Rite Aid’s Thomas BeCude and Mike Eline Take Home Top Category Management AwardsTo recognize the outstanding contributions of its Category Management teams, Rite Aid announced the winners of the 2013 Category Manager of the Year and Associate Category Manager of the Year awards at its Annual Supplier Conference, held Sept. 10-11 in Harrisburg, PA Rite Aid Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Standley, President and Chief Operating Officer Ken Martindale and Chief Financial and Chief Administrative Officer Frank Vitrano joined Executive Vice President of Merchandising Tony Montini in presenting the awards.
Rite Aid’s 2013 Category Manager of the Year is Thomas BeCude, category manager of seasonal sundries, trim-a-tree, lights, boxed cards, garden and harvest.
“Thomas approaches his categories with an innovative and entrepreneurial style that helps maximize our opportunities while minimizing complexity,” Montini said. “He has redesigned our garden program each year with excitement and color and created new categories for Halloween and Christmas, exceeding consumer expectations in those areas.”
BeCude leads Rite Aid’s seasonal effort through creativity and innovation. He generated profitable sales, delivering a 10-percent sales increase with a 6-percent margin increase.
“Thomas understands satisfying the basic aspects of a season, while pushing the envelope in new areas,” Montini added.
Finalists for Category Manager of the Year included Derrick Shaffer, category manager for As Seen on TV, hardware, light bulbs, auto, shoes, umbrellas, watches and value categories; and Steve Koch, category manager for seasonal toys, plush, sporting goods and summer seasonal.Associate Category Manager for Candy Mike Eline was named Associate Category Manager of the Year. His adaptability and willingness to accept all challenges was recognized as a contributing factor to his outstanding year.
Eline, a valued and key member of the consumables area for many years, accepted the challenge of developing three seasonal buy plans with no prior experience in the category and little time to learn.
“Mike is the type who accepts all challenges and has strong relationships across the organization,” said Montini. “He’s had an outstanding year and we thank him for his tireless efforts and willingness to meet every challenge head-on.”
Finalists for Associate Category Manager of the Year were Clarissa Sullivan, associate category manager for housewares, home electronics, home entertainment and domestics;
and Susan Bivens, associate category manager for hair care and accessories, personal care appliances, family planning and ethnic. Bivens has since been promoted to category manager of hair care.