Part 3: An Interview with Gary Chartrand, Author of Unreasonable Leadership
By Dave Henry, Collective Bias Board of Advisors, and Ron Lunde, retail marketing and promotions expert
This interview completes the three-part series by Dave and Ron. Be sure to read Part 1: A Review of Gary Chartrand’s Unreasonable Leadership and Part 2: Our Thoughts: UnReasonable Leadership by Gary Chartrand
Dave and Ron: What’s next for Acosta?
Gary: Since I started with Acosta in 1983, the supermarket industry has changed dramatically. Acosta adapted well to these changes and experienced exponential growth. Acosta currently employs more than 18,000 associates throughout the United States and Canada, and I anticipate this number will rise as we continue to look for new and innovative ways to best serve our clients and customers. The trend in outsourcing more and more services to the sales and marketing industry continues and Acosta is in a great position to capture significant new revenue. Robert Hill, Acosta’s CEO, has an outstanding reputation in the industry, and I anticipate we will see great things from him.
While Acosta has grown over the years, one thing has never changed: the core values that influence, inform and inspire everything we do. For more than 80 years, Acosta has been dedicated to conducting business with integrity, caring for our communities and respecting our environment. Our culture will become our legacy.
Dave and Ron: What are some trends you are seeing in the industry?
Gary: In Unreasonable Leadership, I describe the vast transformation of the supermarket industry and how brokerage firms had to adapt in order to survive in a changing market. Today, we are seeing new trends in sophisticated analytics, shopper insights, social marketing, customer specific marketing and enhancements in cause marketing. Acosta exists because trusted brands trust us to stay ahead of the latest trends in.
Dave and Ron: So, what’s next for you, Gary?
Gary: As executive chairman of Acosta, I will continue to be involved with the company at a high level – although I will do my best to stay out of Robert’s way!
Through my foundation, I will continue to support initiatives and organizations that focus on public education reform. I truly believe that Unreasonable Leadership is what is needed to transform our entrenched public education system. We need unreasonable leaders who are willing to challenge the status quo with bold, decisive action. Time is running out on us as a nation as we continue to fall behind the rest of the world in key metrics regarding academic achievement. (Note: Gary was just appointed by the State of Florida to the state Board for Education.)
I will also continue to work on an initiative called Believe in Heroes that we started at Acosta with the Wounded Warrior Project. The campaign brings retailers, CPG companies and shoppers together to raise funds for WWP. We will generate millions to support thousands of our nation’s armed service members who have been wounded during military conflicts.
Achieving a vision that seemed nearly impossible, having the courage to make difficult decisions, and leading with conviction is what UnReasonable Leadership is about. Read this book … you’ll get a pretty good idea on how to be a good leader and a good person.
Also get to know Gary here:
To buy a copy of UnReasonable Leadership visit http://www.unreasonableleaders.com/buy/.
Dave Henry, Collective Bias Board of Advisors, has over 40 years of marketing and advertising experience. He most recently served as Senior Vice President of Marketing at Winn-Dixie, where he spearheaded the successful launch of its customer reward card and played a key role in the Getting Better All the Time marketing campaign. Since entering “semi-retirement”, he serves on a number of Advisory Boards both for business and non-profit organizations.
Ron Lunde currently works with clients in the areas of product, customer and market development. Ron has also worked with a number of retailers, consumer packaged goods companies and CRM companies in the areas of strategic insights, sophisticated database technology and the tactical implementation of customer specific technology for marketing and sales programs. Lunde’s background includes senior management positions, including major P&L responsibilities, with Leo Burnett, Act Media, Price Chopper Supermarkets, Grand Union and Super Valu.