Save Mart Bids Fond Farewell to Legacy Merchants
Category Merchant Changes
Modesto, Calif., May 31, 2012– Save Mart Supermarkets celebrates the retirements of three long time category merchants who helped in many ways to build the company to where it is today.
Marty Stephanic, Sr. Director of Meat & Seafood retired Friday, April 27 after 36 years with Save Mart. Marty learned his craft as a teenager working as a ranch butcher at Lunceford Locker Plant. Hired in 1975, he was a butcher in the stores until 1991 then promoted to Meat Director in 1996. In Save Mart Supermarkets 60 year history Marty, was one of only three Meat Directors. One of the great accomplishments of his meat team was the development of the Master Cut and Master Catch Brands. Over the years, Marty and his team wrote numerous programs and best practices that ensured Save Mart would exceed food safety requirements and guaranteed fresh, high quality meats and seafood. Succeeding Marty as the new Sr. Director of Meat & Seafood is Roger DeGray who came to Save Mart in 2007 with the Albertson acquisition that more than doubled the size of the company.
Joining Marty in retirement is Kathy Mondloch, Center Store Category Merchant. Kathy was hired in 1984 after 17 years with Safeway when Save Mart purchased the Merced Safeway where she was working. In 2002, after years in the stores, she came to the corporate office in pricing and then joined the merchandising team. Kathy is well known in the industry. In 2004 she was a national Frozen Food Age Top Ten Buyer; she was the 2008 President of the Frozen Refrigerated Food Council of Northern California and is on the board, and she is a director on the National Frozen & Refrigerated Association-NRFA. She has had a big impact in March Frozen Food Month, since her involvement the company won Gold in 2011, Silver in 2010, 2008, and 2005, and our stores have won numerous Golden Penguins. A replacement has not yet been named.
Lastly, Steve Urgo, Center Store Category Merchant, retired effective March 30, 2012. Steve was hired by Save Mart in 1982 as a graphic artist but over the years worked in many different areas on many projects. During his time with general merchandising he introduced many new and innovative products to our seasonal assortment and helped build the department. In 2007, Steve was part of the Strategic Development Team when the company doubled its size through acquisition. His last few years with the company were focused on developing the company’s private label brands and then in Center Store once again. Creative and inventive, he made a lasting impact in Merchandising.
Save Mart has been fortunate over the years to have many talented people who chose to make a career with the company. As many are now reaching the age of retirement, they leave a legacy of passion, drive, and hard work. We thank them for their years of service and for teaching and training those coming behind them.