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Rite Aid’s Thomas BeCude and Colleen Smith Take Home Top Category Management Awards

At its annual Supplier Conference, held Sept. 9-10 in Hershey, Pa., Rite Aid recognized the outstanding contributions of its Category Management teams and announced the winners of the 2014 Category Manager of the Year and Associate Category Manager of the Year awards. Rite Aid President and Chief Operating Officer Ken Martindale joined Executive Vice President of Merchandising Tony Montini in presenting the awards.

For the second consecutive year, Rite Aid’s Category Manager of the Year is Thomas BeCude, category manager for seasonal sundries, trim-a-tree, harvest, lawn and garden and live plants.

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Thomas Becude, center, accepts the Category Manager of the Year award from Rite Aid President and COO Ken Martindale, left, and Executive Vice President of Merchandising Tony Montini.

BeCude is a leader within the category management team – delivering a 4 percent sales increase over last year and growing profit by an impressive 16 percent in the seasonal category.

“Thomas has a unique eye for product and when he doesn’t see what he’s looking for, he creates it by working closely with his supplier partners,” said Montini. “He is passionate about the product and is never satisfied with his results.”

Finalists for Category Manager of the Year included Brian Shanahan, category manager for DSD snacks/food, ice cream, warehouse grocery/convenience, warehouse snacks and seasonal food/food gifts; and Jen Beatty, category manager for eye care, foot care, first aid, home health care, family planning and feminine hygiene.

Associate Category Manager Colleen Smith, who manages the household chemicals, cleaning, insecticides, paper products, pet care/food, plastic bags/cups and plates categories, was named the 2014 Associate Category Manager of the Year.

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Colleen Smith receives Associate Category Manager of the Year award from Ken Martindale, Rite Aid President and COO, left, and Tony Montini, Rite Aid Executive Vice President of Merchandising.

Colleen played a key role in developing the process for collecting and managing space allocation for Wellness remodels, improving space among the DSD consumable categories. She also significantly improved the monthly DSD Planner production process, making the document more user-friendly for both store operations and supplier partners and improving the level of execution.

“Colleen is a tireless worker who delivers fact-based recommendations to the business and continually reviews existing processes and procedures for opportunities to improve efficiencies and reduce errors,” said Montini. “Her intelligence and pragmatic approach to problem solving have earned her the respect of the supplier community as well as her overall team.”

Finalists for Associate Category Manager of the Year were April Coudriet, associate category manager for gastrointestinal, pain care, smoking cessation and upper respiratory; and Pat Hayes, associate category manager for summer seasonal, plush/toys/giftware.