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2020 Star Women in Grocery winner Suzanne Horner (Q&A)

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Store level star

Suzanne Horner 
Store Manager
Sobeys

How did you get into the grocery business?
I began my career at Sobeys in 1989 in the deli department at a store in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and quickly advanced to deli manager at two Sobeys stores. I pursued opportunities as a retail and category analyst before becoming an assistant store manager at Sobeys Tacoma Drive store, and am now manager of Sobeys West River in Pictou.

What are your greatest career achievements?
For me, achieving operational success goes well beyond excellence in product assortment, store conditions and satisfaction. I’m committed to creating opportunities to welcome and advance diverse talent within the community, including advancing career opportunities for women. I also look beyond job postings and connect with local community partners to find new talent. I’ve been actively involved in programs through Summer Street Industries, a local employment service provider and social enterprise dedicated to connecting diverse talent with local employers. In 2019, I engaged in a partnership with Career Connections and the Canadian National Institute of the Blind in Dartmouth to hire new talent. New employees have brought process improvements and identified areas to improve accessibility both within my store and within the organization that have resulted in more inclusive experiences for both employees and customers.

What do you like most about your job?
The best part of my job is the great people I work with. The staff are the backbone of my store and I have been fortunate to have staff who have been willing to go above and beyond the call of duty. The current COVID-19 pandemic is an excellent example of how our teams have stepped up in the face of uncertainty to continue to provide excellent customer service. I am very passionate about supporting the needs of my teams and the local community and actively seek partnerships to welcome diverse talent into our store.

How would you describe your leadership style?
My management style is about working closely with my teams and assisting them whenever and wherever possible to not only achieve their personal best, but to embrace shared goals and objectives. Maintaining a passionate and coordinated team effort benefits everyone, including our loyal customers.

What is your best quality?
I would like to think that I am a good listener who provides my management team an opportunity to express their thoughts, opinions and ideas. I am a people person first and always try to ensure that we maintain a fair and respectful environment where everyone feels proud to work and shop.

What is your proudest moment?
I’ve had many proud moments in my 30-plus year career with Sobeys, but I’m most proud of being provided the opportunity to support my teams with the resources and leadership they need to feel confident and empowered to bring their best to the workplace, our customers and community every day.

Click here for the full list of 2020 Star Women in Grocery award winners.

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