Tuesday March 6, 2012
Confectionery Leaders Honored By Industry
Miami — Top buyers Paul Minger, category manager for confections for Walgreen Co.; John Scardina, senior vice-president of merchandising for Eby-Brown Co., LLC; and Val Stansfield, category manager for candy, snacks and grocery for Rite Aid Corp., have won NCA Confectionery Leadership Awards.
The 2012 awards, presented during the association’s State of the Industry Conference, honored the three for their consistent leadership, breakthrough thinking, leveraging their experience to elevate the category and exhibiting strong potential for continued growth.
The conference attendees heard tributes to the buyers and commendations from industry peers highlighting examples of the recipients’ professionalism, career milestones and support for the industry.
Many of Stansfield’s colleagues pointed to her knowledge of the category as not only a benefit for Rite Aid, but the industry as a whole.
“When she is in the room, school is always in session,” one industry source explained, adding: “You never get a simple yes or no from Val. You always get an education, and you always know where you stand.”
Described by another industry peer as “a consummate buyer,” Stansfield’s dedication to the category was highlighted through her tireless work ethic and regular meetings with vendors, which can be as many as 10 a day when she is constructing planograms.
Scardina’s hard work was mentioned as one of the driving forces behind his success. A number of his supporters said his rise through the ranks at Eby-Brown, from delivery driver to executive management, exemplifies Scardina’s work ethic.
“He started at the bottom with Eby-Brown, and he has educated and invested in himself to become who he is now,” said one source. “He is the epitome of a self-made man pursuing the American dream.”
His no-nonsense approach to business was also highlighted by a number of his colleagues, as one said: “He requires a lot from those he works with, but he is always on the clock and works tirelessly to maximize the potential of every vendor partner, program, and product under his watch and is never afraid of doing his part.”
Honesty and integrity were the words most frequently used to describe Minger by his supporters. As one put it: “I know Paul’s word is as good as gold. Not once has he reneged on a promise or a commitment. In today’s world that is priceless — rare, but truly priceless.”
Minger was also commended for challenging vendors, ensuring that their products will not only fit in the drug channel, but will also be profitable for everyone involved.
“Paul challenges you with multiple questions about your analysis to make sure that you believe in it, but more importantly to see if it meets all of his and Walgreen’s needs,” another source said.
A special section in the March/April issue of Candy & Snack TODAY will feature exclusive interviews with the award winners and pictures from the event.