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Walmart names Karen Roberts EVP, general counsel

BY Mike Troy

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Karen Roberts was named EVP and general counsel for Wal-Mart Stores on Thursday amid the retailer’s ongoing investigation in possible violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Roberts, 42, is a 17-year Walmart veteran who most recently served as EVP and president of Walmart Realty for Walmart U.S. However, prior to that, she held the position of SVP and chief compliance officer for Walmart U.S. where she oversaw the establishment of food and product safety programs and a recycling program.

In her new capacity she will report to EVP and corporate secretary Jeff Gearhart, 48, effective at the beginning of the company’s new fiscal year on Feb. 1, 2013. Her responsibilities will include management of Walmart’s legal department and all legal matters affecting the company in its domestic and international markets, according to Walmart. Meanwhile, Gearhart will maintain oversight for the legal function in addition to his newly expanded responsibilities for Walmart’s compliance, ethics and investigations teams as part of the company’s steps to align the functions and further strengthen its global compliance efforts.

"Karen’s humility, transparency and collaboration embody the leadership qualities we look for at Walmart," said Gearhart. "She is an extremely talented professional whose integrity, breadth of experience and knowledge of Walmart make her uniquely qualified for this important role. Karen’s legal background and previous responsibilities directing our U.S. compliance and real estate functions provide an important perspective for overseeing the complex legal issues we deal with every day in our business."

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Stater Bros. posts increased sales, profit in FY2012

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Sales at Stater Brothers increased by 1.83% to $67.8 million in fiscal year 2012, the company said in an earnings report.

The 167-store chain’s sales for the fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, were $3.9 billion, thanks in part to an extra week; without the extra week, sales would be $3.8 billion, but still higher than 2011’s $3.7 billion. Profit for the year was $37.7 million, compared with $26.3 million in fiscal year 2011.

Sales for the fourth quarter were $1.025 billion, compared with $941.8 million in fourth quarter 2011. Sales for fourth quarter 2012 without the extra week would be $957.2 million.

"Our success in the current year is due to our valued customers responding favorably to our marketing efforts which have emphasized quality and value and has attracted new customers in fiscal 2012," Stater’s president, chairman and CEO Jack Brown said. "Our results reflect the benefit of our debt refinancing last year which as significantly reduced our interest expense."

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The National Hispana Leadership Institute announces 2013 ELP fellows

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON — The National Hispana Leadership Institute has announced its 2013 Executive Leadership Program fellows. Following a nationwide search, 22 Latinas have been selected to participate in this program.

“Every year, I am more amazed by the cohort of remarkable Latinas I see go through our programs, and this year is no different. Our women come from diverse backgrounds, with a genuine desire to contribute to their communities and professional settings. We extend a warm welcome and look forward challenging them, in addition to experiencing firsthand how they get ready to take the world on by storm and inspired to go to the next level,” stated Marieli Colon-Padilla, board chair.

Now in its 25th year, the Executive Leadership Program is held in conjunction with Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Center for Creative Leadership. The Executive Leadership Program spans 11 months and includes three components: training, mentorship and leadership projects. The 2013 program begins in December 2012 and ends in October 2013.

Fellows commit to mentoring at least two other young women and are required to complete their individual leadership project that is designed to significantly impact the community.

This year’s fellows come from all around the country and from varying professions. Participants are selected based on their community service record, their personal and professional accomplishments, and dedication to being leaders in their community.

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