Food City nominees named Top Women in Grocery

Published 12:03 pm Wednesday, July 6, 2022

ABINGDON, Va. — Progressive Grocer’s Top Women in Grocery initiative recognizes the important role that women play in the food and grocery industry. Two Food City women grocers are named among this year’s top winners — Molly Austin, front-end operations special projects manager, and Amanda Gulley, store manager.

“I would like to congratulate Molly and Amanda on this well-deserved honor and all of their hard work and achievements. We are extremely proud of all of our women grocers and the key role they play within our company, the industry, and the communities we serve,” said Steve Smith, Food City president and chief executive officer.

Progressive Grocer receives hundreds of nominations from women grocers in all sectors of the industry across the nation. This year’s winners were showcased in their June issue and will also be recognized in November at their annual awards gala in Orlando, Fla.

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Molly Austin is responsible for developing and executing initiatives that directly impact the company’s front-end operations, with a goal of reducing operational costs and increasing efficiencies and productivity without compromising customer service. She is also responsible for researching emerging and evolving technologies and processes, calculating their ROI, conducting field tests, developing training materials and implementation processes for adopted initiatives, and ensuring their successful financial results. Austin serves on the company’s ECO Committee, focused on reducing the company’s carbon footprint, and is a founding member of their EMPOWER Program, which supports female associates through education, mentorship, and fellowship. With over 42 years of dedicated service and experience and a diverse skillset, Austin is a vital asset to the company. Having worked her way up the ranks, she is well versed in all aspects of the business and is one of the company’s most admired and respected associates.

Austin is also very active within her local community. She serves on the Board of Directors for The Salvation Army and received their coveted Souper Bowl Champion Award in recognition of her years of dedicated service and support. She works with the American Cancer Society, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Alzheimer’s Association, and her local Chamber of Commerce. She is an avid supporter of local athletic programs, including East Tennessee State University’s football and basketball programs. Austin is a longtime member of Harvest Time Baptist Church, where she serves as Treasurer. She also assists with numerous company events and activities, including their annual charity golf tournament and United Way Celebrity Bagging event.

Amanda Gulley manages Food City’s Sandstone Drive location in Morristown. Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, Gulley and her team have achieved record results over the past two years. Much of this success can be attributed to Gulley’s excellent leadership and management skills. She has exhibited extraordinary resilience and determination and worked diligently with her team to identify unique and creative ways to promote sales and merchandising opportunities throughout the pandemic. A number of her initiatives were adopted company wide. Gulley serves as an instructor for the company’s Performance Skills for Effective Management training program for department heads and assistant store managers. She also serves as a district training manager for assistant managers enrolled in the company’s comprehensive 16-week training program and as back-up for her district manager. Gulley’s store was voted the 2021 People’s Choice by the citizens of Hamblen County.

Gulley is active within her community. She was named Vice President of the Board of Directors for Central Services. She serves as Vice President of the company’s KARE program, which provides assistances to associates during dire times of need. She also assisted Hamblen County Schools with their work-based learning program for students with disabilities. Gulley is a valued and respected member of her company and her community.