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Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) Name Store Manager of the Year

March 20, 2016

Sheila Austin, manager of Houchens Food Group-owned Buehler’s IGA in Darmstadt, Indiana, has been named Store Manager of the Year by Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG). Independent Grocers Alliance (IGA) and AWG presented Austin with the award on March 20 during AWG’s annual shareholder meeting in Overland Park, Kansas.

Austin was chosen for the award from among AWG’s more than 3,000 store managers in 30 states. The AWG Store Manager Award, first presented in 2015, is open to associates of AWG member stores who have been managing the same store for at least one year. Entries are scored based on overall content and the store manager’s demonstrated ability to:

•   Generate sales growth and positively impact the overall business of the store.

•   Go above and beyond the ordinary in customer service and/or community relations.

•   Execute innovative in-store programs and/or special events that improved overall customer service and community relations.

•   Show a balance between people skills and operations skills.

•   Execute and achieve goals with the store team.

•   Lead and/or mentor team members.

Austin has been working in the grocery industry for 45 years. She and her Buehler’s IGA team of around 60 employees have created a thriving operation in Darmstadt, Indiana, and Austin herself was awarded IGA International Retailer of the Year in 2014.

“Having seen Sheila in action when I visited her store for the 2014 International Retailer of the Year judging, I’m not surprised to once again see her being recognized as among the best of the best in independent retailing,” IGA CEO Mark Batenic said. “Her relentless pursuit of customer satisfaction, attention to detail and dedication to taking care of the communities in which she operates is second to none. AWG, Houchens and IGA are so very proud to have the opportunity to work together as Sheila’s wholesaler, retailer and brand. We couldn’t ask for a more progressive and innovative leader to guide this store—and our IGA brand—into the future.”