces retail organizations to elevate their game. It drives a clear wedge between players that can keep up and those who cannot. In order to stay afloat, companies like Premium must drive seamless experiences through innovation and technology.
Brands have high expectations of agility in the field, transparency withanalytics, and cutting-edge technology. The innovation that Premium drives in the US market will empower brands and retailers in Canada to do the same.
Sonya explains, “I get really excited when I see the opportunity to bring tangible, game-changing innovations that truly evolve how brands and retailers are served on the ground in retail.”
Sonya currently resides outside of Toronto with her partner Chris and three kids. Welcome to Premium, Sonya! #PeopleofPremium
Since March, Premium’s retail partners have faced unprecedented demand for in-stock products in response to the spread of COVID-19. The spotlight on the services Premium field employees execute every day became more critical than ever. We continue to shift resources to deliver the best scenarios for our employees and our clients. The well-being of our team members is Premium’s top priority, both in terms of health and financially.
Today, Premium Retail Services owners and CEOs Brian and Kevin Travers announced they are forgoing compensation for the foreseeable future. Additionally, executive leadership throughout the Premium organization has taken voluntary pay reductions. Collectively, we are allocating these funds towards purchasing protective gear for frontline employees.
“History will show that as a country, a company, and as individuals, we rise to the challenge when times are difficult and we will come out stronger on the other side.” – Kevin Travers, Co-owner and CEO
As we have all no doubt experienced, hand sanitizer is nearly impossible to find. We explored a variety of avenues over the last several weeks and knew it would require resourcefulness to secure a bulk supply. Premium reached out to ShowMe Beverages, a Missouri-based distributor of craft beer, craft spirits, wine and non-alcohol products. They connected us with Missouri-based craft distilleries StilL 630 andNaked Spirits. Both of these incredible organizations are currently manufacturing hand sanitizer that is being used by a variety of frontline employees, including the St. Louis Metropolitan Police.
Premium received the sanitizer in bulk containers at our sanitary Clean Room within the National Logistics and Distribution Center. As of April 17, our fulfillment team has completed bottling, labeling, packing, and shipping to field employees.
Each year, Premium recognizes team members who’ve gone above and beyond through a few significant awards. Congratulations to our 2019 award nominees and winners for their outstanding representation of what it means to be Premium! Thank you for exemplifying Premium’s core beliefs of family, partnership, creativity, integrity, and eclipsing expectations.
Emily Novak, Marketing Specialist
2019 Culture Hero Award
New in 2019, the Culture Hero Award recognizes the efforts put forth by Premium’s Culture Team. Behind the scenes, the Culture Team cultivates relationships with Premium’s remote and office-based teams, focusing on employee engagement, recognition, and fun. Each year brings new Culture team members and new ideas, so the Culture Hero honors one Culture-er who jumped in with both feet and lived Premium’s core beliefs.
Premium’s first-ever Culture Hero is Emily Novak. Emily started as a recruiting intern in 2016 before transitioning to the marketing team in 2017. She is key to keeping the Premium community updated and overseeing Premium’s social media presence.
Emily’s hard work was instrumental in the Culture Team’s accomplishments in 2019. Culture Captain Sarah Wolfersberger said, “Emily demonstrates endless drive, passion, creativity and genuine investment in Premium’s Culture. She works tirelessly to meet deadlines and to ensure the success of culture initiatives while remaining kind and calm under pressure.”
Michael Taylor, Client Account Manager
2019 Employee of the Year –Canada
Winner of the Employee of the Year – Canada is Client Account Manager, Michael Taylor. Michael’s contributions have not gone unnoticed since he joined the Premium team in 2018. Known for his calm demeanor and efficient yet collaborative style, Michael never disappoints and consistently goes the extra mile (or kilometer) time and again.
Sandy Clarke, Executive Vice President, explained, “Michael is loved by our clients and us. He understands clients’ needs, provides insights and solutions, and navigates our matrix organization well, all while delivering exceptional customer service.”
Premium Canada donates $2,500 to the charity selected by the recipient of this award. Michael asked that the donation be made to Niagara Dog Rescue, the foster-based organization which he recently adopted his dog, Rascal, from.
Debbie Dye, Payroll Manager
2019 Employee of the Year –U.S.
This year’s Employee of the Year–U.S. is Debbie Dye whose management of the payroll function has contributed significantly to the Premium family. When Debbie started at Premium in 2011, we had less than 3,000 employees. We’re closing out the decade with a 560% increase in W-2 employees.
Jeff Schremp, Premium’s Chief Financial Officer, described Debbie as, “Reliable, trustworthy, knowledgeable and hardworking. She does whatever is needed, whenever it’s needed. She’s a kindhearted person with great patience. Under her leadership, the Payroll Department has evolved to meet the needs of a growing organization.”
Over the years (and particularly in 2019), Debbie has worked tirelessly to ensure payroll is accurate and closed on time and monitors compliance with laws across the U.S. Debbieis passionate about ensuring each Premium employee is paid, which is certainly something we can all cheer to!
Mark Mori, Lenovo Training & Sales Specialist
2019 Field Excellence Award Winner – U.S.
Since 2017, Premium field leaders submit nominations for the Field Excellence Award. The Premium executive team votes to recognize one standout field team member for outstanding achievement, performance, personal interaction, and creativity.
Mark joined the Premium family in 2016 and transitioned to his current position on the dedicated Lenovo team in June 2017. He is known for his enthusiasm, entering every store with a positive attitude and purpose. Mark doesn’t just work the minimum; he schedules himself every weekend to ensure he capitalizes on every possible sales opportunity. As a result, Mark has exceeded sales expectations for his market every single month this year!
Todd Stephens of Lenovo said,“I was lucky enough to go out in the field with Mark. I left that field visit totally blown away by how he owns his market! Mark has amazing relationships in stores, his product knowledge is second to none, and most importantly, he is one of the BEST I have seen at working with customers.”
Norman Tham, National Field Manager
2019 Maple Leaf Award Winner – Canada
The Maple Leaf award recognizes one individual on the Canada team that has demonstrated continual pursuit of excellence in performance, leadership, distinguished service, inspiration provided, and overall positive influence on the team.
Norman’s manager Sandy Clarke, Executive Vice President said, “Norm continues to drive change and innovation for Premium in the field and online, as well as through gaming and social media platforms. These innovations have expanded our offerings to key clients in both Canada and the United States.”
Premium Canada recognizes the Maple Leaf Award recipient by donating $2,500 to the charity of their choice. Norman selected Food4Kids – Hamilton which provides packages of healthy food for kids with limited or no access to food each weekend in Hamilton, Ontario.
John Drevlow, Senior Director, Strategic Accounts
2019 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.
Kevin Travers spoke of his father at Premium’s 2019 holiday party. “He never missed an important event in our lives, never got off the phone without him saying that he loved you. He never compromised what he believed in for the easy path in life. He would do anything to help someone out in need. His life revolved around providing for his family, plain and simple.”
This year’s Founder’s Award winner joined Premium after spending 13 years at Best Buy. He leads Premium’s Minneapolis office with a focus on teamwork and selflessness.
John is widely admired for his glass half full, “Buddy the Elf” positive outlook. He shows respect and appreciation to everyone around him, is always there to help others, and is levelheaded when situations arise.
Kevin said, “Pilots use the acronym CAVU to describe desirable flying conditions. It means ‘Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited’ and I believe it describes John’s attitude perfectly.”
Premium recognizes the Founders Award recipient by donating $10,000 to the charity of their choice. John selected First Lutheran Church in Sauk Centre, Minnesota.
Congratulations again to all of our 2019 award nominees and winners! For our full wrap-up of 2019, read Premium’s Year in Review.