Mary Kellmanson: 2012 Southeast Executive of the Year
Group Vice President of Marketing
Mary Kellmanson, group vice president of marketing, has been a vital key to the development of Winn-Dixie Stores.
Winn-Dixie is a Fortune 500 food and pharmacy retailer with fiscal year 2011 annual net sales of approximately $6.9 billion. The company operates 482 supermarkets throughout the southeastern United States. Founded in 1925, Winn-Dixie is headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla.
In her role, Ms. Kellmanson has oversight of Winn-Dixie’s advertising, customer insights, brand management, neighborhood marketing and communications, and community groups. Ms. Kellmanson is also president of the Winn-Dixie Foundation. Entrepreneurial and action-oriented, Ms. Kellmanson builds marketing efforts using new products, new processes and new media to drive revenue. She has been at the forefront of several key Winn-Dixie initiatives, such as the Right Now produce and Neighborhood Butcher campaigns and the implementation of the fuelperks! gas discount program.
Prior to joining Winn-Dixie, Ms. Kellmanson served as vice president of marketing and advertising at Wegmans Food Markets, responsible for branding, new store openings, market research, loyalty card and online programs. She was the architect of a new brand strategy focused on lifestyle solutions. Ms. Kellmanson’s customer-centric marketing approach helped Wegmans earn $4.8 billion in annual sales in 2008.Ms. Kellmanson holds a bachelor of arts degree in government from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., and a master of business administration in marketing from the University of Rochester in New York. She is an active member of the Food Marketing Institute’s Communications Committee and University of Rochester’s Alumni Board Executive Committee.
The Griffin Report posed some general questions to her about management and philosophies, and here are her responses.
What do you think are your successes in your career and especially at Winn Dixie?
Over the course of my career, I’ve been able to contribute to the success of the companies I’ve worked for by driving strategy and keeping the organization focused on key initiatives and priorities to drive business. Most recently at Winn-Dixie this strategic focus involves rebuilding the brand, enhancing our service and developing a guest-centric culture in our stores.
How would you describe your management and communication style?
As much as I have strong convictions about our business, I’m a firm believer that in order to succeed, all members of an organization need to be aligned, working for a common purpose. So, I place a tremendous amount of emphasis on building consensus. And in order to do that, I believe you need open, honest communication in an environment that people feel comfortable expressing their points of view and asking questions.
Who have been your career mentors and why?
I’ve been fortunate to work with many incredibly talented people and incorporate elements of each of them in my leadership style and business approach. I began my career with Wegmans and had the opportunity to work side-by-side with three generations of the Wegman family, who fostered in me a passion for the business, taught me what it means to be a merchant and instilled in me the value of doing things the right way. I learned early and am reminded daily the importance of people in the success of any endeavor.