Stories and Shoutouts From International Women's Day - United Family Blog
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Stories and Shoutouts From International Women’s Day

When The United Family had the chance to share stories and shoutouts about the women that are making a difference inside the company, boy did they deliver!

Read on for stories of inspiration, ultimate service, superior performance and positive impact all over our footprint!

Katrina Escobar

Katrina is a dedicated, strong willed, and smart friend/coworker. She has made this department shine in so many ways! She always goes above and beyond for our department. She is A good friend! We have each other’s back through simple times and rough times in our everyday work days. I am truly blessed to have crossed paths with her. I will forever be grateful for Katrina! She is also a dedicated mother outside of work. To all 5 of her Beautiful babies! Thank you, Katrina, for helping me through thick and thin!!! You are a great blessing in my life and we will ride for forever!!

 

Margarita Mendoza

Margaret is an admirable manager for many reasons. She is passionate about our team and the quality of the goods and services we provide to our guests. She leads by example and is fair and thorough. She has been a personal mentor for me in the time I have worked for the company. She has faced many personal trials recently, including having a heart attack at work and a husband facing kidney failure, and still comes to work driven and with a smile on her face.

 

Aganetha Mueller

Aganetha is an inspiration as a woman not only in the workforce, but in her personal life. She is wise, humble, compassionate and thorough. To know Aganetha is to love and admire her. She is dedicated to her job and team members beyond expectation, and she is an absolute asset to our store and our company!

 

Rose Ponce

When I came back to work for United in January 2015 Rose was the service manager at Amigos 524. A couple of months later she promoted me up to service counter. From there took me under her wing to teach me as much as possible to grow with the company, a year later I was offered assistant service manager position to work under her and she taught me everything I needed to know to become the next service manager, not only did she help me grow with the company and show interest in teaching me all that she could, she was like a second mom to me, a “work mom” if you will. She took it upon herself when I was pregnant with my second daughter to throw me a surprise baby shower because she knew how bad we were struggling at that time and knew that I wasn’t going to have much for my daughter. She has done many other things to help me and has been a mentor to me at work and in life in general. I know she has been a mentor for many other team members as well because they have mentioned it in conversations, we have had about her and her kindness. She is a great leader and it has been so amazing to watch her promote up within the company. I have followed her footsteps from Service Manager at Amigos to Service Manager at Market Street and hope to one day be able to follow in her footsteps as assistant store director. Grateful to have her as a mentor and fellow woman leader 🙂

 

Melina Niblock

She always pushes you to be your very best and always does it with a smile on her face. She is always there for her team when they need her as well as always going above and beyond for everyone.

 

Sonia Villafranco

Our story starts 28 years ago when I first met Sonia. I started as a cashier and Sonia a Bakery Manager. When I first met her, I saw a strong young lady holding down one of the hardest jobs in Albertsons. She always greeted everyone with a smile. She always gave everyone advice when we needed it and she worked just as hard as her employees. Her strong job ethics and dedication has made her the manager she is today. We are glad to have her here at store 678 in San Angelo Texas as our Bakery Manager.

 

Kristi Gonzales

Kristi is the epitome of our mission statement. She has a passion for people! Kristi is very compassionate when team members reach out to her for resources, and if she cannot help them, she ensures that she researches and offers outside resources. She also dedicates her free time to PTA, Boosters, Board work and being a wife and mother to her family. The United Family is lucky to have such a powerful woman representative like Kristi.

 

Elaine Garcia

Elaine has been a great friend and mentor to me. She has taught me so many things about being a good team member and manager, as well as giving me advice about life.

 

Victoria Hernandez

I began my career with United at the same time as Victoria and saw how she really dove in to move up in the company, she doesn’t even know how much of an impact she had on the decisions I would make later on. When I finally made the decision to make a move into management, she was one of my biggest supporters, in fact she gave me my first opportunity in management, a short time later she encouraged me to apply for another position, GM Manager, which in turn provided the pathway to Grocery Manager. I have now been accepted in to the SDLP. Victoria’s tenacity and drive has always been an example for me to follow. I see how far she has gone with the company and what it takes to succeed and try to follow her example.

 

Tommye Bell

Tommye Bell, is there for us on a daily basis, no matter how big or small the task is, she drops what she doing and helps us out. She always tells us, that we are always learning and she never makes us feel bad for asking a question. I thank her for everything that she teaches us and the way that she teaches it to us on a weekly basis. She takes pride in what she does and how she teaches and it really shows. She is a great listener, teacher, mentor and an overall great person. I am proud to be one of her Regional Assistants!!

 

Christal Faries

Christal has made an enormous impact on my career path, when I worked as at #548 as a Grocery Manager, she pushed me daily to do more and learn more. She is passionate about growing Team Members and ensuring they are as successful as they want to be within The United Family. I would not be in my current role as a Store Director if were not for the great leadership she provided.

 

Mariana Lopez

I remember the first day I started, she started as well. She looked so comfortable while we were training. She took the wheel and helped us with questions, guided us on our assignments. She stepped up and took a boss role. She has been a great mentor and could not have asked for a better co-worker. She is the Best! Thank you for being you!!

 

Sarah Bevers

She has embraced the position of CFO and made it her own and has empowered her team to do the same.  She is always positive and stops to say hello, hi, how are you, we are all equal to her and all make a difference.  She is proud of us and gives us the desire to do, work and be better.  Thank you Sarah and I wish everyone understood how far a smile can go – yours goes on for miles.

 

Rachel Bowling

Rachel is a great leader, mentor, boss and friend. She takes the time to get to know not just her team in food service but team members in all stores and across the company. She listens, coaches and tells us not just what we want to hear but what we need to hear. She’s truthful and honest but compassionate and understanding to our needs and frustrations on the job and off. Rachel has impacted me personally in more ways than I can count. She wears so many hats just like most of us and she balances them so well. We have been through so much over the years together. Many ups and downs and changes/challenges, lots of hard work and tears and many many laughs and at the end of it all she’s still there saying ok what’s next. She encourages us to be the best “Person” we can be. Challenges us and trust us to make good/wise decisions. This lady means more to me than I can ever show or tell her. Thank You Rachel for believing in me and so many others and helping us grown not just as team members or managers but as people. I always want you in my boat.

 

Norma Pena

Norma believed in me before I believed in myself.  She encouraged me to move up as an assistant in the food service dept.  I felt like I wasn’t ready at the time.  But now as a manager for the seafood dept, I strive to be the manager she was to me.  Patient, encouraging, and an all-time wonderful manager.

 

Kami Golightly

Where do I begin?  Kami is the reason I am the TRM I am today.  She has helped me every step of the way become more confident and knowledgeable in my role.  She has your back 100% and will do everything in her power to make sure you succeed.

 

Kora Rush

I have had the pleasure of working with Kora for the past 4 years!  She was a key mentor and teacher when I first began my career in the United Division.  To this day I continue to learn from Kora, but what strikes me the most is her servant leadership style and dedication to her team.

 

Stacy Hamilton

Stacy has taught me more about how businesses work, more or less the behind-the-scenes part most of accounting department. She is down to business, very well educated , smart, witty, and a great supervisor, she also honestly cares about each of her employees. I worked in the RC Taylor warehouse for 17 years and Stacy offered me a position in the office, which I am forever grateful.

 

D’Ana Newton

D’Ana is a master multi-tasker. She makes our team better!

 

DeAnna Brackett

DeAnna works behind the scenes. Most people do not notice until our seasonal aisles come to life in the store. Her vison, hard work and dedication to our team are an inspiration.

 

Leslie Hemenway

Leslie is a great leader. She is on a mission for our Gift and Home department. She brings passion and vision to work every day.

 

Belinda Jackson

Inspiration. A team member for over 40 years and still brings her very best to work every day.

 

Piper Dockins

Piper is just such a great person. She has been such a positive impact for me as a mentor. Piper helped me make my transition into Supervision many years ago when I joined the team and still is a great confidant today. I believe Piper is a great leader in the company and role model to all women.

 

Brandi Pena

Brandi has always been such a great mentor and leader to everyone around her!  Our company is so blessed to have her!

 

Laura Sagesar

Laura has been an extremely important individual in my life since I was 15. I started working for her in 2003 when I was in high school and continued to work with her until 2011. Eventually I found my way back to the United family in 2020 and was extremely happy to find out Laura was still managing at my store. She is a hardworking, stubborn, and passionate person who has inspired me to work just as hard. She loves her work and has invested all her time into building up her team members and helping them to reach their highest potential. Due to unfortunate events Laura has been out sick for the past 3 months but her guidance and confidence in me has led me to be a strong stand in manager. I am still learning every day and it involves hard work, knowledge and hustle. It can be difficult without her but I know she is just a phone call away when I need anything involving the struggles of being a manager and to vent about personal struggles or work.

 

She is my work mom, friend, and confidant. She is irreplaceable and upholds the respect from me.

 

Mindy Candelaria

Mindy has always been the sweetest person. If any team member needed help with anything she has always stopped what she is doing and give you the answer that you are looking for. she makes sure you get paid for vacation she is smart

and so sweet willing to help besides a real asset to the company.

 

Heidi Carey

Heidi and I first met in the early fall of 2008, Frisco Texas.  Her passion for flowers and her family was the first things that I admired from her.  Passion for her family, her team and flowers still excites her in her leadership and positivity.  Heidi’s passions ignite others and its truly shows.  Heidi is a strong soldier  and at the same time, a strong general.  She fights that battle while also leading with her faith and morals.  Heidi is a strong woman in my life that I lean on from time to time, and will always warm the heart with her care and compassion.  Thank you, Heidi, for leading in our department and in my life since 2008.  I am your champion!

 

Debbie Sumner

I worked for Debbie for a while when I was younger. At the time, she was one of the only women store directors and it was impressive to see her run a store, raise a family and make time to serve the community. She definitely works hard at her store and on any project that is asked of her. She is a great example for other women in the company.

 

Nancy Sharp

I met Nancy Sharp when doing an interview at LISD’s Byron Martin Advanced Technology Center years ago.  She wanted our vantage point on what we were doing for the Floral class that our Lubbock team does so well.  Nancy was videoing and interviewing, feeding me the answers  all while being so polite, and kind.  She had sweet words about working with my dad when he was at LISD, which always wins my heart over.  I did not realize until years later that Nancy Sharp is woman chieftain on so many levels.  Being an amazing Christian woman that is beyond polite and selfless.  She supports everyone that she comes into contact with and lifts them up.  She has a storied career working with so many giants in through the years.  She is involved in community efforts on all levels.  Will say that sentence again, she is involved in community efforts on ALL levels.  She brings up young women in our community and speaks with care and determination.  She always did this with so many young girls that I know, but for me, my Ainsley.  She is selfless with her hours in her day and maximizes them all with no regard to any recognition.  She lives her life with a servant’s heart, and I am so blessed to know Nancy Sharp.

 

Aganetha Mueller

Aganetha is always trying to help and uplift others at work and outside of work. She is very kind! Her heart is pure and she is a true Christian. Thank you for always making a difference in my life, at work and outside of work.

 

Christal Faries

During my first couple years with United, Christal was a huge inspiration to me.  She showed me it was possible to be a mom and pursue a management career, as well as encouraged and supported my growth path.  Her energy and drive are evident in all she does, as is her passion for service.  It was very empowering to have her as a role model as I was first getting started and she’s still an example I look to after 14 years.

 

Peanut (Charlotte) Rowe

I would like to tell our united family a little bit about how Peanut has made a difference in my life! I started working for the United family  about 5 years ago, and I was hired as a cake decorator. I spent the next 3 years working alongside Peanut, who at the time, was The cake decorator lead. She’s helped mentor me and improve my skills as an average ok decorator to a 5star certified decorator. Peanut definitely showed me very much needed patience🤦🏻‍♀️!!  When the opportunity came that she was promoted to Bakery manager, she “hand-picked me” to be one of her’ assistants. Which honestly, made a very meaningful impact on my life. I worked very hard to get to a good place in my life, and she knew it. I struggled with addiction for many years and it had almost ruined my life. At this point, I was 2 years sober, and she ALWAYS encouraged me. Peanut knew my struggles and she took a chance on me. I know that may sound like nothing, but not many people know information like that and not judge you for it. For that kindness, I will always be very grateful.

When the time came that a Bakery management position came available in my hometown, I knew I was ready. Peanut and many others, I have become really good friends with, helped me grow and mature.  Peanut has helped coach me, and show me everything she know. In a way I was her padawan and she was My Jedi master lol!! For that I will always be thankful.  I’m 4 years sober, and my life is filled with Joy and happiness! I’m 8 months into my new position and I’m loving it!!  I am proud to say that on this International  Woman’s day, I’d like to recognize Peanut Rowe. She’s not only help guide and encourage me but she has done the same to many many others! She is truly remarkable!

 

Erica Nino

I often refer to Erica as my “Work Mom.’ The entire time I was at 517, she was very much a mother figure to me. Always there on my good and bad days. Always there to help me understand things I did not. And, to help me grow as a team member. I’m very thankful for everything she’s done to help me achieve my goals. Form the bottom of my heart, thank you Erica.

 

Christal Faries

Christal is a strong and very independent woman. She is a hardworking, and very caring woman and manager at the United on South 14th in Abilene, Tx. She has helped me grow from being a service center clerk, to being a Service Manager at the store. She pushes you to succeed, and does not let you give up on yourself. She is a loving and caring mother, and role model! I appreciate everything she has ever done for me.

 

Prisca Hernandez

Not a lot of people know this about Prisca, but she is truly a hero. Her commitment to going over and beyond the call of duty for our guests and team is unmatched. My own personal story with Prisca goes deeper than just work- during tough times in my life I’ve been able to count on Prisca to be there either for advice or a laugh. In a world where women are pitted against other women, Prisca empowers women and is an amazing advocate for women and celebrates their success and accomplishments.  A fun fact- Prisca was the first person who felt my baby kick when he was in my belly. It was the sweetest moment to share and I’ll never forget it. Thanks, Prisca, for paving a way for women to be celebrated and being an amazing boss.

 

Brittaney Hernandez

Brittaney was hired when we opened the dept. She started as part time shopper. As we grew and began the dept she continued to rise and impress becoming a lead and now my assistant. I could not have had the success that we have had without her.

 

Mary Christy Medina

Mary Christy is a great leader and friend. She takes her job very serious and is great to work for. She is great at teaching the new employees store wide the correct way to do things and is great with the guest as well.

 

Journey Bell

Journey started in 2020 as a sacker and since then she has moved up very quickly learning how to check, run receiving, help POS, run the service counter and she is a pretty amazing bookkeeper. She has come a long way and she trains everybody that gets moved up to the service counter and she should be recognized for stepping up and helping the company out in such a huge way. Journey is awesome.

 

Piper Dockins

Piper was my bakery field support for a few years and I learned so much from her.  She is still available to answer any questions or offer support many years later.  She is a person of integrity and has a big heart.  I truly believe that I would not still be with the company had it not been for her.

 

Crystal Montana

Crystal was my service manager at store 681 and I was her assistant service manage, every day she showed me what integrity, confidence, and loyalty meant in every sense of the word. No task was too small and no problem was too big, she never stopped smiling and never stopped building her team up. Crystal is the reason I am the manager today because she not only showed me what it took but also demonstrated that for me day in and day out. She’s been my biggest influence to never stop striving for me and has continued to be my mentor. She’s an incredible manager and human being. Thank you, Crystal!

 

Kathleen Igo

Kathleen is someone who has been a great influence to me during my time at SSC so far. She has been a friend, mentor and teacher in many ways and I believe it’s important she is recognized. It’s not often that you come by a woman like Kathleen Igo!

 

Anne Dean

Anne’s level of commitment and drive encourages me to go above and beyond. Her sacrifice of time, energy and personal comfort, far exceeds anything I have ever seen. She reaches out to those in need on a business and personal level. She truly pays attention to what others say and do. Her heart is as big as her integrity, diligence and utmost respect for her position in this company. Anne will do whatever is asked without question and works with the highest level of integrity for this company. She is valued by many and is sought out for advice from many at RC Taylor, including myself. As far as I’m concerned, she is truly the best this company has to offer.

 

Sami Contreras

She is like our work mom. She lets us tell her about our day, without judgement but will also help us through good or bad. She is making us better here at work and in life.

 

Julie Worley

Under Julie’s guidance, I learned how to keep cool under a great deal of pressure, how to keep my sense of humor even during the toughest times, and everything about running a grocery department.  I consider her example to be the reason I decided to become a store director.

 

Debbie Hernandez

She has been a part of our team for over 25 years. All of our depts are affected by her hard work and unsurpassed dedication to our success. I’ve never witnessed such passion for success across all facets. This includes hiring, training, coaching, mentoring, advising and much much more.  She is the glue that binds our very large team.  I thank God every day that we have her by our side. I couldn’t imagine doing this without her!  She amazes me every day!

 

Trisha Hughes

Trisha provided a safe place for me to be a real person, a woman, a mother, a wife and a friend. It’s difficult to find that  place when most just see you as their supervisor.  We all need that one very special person we can laugh with and lean on when days are difficult.

 

Emma Spoon

Emma grew tremendously from her first day as an intern in our marketing department. Today, she is picking up and running with the framework we built all those years ago to ensure that the amazing team member stories that make this company special.

 

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