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2024 Star Women in Grocery Award Winner Jessica Emanuele (Q&A)

Store-Level Star
2024 star women
Jessica Emanuele

Jessica Emanuele

Franchisee #46, Fortinos 

How would you describe your leadership style? 

I’ve always loved this quote and have made it part of my philosophy: “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”  I make a conscious effort to focus on developing the strengths of every team member. No two employees are the same and I try to unlock their full potential. It’s not always easy, but that’s part of the challenge and satisfaction I get from leading people.

What is your greatest career achievement so far?  

I started in the grocery business at a young age. My goal was to make a little money working part time, not realizing that I would make this a career. I became aware very quickly that being in a grocery retail environment is where I wanted to be. I worked hard and learned as much as I could to keep climbing up the ladder, realizing how much opportunity for career growth in this industry there actually was. I wanted to lead a team and took on a department manager position and then progressed to an assistant store manager. At times, I was managing people older than me.  It was a challenge, but also an achievement as I was able to gain trust and respect. What I had worked so hard to achieve became a reality when I was given the opportunity to become a franchisee, which I am so thankful and grateful for. I have a great team that supports and encourages my success. 

What keeps you motivated? 

My team and my customers. I love the comradery, team spirit and excitement of this business.  Learning about my team and helping them assess their strengths and weaknesses motivates me. Seeing progress in what you love to do is a motivator.

How do you define success at work? 

Setting a clear direction for myself and working hard to make sure that goal is met. It is about the journey, about progress, learning from your mistakes and in the end feeling a sense of pride and accomplishment. It’s about passing along my learnings to others so they can be successful in achieving their goals.

What do you like to do when you’re not working? 

Right now, I am busy planning my wedding! I am getting married to Joe at the end of June. I’m looking forward to continuing my love of travel with him. I also enjoy working out and being outside spending time in nature. My family and friends are my top priority—I spend a lot of time with them, sometimes doing absolutely nothing, but just being in the moment. Every day I wake up is a blessing. I enjoy life to the fullest. 

What most excites you about the future of the industry? 

Digital technology, smart supply chain, seamless shopping, loyalty rewards and robotics—all the new and emerging technology. There is so much in development and so much already at our fingertips.  

Click here for the full list of 2024 Star Women in Grocery award winners.

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