Jessica Gasser

This entry is part 21 of 69 in the series

Jessica Gasser, Kings SupermarketsJessica Gasser

Kings Super Markets, Inc.
Vice President of HR and Labor Relations

Years with company:  15 years

Education degrees and professional/volunteer organizations:
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, concentration in Management; Minor in Industrial Organizational Psychology from The College of New Jersey


Volunteer Organizations:

  • Girl Scouts Heart of NJ – Junior Troop Leader
  • Active member of Huber Street School PTA
  • Community Food of NJ

Professional Organizations:

  • Employers Association of New Jersey
  • Food Marketing Institute

Mentors and how have they assisted you in your career:
Throughout my life I have been fortunate enough to have many mentors, starting with my parents.  They instilled a work ethic in me based on commitment, integrity, hard work, and drive, and an emphasis to have fun along the way.  My parents taught me a sense of responsibility and provided me with the confidence to stand up for what I believe in as well as a passionate approach to life, which continues to guide me today.

My work ethic was recognized and encouraged by another one of my mentors, Cherie Bliwise, who in my professional career provided me with growth opportunities, which allowed me to expand my skill sets, sphere of influence, and increase my contribution to the organization.  Judy Spires, our president and CEO, continues this mentoring processing today through continually challenging me to be innovative and to cultivate new ways of thinking throughout our organization.  Lessons learned through a charted path of assigned roles and positions prepared me to be a strategic thinker and a valued business partner for the organization.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? Do you have a defining moment of your career to date?
I am most proud of helping to transform the role of HR from simply providing personnel functions to becoming a strategic business partner.  During my career, I have worked to build credibility through my creative problem-solving skills and collaborative spirit across all functional areas.  Building relationships with operations, merchandising and support areas has allowed me to become a more effective contributor in all parts of the business.  Some of the defining moments of my career have involved implementing significant change across the organization.  These have been the most challenging moments, but also the most rewarding.

Most challenging part of your job: As we look ahead, pending government healthcare regulations are poised to change the landscape for all industries, especially retail.  Meeting the regulations will take a creative approach that will require new dialogue with all of our stakeholders.

Advice for upcoming younger executives:
Get involved in all areas of the business.  Volunteer for assignments outside of your comfort zone.  Be curious, ask questions and have a point of view.  When faced with a roadblock, shift your thinking.  Every setback has an opportunity and it’s up to you to find it.

My husband and daughters keep me laughing, smiling and balanced.  I enjoy spending time with my family, listening to music, watching my favorite sports teams, and I love attending Tricky Trays!