His nickname may be “Groucho,” but Martin’s Super Market Manager James Grochowalski in Stevensville is a finalist in a major industry competition for the best in the industry while his colleague who manages the Elkhart store has been tabbed as one of the “Top Women in Grocery” for 2020.
The supermarket chain tells us the two local super stars have garnered the national recognition with “Groucho” still in the running for “People’s Pick” next month.
The two Martin’s Super Markets store managers have been recognized among the nation’s best. Donna Bierbaum, manager of the Martin’s at 3800 E. Mishawaka Road in Elkhart, has been named a member of the 2020 “Top Women in Grocery” class by Progressive Grocer magazine while James Grochowalski, manager at the Stevensville Martin’s, has been named a 2020 Store Manager Finalist in the FMI, The Food Industry Association, awards competition.
The Top Women in Grocery Award recognizes women who are playing an integral role across all segments of the retail food industry, including that of store manager. Bierbaum began her career with Martin’s as a cashier and filled a variety of roles until she was named a store manager back in 2010.
Doug Dillman, Vice President of Operations for Martin’s Super Markets, says, “Donna is an exceptional store manager,” and adds, “She has an ability to lead and bring people together. She always has her team energized and focused to deliver the best shopping experience for her customers and spends a good portion of her day on the sales floor teaching, mentoring employees and visiting with her customers, while focusing on store conditions, merchandising and customer service.”
Bierbaum’s nomination also noted her dedication to the local community through her work supporting school programs including classroom projects, athletics, band and music performances and hosting teacher appreciation events, bus driver meetings and athletic directors in the store’s community room. She will be recognized at the 2020 Top Women in Grocery Gala and Celebration, taking place November 5th in Orlando, Florida.
Grochowalski, or “Groucho” as he is known by his customers, joined Martin’s in 1993 and has filled a variety of positions, including spending 12 years as an Assistant Manager of the Granger, Indiana location where he was involved with the Granger Business Association, the local DARE program and the National Night Out Against Crime. Most recently, he conducted a benefit for the Lincoln Township Fire Department in Stevensville, and raised $1,000 for much-needed equipment. He also instituted an after-school program in the Stevensville Deli Café for nearby students.
Dillman says, “In addition to being one of our most customer-focused and community-minded store managers, Groucho is a firm believer of leading by example,” adding, “He works side by side with all employees and identifies talented employees for future professional growth.” Grochowalski will be recognized with other national finalists at a future FMI leadership event.
In the meantime, he remains in the competition for FMI’s “People’s Pick Award.” In fact, all finalists for the Store Manager Awards qualify to be a part of the People’s Pick Award contest. All finalists will be posted on FMI’s website for one week in August 2020 and the nominee with the most votes by the end of the week wins a special trophy and $500 to celebrate their store employees.
Martin’s Super Markets are under the corporate flag of SpartanNash, a Fortune 400 company whose core businesses include distributing grocery products to a diverse group of independent and chain retailers, its corporate owned retail stores and U.S. military commissaries and exchanges; as well as premier fresh produce distribution and fresh food processing.