Safeway employees clocked 1 million volunteer hours in 2011

BY Michael Johnsen

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway on Friday announced that employees volunteered more than 1 million hours in 2011 as a result of a companywide effort to mobilize its work force and transform communities.

"The number of hours, along with the stories about employees who unselfishly gave their valuable time, are inspiring and humbling," stated Larree Renda, Safeway EVP and chair of the Safeway Foundation. "Through their generosity, our employees are making a meaningful difference in the communities where they work and live."

While volunteerism has long been part of Safeway’s culture, the company launched a more formal volunteer initiative in 2010, designed to build on efforts already under way and assist those employees who wanted to find the activities and organizations that best suited their interests and talents.

Employees from the company’s retail, distribution, supply and administrative operations routinely participate in fundraisers, cleanup efforts and a broad range of other volunteer activities. Safeway employees are serving as Little League coaches, Scout Masters and food bank volunteers. Others organize neighborhood watch programs and coordinate school fundraisers. Safeway truck drivers have volunteered to transport food and supplies for disaster preparedness organizations. Company lawyers and tax specialists have provided legal assistance to nonprofits and prepared tax filings for senior citizens — all on their own time.

Safeway is a long-time sponsor of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and holds a companywide fundraiser for the organization annually. The campaign concludes with the MDA Labor Day Telethon, when scores of Safeway employees join other volunteers throughout the United States to staff phone banks and process donation pledges.

More recently, Safeway partnered with Rebuilding Together, the nation’s leading nonprofit working to preserve affordable homeownership, to renovate homes and community centers during the month of April. On their own time, Safeway employees in 10 cities refurbished homes, senior centers and community centers, making them more accessible to people with disabilities and performing major and minor repairs.

Through its Volunteer Initiative, Safeway set out to aggregate these existing volunteer efforts and recognize those employees who volunteered a significant amount of their time to various causes. The company also sought to help employees who were looking for volunteer opportunities. Through a partnership with Volunteer Match, an organization that provides businesses with Web-based solutions to facilitate and track volunteer engagement at local and national levels, Safeway employees are able to find volunteer opportunities in their communities that meet their specific interests, talents and availability.

Starting in January 2011, Safeway employees logged each hour they volunteered and by the end of the year they logged their 1 millionth hour. Safeway employees have been challenged to meet or exceed that number by the end of 2012.


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Take Care Clinic’s new scheduling option comes as industry gears up for growth

BY Antoinette Alexander

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — The news that Take Care Health Systems now enables patients to schedule an appointment online, as well as in the clinic, is important as it further demonstrates the clinic operator’s commitment to delivering convenient access to high-quality, affordable healthcare services. Furthermore, the added convenience comes at a time when the convenient care industry is gearing up for growth.

(THE NEWS: Take Care Clinics now offering real-time appointment scheduling option, click here.)

As the article states, patients can schedule appointments online, as well as access a cost menu to evaluate the cost of services and get up-to-date information on patient satisfaction scores.

While wait times vary by location, time of day and season, patients typically experience less than a 20-minute wait before a healthcare provider sees them. Patient visits generally take 20 minutes, which means they can be in and out in less than an hour.

To find out the wait time at a specific location, patients log on to the site, enter their location and the location finder will list all the nearby Take Care Clinic addresses and expected wait times:

  • Short: less than 30 minutes;
  • Medium: 30 to 60 minutes;
  • Long: more than one hour; and
  • Very long: more than two hours.

The added convenience comes as all signs point to growth for the convenient care industry. As previously reported by Drug Store News, a recent Rand Corp. study found that the use of retail-based health clinics increased tenfold between 2007 and 2009.

The study identified the strongest predictors of retail clinic usage as being:

  • Distance (close proximity);
  • Age (ages 18 to 44 years, those older than age 65 years were excluded);
  • Health (no chronic illnesses);
  • Income (those from zip codes with median incomes of more than $59,000); and
  • Sex (women were more likely to use clinics than men).

It also is important to note that the American Journal of Managed Care, which published the study, stated that if the trends within the convenient care industry continue, then health plans can expect to see a dramatic increase in clinic usage.


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Cornell departs Sam’s Club, Brewer becomes CEO

BY Mike Troy

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — In an unexpected turn of events, Brian Cornell is stepping down as Sam’s Club president and CEO and will be replaced by Rosalind Brewer, who currently serves as president of the Walmart U.S. East business unit. The company announced a number of other senior personnel changes as well in advance of the new fiscal year.

In a statement, Walmart said Cornell, 52, recently informed the company that he and his wife would like to move back to the Northeast for family reasons. His departure comes as Sam’s has experienced strong sales growth.

“Brian has done a terrific job at Sam’s Club,” Walmart president and CEO Mike Duke said. “He is a strong, high-energy leader who has delivered great results and leaves behind a business with outstanding momentum. In addition to building a talented, high-functioning team to run that business, he has also developed other leaders who now hold senior positions around the globe.”

Cornell said being part of the Sam’s Club family was a wonderful personal and professional experience he will always value.

“I have felt at home here and have a strong connection to the associates, the company and its values and mission,” Cornell said. “However, after 30 years of asking my family to follow me all around the globe, it is time to put them first. My wife and I want to put down roots in the Northeast and live in the same ZIP code as our children – not just occasionally seeing them in hotels and restaurants.”

With his departure, Rosalind Brewer, 49, is promoted to president and CEO of Sam’s Club, reporting to Duke, effective Feb. 1. Brewer was most recently president of the Walmart U.S. East business unit, where she was responsible for more than $100 billion in annual revenue, representing almost 1,600 stores and more than 500,000 associates. Brewer also was the first chairperson of the Walmart President’s Council of Global Women Leaders.

“Roz came to us with an outstanding background in consumer packaged goods more than five years ago,” said Duke. “During that time I have seen her develop into a talented merchant and retailer. She has strong strategic, analytical and operational skills and has successfully managed a large and complex business. I’ve also been struck by Roz’s servant leadership when I have visited stores with her. She always lets her team do the talking, with her focus being on how to better support their needs.”

Prior to Walmart, Brewer worked for Kimberly-Clark.

In other changes, Walmart said Rollin Ford was named chief administrative officer with specific areas of responsibility including the information systems division, global sourcing, global business processes, global shared services and global customer insights. Ford was most recently the company’s chief information officer, and will continue reporting to Duke.

Ford will play an important role in helping the company meet its commitment to reduce SG&A expenses as a percentage of sales by more than 100 basis points over the next five years. Ford’s efforts will include a focus on leveraging scale, reducing expenses and increasing productivity around the world.

“Rollin has played a key role in driving process improvement and leveraging technology in the past and will now have broad responsibility for some of the key areas that give us the greatest opportunity,” Duke said. “His new position enables us to capitalize on his experience in our information systems, logistics and supply chain divisions, as well as his strength in teambuilding and ability to lead across multiple organizations.”

With Ford in a new role, Walmart elevated Karenann Terrell to the position of CIO where she will be responsible for the company’s global technology systems including stores and clubs, supply chain, merchandising and enterprise platforms. Terrell joined Walmart two years ago and was most recently Walmart’s assistant chief information officer and will continue reporting to Ford.

“Karenann has brought a wealth of experience to the organization, along with a technology foundation that will continue to serve Walmart well,” said Ford. “She has embraced our mission and our values and has a passion for supporting our customers around the world. I’m confident that, in her new role, she will take Walmart’s information systems division to a whole new level.”

And in another major development, Walmart elevated Gisel Ruis to the role of EVP and COO of Walmart U.S. reporting to divisional president and CEO Bill Simon. Ruiz previously served as EVP people for Walmart U.S. In her new role she will be responsible for company’s U.S. operations, which cover more than 3,800 stores and include Supercenters, discount stores, Neighborhood Markets and Walmart Express formats. All three regional business unit presidents will report to her.

“I’m incredibly excited to see Gisel’s impact on the stores,” said Simon. “She started in our stores, ran stores and, more importantly, understands the perspective of our associates like no one else on our leadership team. That’s invaluable. For nearly 20 years, Gisel has proven herself to be a strong and capable operator, manager, teacher, retail executive and role model for our culture.”

As tends to be the case where Walmart makes a series of high level personnel moves the company uses the occasion to tout the depth of its bench strength.

“We are very intentional about developing talent to meet the needs of our rapidly growing business worldwide,” said CEO Duke. “The promotions we are announcing today are clear evidence that our succession and management development programs work, and that we have highly talented, well-rounded and experienced business leaders ready to step into larger roles when the opportunities arise.”


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