Mona Golub: 2009 Executive of the Year
Vice President of Public Relations and Consumer Services
Mona Golub is not only the official spokesperson for Price Chopper for the public, media and store customers but has a unique position of combining her love for the arts, music and theater and working those ideas into helping to drive store traffic for Price Chopper. Ms. Golub is the second annual choice for The Griffin Report of Food Marketing Women Executive of the Year. She follows the first selection of Judy Spires, who is the president of Acme Markets.
Ms. Golub’s official title is vice president of public relations and consumer services for Price Chopper. She handles public and media information and customer relations for the company while overseeing promotions and several events. She also helps direct the Golub Foundation, which supports community activities through charitable giving. She is part of a fourth generation of a 75-year-old American family-managed and associate-owned business.
The Price Chopper chain, owned by the Golub family, operates more than 100 Price Chopper grocery stores in New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. The company prides itself on longstanding traditions of innovative food merchandising, leadership in community service and cooperative associate relations. The nearly 25,000 total associates in the company collectively own 51 percent of the company’s privately held stock.
Ms. Golub has a BA from Bowdoin College and has won many awards including Volunteer Center of the Capital Region Outstanding Citizen of the Year; Cultural Arts Preservation Award from the Latin American Community Council; Community Service Special Recognition Award from the Schenectady Chamber of Commerce; Leadership Schenectady Distinguished Alumnus Award; Business Review Forty Under Forty Award; Women’s Employment and Resource Center Harriet Rifkin Leadership Award; Mohawk Pathway Girl Scout’s Juliet Lowe Woman of Distinction Award; the New York State Harriet Tubman Spirit Award; the Temple Israel Circle of Humanity Award; the American Cancer Society Bean of Hope Award; and the Troy Music Hall Leadership of the Arts Award.
She has many civic affiliations including membership on many music, arts, theater organizations and helping out the Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Chamber of Commerce, Girls Scouts and Special Olympic organizations.
Growing up in the Golub family, Ms. Golub had a choice of careers including education, science and music but chose the supermarket field and truly loves her profession every day. She was not forced to choose the grocery business by her parents, Neil and Jane. “All my parents told me was to work hard and do something I love to do,” she said.
“I truly love the supermarket business because it is so vital to people. People depend on us for nourishment, careers and support for the community. No two days are the same. It’s a fast-paced day, but I face each day with enthusiasm.”
Part of her past had been serving as a regional legislator. The lesson she took away from her service was developing patience to deal with others. “Politics does not tend to move quickly,” she said.
Her latest project among many is helping Price Chopper implement NuVal, a comprehensive scientific food-scoring system on virtually every product in every one of Price Chopper’s stores. The goal is to help consumers look for a better way to make more informed food choices and improve the nutritional value of their diets. NuVal scores tell customers the overall nutritional value of food in a single number from one to 100. The higher the NuVal scores, the higher the nutrition on the product.
Ms. Golub has been a big backer of “Sunday Night Dinners With The Family,” dating back to 2006 and even before with her family upbringing. With the downturn of the economy, in-home entertainment and family dinners are more prevalent. The new twist, said Ms. Golub, is “how to feed your family for less” but yet put good food on the table.
Part of her job focuses on community events and linking the supermarket to the region’s events. Price Chopper has developed the “Ski Any Three” Program, which allows shoppers the choice to have special discounts on skiing and skiing lessons at various lodges in the region.
Ms. Golub helped develop “Tickets To Go,” which allows shoppers to purchase tickets for various community events right at the register. This includes tickets to music, art, theater, ballet and sports events.
One of the newest programs developed by Ms. Golub is the company’s Community Ambassador Program. An individual employed by Price Chopper and not a store or department manager is the store’s r liaison to the community. Currently there are 25 store ambassadors with more on the way. Part of the job is to deliver checks to charity, accept awards for the company, and help explain company programs such as NuVal. “We are looking for enthusiastic people with great communication skills to represent us well and feel the pulse of the community,” said Ms. Golub.
Both her parents encouraged Ms. Golub to do “what I love to do.” Ms. Golub mentioned her father, Neil, who encourages her to explore her own ideas and to “make my points with reason and compassions”; and her mother, Jane, a third-grade teacher for 25 years who instilled a sense of being a strong, independent woman.
Ms. Golub also mentioned Ralph Crowley, chief executive officer of Polar Beverages and a former Bowdoin graduate. While at Bowdoin, Ms. Golub conducted an on-campus soda distribution business. She learned from Mr. Crowley marketing, promotions and motivating people how to sell a product they had not seen before.
She also mentioned Schenectady Mayor Karen Johnson for helping her to produce concerts for the Central Park Stage; her high school Volleyball Coach Lyn Cleveland of Niskayuna High School, who “taught me that being short should not hold me back”; and college professor Gabor Brogyanyi, who taught her about foreign literature and different world perspectives and views.
Ms. Golub describes her management style as “hands on and interactive” as she strives to engage ideas and idea sharing and to help others find solutions to problems from within themselves. “Sometimes I shoot from the hip and sometimes I fly by the seat of my pants,” she says.
“Our business is very volatile. Things happen very quickly, and you have to learn how to react. For example a recall comes across and you have to react to it very quickly.”
Ms. Golub spends time with her 12-year-old son, sometimes works on producing free concerts in the park, and she likes cooking and entertaining, traveling the world, and working out.