I was fortunate enough to begin my career in a small town, family owned Affiliated Foods store. As is the case with many small stores I was asked to wear many hats, often before they even fit. But fortunate I was, although my early mentors did not have sophisticated systems, they did empower me to learn every area of the store. - During college I found my way to Hy-vee Food Stores, my first taste of corporate life was exciting (I met my wife!), useful (insight into the operations of a successful conventional store) and, ultimately... not for me. I dabbled shortly in sales before accepting a Store Manager position at another location owned by my original patrons. - Seeking a change and challenge, my young family and I moved to Alaska. Here I was the Purchasing Agent for the largest independently owned Hotelier in the state. I was responsible for sourcing, purchasing and multi-mode logistics required to get... Well, just about everything from "Outside" (the term Alaskans use to describe anywhere but Alaska). But soon enough the Prairie Winds beckoned my spirit back to Kansas. - After a stint as a Stonemason working on Historic Allen Fieldhouse (home of the University of Kansas Jayhawk Basketball team) I was elated to see, apply and be selected as the Front End and Customer Service Manager of The Merc!. - I have the honor of teaching a monthly Customer Service Class with our Store Operations Manager Brian Phillips. The Merc works hard to set the standard for service in Douglas County, but, we are being watched. The goal line may move, but I am confident that we can continue to identify exceptional servers and empower them to provide the best experience possible for our Owners, shoppers and coworkers.