Amanda McVay; A Sense of Community

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Amanda McVay's corporate retail experience began at Target's Minneapolis headquarters.

She's spent the past seven years at Meijer's Grand Rapids headquarters, where she is Group Vice President, Grocery, and an executive leadership team member. Amanda and her husband, Nick, and their son, Jacob, and daughter, Mackenzie, love to be active and travel.

What brought you here? My husband is a Michigander. When we started looking at Michigan as a place to live, Meijer went hand in hand. I started in the Home Products area of the corporate office. It was fun getting to know the Meijer customer! I spent a lot of time upgrading merchandise quality while still delivering a great value. After about four years, I moved to Director of Dry Grocery; two years later, I was promoted to GVP of Grocery.

Our team develops the Grocery section business strategy and strives to create customer value through fantastic product selection; easy, fun shopping aisles; and a trusted, reliable shopping experience.

What do you appreciate most about working in retail? The connection with the consumer. I am fascinated by consumer behavior. I love understanding the wants and needs of our consumer world. With Grocery, it's especially exciting to understand and formulate a business strategy of how our customers choose to feed themselves and their family. Consumer choices are so personal. It's fun to deliver a shopping experience that exceed expectations.

What's your proudest accomplishment? Obtaining my Executive MBA from University of Michigan. I graduated this past April. I chose to go back to school 15 years into my career and maintain my career while attending school in Ann Arbor for two years—with a young family at home! I was proud of our whole family; I survived and performed well in my career and at school. And I was honored to receive the Poets and Quants award as one of the 100 Best & Brightest Executive MBA graduates of 2018, worldwide.

What's the best lesson you've learned? When dedicating myself to my career and my MBA, I had to be diligent with time management. I was not showing as much appreciation to my family as I would have liked. There were moments I was not stopping, breathing, and saying "thank you" as much as I should for the extra family work I was putting on my kids and husband.

I've learned even little moments can go a long way to show how much you care—don't assume they always know!

What advice do you offer others climbing the ladder? Understand what motivates you. What are your passions? How have they come to life in your career?

Once you understand your skill set and what you can offer, be open to applying your skills to different opportunities. Many roles and jobs require transferable skills. It can be rewarding to transfer your passion and skills to different applications of your impact and influence. Look for learning opportunities across all aspects of your life.

I learned some of my best business negotiating methods from situations with my 5- and 7-year-old kids!

What do you enjoy most about West Michigan? The sense of community. We are fortunate to live in a neighborhood that is walkable to schools and businesses. Our children have already created lasting friendships and are able to play and learn together.

The pride West Michigan has in our community is contagious!

Written by Amy L Charles, Editorial Director for West Michigan Woman.

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