The initial certificates were developed exclusively for Kroger’s Emerging Leaders Program. Ann Reed, Kroger Louisville Division president, is a member of the Rubel School of Business Executive Board
“These graduates will go on to become future leaders at not just Kroger but in the entire community." -- Dean Natasha Munshi
“This initiative is forward-thinking, as it addresses the lifelong-learning needs of working professionals,” said Rubel School Dean Natasha Munshi. “These graduates will go on to become future leaders at not just Kroger but in the
entire community. Through these types of innovative offerings, we can realize the Rubel School’s vision to be a hub for transformative business education and our inclusive mission.”
"The Bellarmine-Kroger Emerging Leaders Program is such a wonderful partnership between two of Louisville’s most respected institutions. I am very proud to have been selected to participate," said Jay C Store Manager Alex Nicholson.
"After working in retail and management for 19 years, I will admit that I sometimes get tunnel vision. I forget to think outside the box. I start to think I know it all and I’ve seen it all and I couldn’t possibly have anything
new to learn. For me, this program proved that we never stop learning."
Kroger selected the participants from across the Louisville Division based on aptitude, leadership potential and initiative. In addition to Nicholson, they were Bradley Foreman, store manager for District 1; Kirby Crosley, manager, District 3; Sarah Barnes,
manager, District 4; Jennifer Stout, assistant manager, District 5; Jessica Gonzalez, assistant manager, District 7; Eric Hilton, direct store delivery (DSD)-inspired selling specialist; and Angie Wilson, produce field specialist.
Over 10 months, they engaged in half-day sessions led by experts in topics including data analysis; data visualization; spreadsheet modeling; financial valuations; giving and receiving feedback; conflict resolution; negotiation; creative problem-solving;
and delivering presentations.
“The session on giving and receiving feedback had a lot of great takeaways for me,” District 3 manager Kirby Crosley said. “That session has made me a better leader because I have gotten better at giving my team feedback in an honest,
direct and impactful way. I also have gotten better about taking feedback and seeing it for what it’s worth and how to grow from it, rather than be aggravated or offended by it.”
Sarah Barnes, of District 4, also said the session on giving and receiving feedback was a highlight. “Feedback needs to become part of our day-to-day operation.”
When conflicts arise, she said, she learned that “I don’t always have to be the ‘fixer.’ There are times when I should be the mediator and allow associates to come up with solutions on their own. In doing so, this will better equip
them for future disagreements.”
The Rubel School is working with Kroger leadership on a second cohort for the course, Munshi said.