WomenLeaders

Women's History Month
Women's History Month

Women’s History Month

Celebrating our Women Leaders

We are so fortunate to have many REMARKABLE women who are committed to our guests, our employees, and our communities. We are proud to recognize several of the females in leadership who have grown in their careers within our organization.
Sarah Putnam
Mary Kruck
Rhonda Siltman
Dusty Kerssen
Jenn Weisgram
Samantha Simmons
Aimee Asp
Diana Barr
Christie Schulte
Tammy Daunt
Seila Jovanovich
Sarah Putnam

SARAH PUTNAM
Senior Director of Fresh Merchandising for Bakery, Deli & Floral

Sarah’s Career Journey: “I started my career with Coborn’s in July of 1998 as a Part Time Convenience Store Clerk at the Little Dukes in Sartell on Pinecone Road (now a Holiday Store). I worked part time through college for several years and moved into an Assistant Manager role for Little Dukes. In 2004 I became the Manager of the Holiday Riverside Store in Sartell and later moved to on to be the Store Manager at the Holiday on Golden Spike Road in Sauk Rapids, as well as Holiday West in St. Cloud. I held the position of Holiday Team Lead for several years while working at Golden Spike and West, overseeing 4 other Holiday locations besides my own. In December of 2015 I became the Store Director for Coborn’s Riverside in Sartell. In August of 2016 I moved to the Store Director role at Coborn’s on Cooper Ave. in St. Cloud. In June of 2020 I moved into a Director of Operations role and supported 12 of our Coborn’s locations. Most recently, in January of this year I was promoted to Senior Director of Fresh Merchandising for Bakery, Deli and Floral.”
How has Coborn’s, Inc. empowered YOU to grow in your career? “After spending the majority of my career in our Convenience Division, I was given the opportunity to take part in our Grocery Store Manager Training Program in 2014. This gave me visibility to an entirely new side of the business, and since then I’ve had many doors open. I’ve had the pleasure to work for many amazing leaders over the years, who have pushed me to invest in myself and continue to learn new things. The best part is they empowered me to do the same thing with employees on my team, so I’ve had a chance to see many great people succeed!”
Why do you love your job? What are your favorite parts of your job? “I grew up shopping at Coborn’s with my family, and have fond memories of riding the penny horse and getting a sucker at the checkout. Coborn’s has always treated me like family, and I love being able to help create great shopping experiences, similar to what I remember as a child, for the families in the communities we serve. I’m proud to work for a company that encourages growth for everyone, and they will help you do it if you’re willing.”
Do you have a favorite story or memory you’d like to share? “One of my favorite memories in my time with Coborn’s was just 2 years ago at the very beginning of the Pandemic. I was the Store Director at our Cooper Ave. location, and it was the day that it was announced that grocery store employees were considered essential workers. I will never forget sharing it with my team. They had been working tirelessly for days to support our community, because they just knew they had to. They didn’t quit. Long hours, stressful situations, working in departments they never had before, but most importantly taking care of our guests in a very uncertain time. I got to call each of them a Superhero, because they truly were!”
MARY KRUCK

MARY KRUCK
Director of Operations

Mary’s Career Journey: “I started at Little Duke’s (now Holiday) in Milaca in 1996. I transferred to the Princeton location in 1999 where I worked for 16 years. I worked service counter, bookkeeping and front end until I became the video department manager in 2000. In 2007 I became the Video Department/Little Duke’s manager when we built a replacement store. In 2012 I became the Asst. Store Manager, taking the Store Manager Training and Development course in 2014. I became a Store Director in Hastings in 2015, Isanti 2016, Cooper in 2020 and a Director of Operations in 2021.”
How has Coborn’s, Inc. empowered YOU to grow in your career? “Coborn’s has empowered me by affording me every development and growth opportunity I was willing to work for.” Mary has completed various programs and courses including Store Manager Training and Development (LEAP) in 2014 along with SDI, and RMC in 2018. She was a Progressive Grocer Top Women in Grocery recipient in 2017.
Why do you love your job? What are your favorite parts of your job? “I love my job for the challenges and growth I get to experience. But more than anything I love my job for the remarkable people I’ve met over the last 25 years. Employees and guests alike, I’ve created lifelong relationships I cherish.”
Do you have a favorite story or memory you’d like to share? “Some of my favorite memories are watching other people develop after working with them for so long. I also love the relationships I’ve maintained with many part-time employees who worked for us in high school and college. How fun to watch them get married and start their families!”
Rhoda Siltman

RHONDA SILTMAN
Director of Category Growth – Center Store

Rhonda’s Career Journey: “My very first job was at the original Foley Coborn’s, where I worked during the summer after I graduated from high school. I transferred to the 5th Avenue Coborn’s when I went to SCSU. After moving away for many years, I returned to St. Cloud in 1998 and was hired as a Natural Foods Clerk at Waite Park. I was promoted to Natural Foods Manager at Sauk Rapids and moved to the Cooper Avenue location when we opened that store, working again with some old friends from Fifth Avenue. In 2011, I was promoted to Category Manager for Natural and Specialty. This past May, I became Director of Category Growth for Center Store, where I now lead the Center Store Merchandising Team.”
How has Coborn’s, Inc. empowered YOU to grow in your career? “Coborn’s has always made me feel like they believe in me and my knowledge. I have been given every opportunity to ask questions and learn more. Participating in the Who Not What leadership program has helped me grow in my new leadership role. I feel like they took a chance on me, moving me into my new role. They believed that my previous experience and passion for food could translate well into leading the team.”
Why do you love your job? What are your favorite parts of your job? “I love my job for many reasons. I love food and helping new, small companies succeed and grow. We were one of the first retailers to sell Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop and were an integral part of their growth. It’s fun to help great brands! I also get to lead a fun, hardworking, passionate team who puts up with all my silliness. I am on a mission to have more fun at work!”
Do you have a favorite story or memory you’d like to share? “When I led the natural foods team, we were fortunate enough to take trips to visit some of our suppliers. The highlight was always the trip to a local Organic Valley farm. The comradery of the managers and the inspirational stories of our farmer partners were always an incredible experience. One year, they asked who wanted to feed the baby cow. Everyone shouted my name because they knew I would love it so much! That picture still adorns my office.”
DUSTY KERRSEN

DUSTY KERRSEN
Senior Director of Human Resources

Dusty’s Career Journey: Dusty started with Coborn’s in February of 2014 as an HRG (Human Resource Generalist). Since then, she has taken on new roles within Human Resources including: HR Business Partner, Sr. HR Business Partner, Business Partner Manager, Director of Talent and Business Partnerships and is currently the Senior Director of Human Resources. She has been in her current role since December of 2020.
How has Coborn’s, Inc. empowered YOU to grow in your career? “I have always felt supported, trusted and believed in by Coborn’s which has inspired me to grow my career. In the 8 years I have been with Coborn’s, I have had 6 different positions. Each position offered me new skills and opportunities that has kept me engaged and challenged. Additionally, each position has provided me with the experience and leadership development needed to be set up for success in my current role with the company. I am happy to be part of the Coborn’s Family of Remarkable employees!”
Why do you love your job? What are your favorite parts of your job? “I love that I can work with employees at all stages of their careers, providing me with tons of variety in my work. I don’t have the same day twice! I especially enjoy helping employees map out their career journey with Coborn’s. Helping employees find their development path to gain skills and experience needed to grow their career is very engaging and rewarding for me. I am thankful to be part of such an awesome HR team, together we are focused on initiatives and developing resources and programs that contribute to Coborn’s, Inc. being the Greatest Place to Work!”
Do you have a favorite story or memory you’d like to share? “I had been working with an employee that desired career growth, he aspired to become a Store Director. We had a few obstacles to overcome and some experience to gain before he would be ready for that promotion. We worked together on his development plan for two years. One of my favorite memories is when I received a call from this employee stating he had been offered a Store Director position and that he reached his career goal. Inspiring our employees to grow their careers with us and being part of their development is very rewarding for me.”
JENN WEISGRAM

JENN WEISGRAM
Senior Director of Fresh Merchandising for Produce, Meat & Seafood

Jenn’s Career Journey: Jenn has nineteen years of grocery retail leadership experience in a variety of roles including Human Resources Manager, District Manager and Director of Operations. She spent fifteen years with Hornbacher’s and the last three years at Coborn’s, Inc. Jenn is currently the Senior Director of Fresh Merchandising for Produce, Meat & Seafood at Coborn’s, Inc.
How has Hornbacher’s & Coborn’s, Inc. empowered YOU to grow in your career? “Throughout my career, I’ve had great role models and leaders who were willing to invest in me and share their talents, and an amazing team of co-workers that inspired me as they also worked hard to achieve our common goals.”
Why do you love your job? What are your favorite parts of your job? “There is always something new to learn in this business! I have been able to continue to develop my leadership skills while learning the importance of each position and the role each department plays in the success of the company. We set goals and win as a team! It is also rewarding to work with many diverse teams and to see others grow and develop in their careers.”
Do you have a favorite story or memory you’d like to share? “Many of my favorite memories are during our new store openings and remodels. It takes a lot of planning and many long hours of work by the entire team, but the pride and excitement that comes when you open the doors to the guests makes it all worth it!”
SAMANTHA SIMMONS

SAMANTHA SIMMONS
Category Manager for Fresh at Hornbacher’s

Sam’s Career Journey: “In 2008, I started at Village West Hornbacher’s as a Cashier. I then moved to be the Full Time Guest Service Manager. I moved to the Northport Hornbacher’s and was their Guest Service Manager before transitioning into the Assistant Produce Manager and then became Produce Manager soon after. From there I transferred to the Azool Hornbacher’s as their Assistant Store Director. I had the privilege to be a Store Director at several other locations, including Express, Grand Forks, and Gateway West. I am currently the Category Manager of Fresh for Hornbacher’s.”
How has Hornbacher’s empowered YOU to grow in your career? “Hornbacher’s has empowered me to grow in my career by allowing me to make decisions and learn from my mistakes. I’ve been able to build relationships at work and in our community and develop others into future leaders within our organization. My motto is to always create your own success, push yourself for more every day.
Why do you love your job? What are your favorite parts of your job? “The best part of my job by far is the people. It has been great to build relationships with employees, our guests and the vendors. Being able to collaborate with many different individuals and organizations has allowed me to develop a more holistic approach in my career.”
Do you have a favorite story or memory you’d like to share? “One of my favorite memories is opening our Gateway West store in 2019. It was an incredible experience being able to be part of building a store and team from the ground up. Opening a new store is an incredible challenge but the team behind the scenes made the experience unforgettable!”
AIMEE ASP

AIMEE ASP
Director of Advertising

Aimee’s Career Journey: “I have worked at Coborn’s Inc for 10 years in the Marketing Department. I started as the Advertising Manager and then moved into the Director of Advertising role. My career journey at Coborn’s has been so much fun and I continue to learn something new every day. I haven’t changed positions at Coborn’s, but my role and responsibilities continue to change as our business evolves. Our marketing options have grown significantly since my beginning years at Coborn’s, Inc. and technology has advanced in what it can provide us for data for website and app support. This pushes me to learn more and take on new challenges!”
How has Coborn’s, Inc. empowered YOU to grow in your career? “Coborn’s, Inc. allows me to embrace my role and challenge myself. I feel empowered to make decisions and take risks and I have been mentored and encouraged to take on new projects and expand my knowledge in so many ways. I am supported to use my strengths and am challenged to grow from my weaknesses (areas of opportunity). Coborn’s has given me opportunities to participate in leadership training both internally and through community offerings. My coworkers have been incredible to work with during brainstorming and daily conversations- they push me to be better!”
Why do you love your job? What are your favorite parts of your job? “I love the pace and the people! Our marketing/print services team is incredible and I really enjoy working with our store and support center teams. I thrive on learning new things and love the challenge that each day brings. My favorite parts of the job are seeing projects to completion and celebrating that with the team. The best feeling is watching a team member succeed and feel amazing about themselves – that’s a huge win in my day!”
Do you have a favorite story or memory you’d like to share? “My favorite stories from work are all about the team. We have had a ton of great times including dressing up for special events, potlucks and Dairy Queen on the first 60 degree day. I am pretty goofy and have a pretty big laugh, so every day for me is a fun time! My favorite memories come from my backyard visits with the team during Covid. My team worked remotely, and it was a challenge to go from seeing them every day to not seeing them in person for months. After 6 months of being remote, I decided it was time to do outdoor backyard visits with each team member. Paul from print services came with me and we traveled to each staffer’s home with our lawn chairs in hand. We had a great time visiting in person and I think that helped us stay a little more connected while we continued to work remote for another year.”
DIANA BARR

DIANA BARR
Director of Loyalty and Digital Marketing

Diana’s Career Journey: “I’ve been with Coborn’s for 10 years, starting as e-Commerce Marketing Manager with my main focus of marketing our delivery business in the Twin Cities (which we closed in 2019). In 2016, I was promoted to my current role as Director of Loyalty and in 2019 became the Director of Loyalty and Digital Marketing.”
How has Coborn’s, Inc. empowered YOU to grow in your career? “We embrace a growth mindset at Coborn’s. As Dave Meyer says, “We’re always happy but never satisfied.” We’re always working and striving for the next best thing. This mindset has allowed me the opportunity to learn lots of new things and ensure we never get stale.”
Why do you love your job? What are your favorite parts of your job? “My passion is consumer psychology and I really enjoy the challenge of finding ways to engage our guests and provide the most enjoyable shopping experience for them. Also, it’s cliché, but I really do enjoy the people. Everyone on the marketing team is so talented and it’s an honor to call them colleagues. I’m so proud of them and the work we do together.”
Do you have a favorite story or memory you’d like to share? “I’ve really enjoyed the times I’ve had the opportunity to contact guests when they’ve won a prize or other sweepstakes. Making someone’s day with good news always makes my day. I’ve especially enjoyed surprising guests by paying for their groceries through our Prize Patrol or MORE The Merrier promotions.”
CHRISTIE SHULTE

CHRISTIE SHULTE
General Counsel

Christie’s Career Journey: “I joined Coborn’s in 2015 in a position focused on Real Estate and Legal. When I accepted the position at Coborn’s I was excited to take the next steps in my legal career closer to family and with a company I had grown up around. As someone who grew up in St. Cloud, I knew Coborn’s to be a strong family-owned company that has always been invested in the community. During my time with Coborn’s I have held various positions, including, Real Estate & Legal Services, In-House Counsel and most recently, General Counsel.”
How has Coborn’s, Inc. empowered YOU to grow in your career? “Coborn’s has given me space to grow in my career and support in helping me navigate that growth. Since joining Coborn’s I have had leaders willing to listen to my ideas and my aspirations for my career. These conversations have led to meaningful opportunities within the company that have helped me achieve some of the growth I am striving for. I have appreciated that my leaders have been strong advocates for me and for my role here at Coborn’s, Inc. When I joined Coborn’s the position I hold currently did not exist. My current position is a testament to the company and to my leaders supporting my growth and providing new opportunities in areas that align with the career path I am striving for.”
Why do you love your job? What are your favorite parts of your job? “I love that every day brings something unexpected, and I am able to work with people across all areas of our company. In a single day I might be working on projects that range from negotiating a lease agreement to editing a service contract for things like floor care all the way to reviewing new legislation on things like COVID-19. My favorite part of this job is the variety.”
Do you have a favorite story or memory you’d like to share? “My favorite memory from my time at Coborn’s came during the Hornbacher’s acquisition project. As we neared the end of the negotiations we were running up against a timeline and had a few pieces we were still working through. We held conference calls day and night. The experience was both thrilling and exhausting – in a great way. Watching our team welcome the Hornbacher’s group into the Coborn’s family was really exciting and knowing I had played a small role in the project was really impactful for me.”
TAMMY DAUNT-TURNEY

TAMMY DAUNT-TURNEY
Bakery Production Manager, Central Bakery

Tammy’s Career Journey: “I started with Coborn’s in August of 2005. I have stayed with the Central Bakery for my entire career. My first position was packaging donuts part-time. A few months later I moved to full-time. Two years later I became lead of that crew. In October of 2017 I became the Production Manager and have held that job ever since.”
How has Coborn’s, Inc. empowered YOU to grow in your career? “Fortunately for me, Coborn’s strives for its employees to move up the ladder. I have completed the Anderson Center program for supervisors and just recently completed the RMC program through Alexandria Tech College.”
Why do you love your job? What are your favorite parts of your job? “I love my job because it is so rewarding. There’s never a dull moment around here and that is what makes it so interesting. My favorite part of the job is the people I work with. One of my goals is to make working here enjoyable. I want people to want to come to work!”
Do you have a favorite story or memory you’d like to share? “My favorite story is about how I’ve evolved. When I first started my new role as Production Manager, I initially thought I knew everything I needed to know- I was wrong! It was a learning experience. Thankfully, I had a great support system at home and at work. I’m not sure when it happened but at some point, I no longer felt like I had to “Fake it until I made it” at work. I became confident in my manager role. I now look forward to what else I can accomplish.”
SHEILA JOVANOVICH

SHEILA JOVANOVICH
Director of Benefits, Compensation, and HRIS

Sheila’s Career Journey: “I started my career with Coborn’s right out of college in a full-time position on the accounts payable team – and here I am 32-years later a Director of Human Resources. My initial career was to get my CPA certification and work at a private firm on the tax side of accounting, so this accounts payable job was just a stepping-stone. After working almost four years on the accounting team with Coborn’s, I was considering change and ready to move on. After putting in my resignation, Mark Coborn, who led HR at that time, approached me and asked me if I would consider transferring to the HR team and fill the position of Benefit Coordinator. I literally laughed and further shared that I knew absolutely nothing about employee benefits and had no background in HR and thus would not know how I could ever be successful in the employee Benefits Coordinator job. He shared with me that he saw great potential in me and knew I would be successful if I gave it a try – so after giving it some consideration, I accepted the challenge. I worked next to him to learn the ins/out of employee benefits and was pleasantly surprised to find that I really enjoyed it. Over time, he started giving me new areas to focus on and before I knew it, I was assisting in all areas of HR, to include processing new employee paperwork, managing the evaluation/performance processes, administering the safety & workers’ compensation programs, creating various reports and system processes, and eventually administered the general liability and property casualty processes. After gaining knowledge in all those areas, he started to include me in the bigger strategic meetings and empowered me to be the primary point of contact with all our third-party benefit partners. As HR evolved with company growth, so did my role with Coborn’s – I held many different jobs within my career journey; starting as an Accounting Clerk and after transitioning to HR as a Benefits Coordinator, my career continued to grow moving into many different jobs in HR that included HR Generalist, HR Supervisor, HR Manager and now to a Director. An amazing journey filled with rewarding growth with a Remarkable company!”
How has Coborn’s, Inc. empowered YOU to grow in your career? “Throughout my career with Coborn’s, outside of my very first job on the accounting team, I have never officially applied for any position I’ve held but was recognized throughout my career with promotions just for doing my job and wanting to continue to learn. There were not limits to being supported in my career, if I wanted exposure in new areas, I was not only encouraged to go after it, but empowered to define that career path for myself. It is certainly a remarkable feeling when the efforts you put into your work are recognized with promotions and career growth, especially when you’re not expecting it.”
Why do you love your job? What are your favorite parts of your job? “The favorite parts of my job are the variety of work and being empowered to continually learn something new and the people we work with and impact every day. Sometimes those new things we get to learn are fun, like implementing or enhancing benefits that help support our employees and their families, and sometimes they are not so fun, like adjusting what we do each day to navigate through some of life’s changes, like the pandemic. But regardless of the spectrum, we are always learning, and we get to learn together – as a team. When I pause to think about how many lives we touch every day with what we do here at Coborn’s, whether that is through supporting and administering programs, providing benefits and services for employees and their families, filling our shelves with food for our guests their families, smiling, greeting and helping people each day (coworkers and guests), thousands of people are impacted by what we do here at Coborn’s, Inc. every day – that is a pretty remarkable feeling.”
Do you have a favorite story or memory you’d like to share? “There are many to choose from, but I think that my favorite memories go back to the very start of my career at Coborn’s right out of college. During my first couple weeks with Coborn’s, Dan Coborn would come to my desk and ask me how I was doing and if there was anything he could do for me. He’d tell me I’m doing a great job and he’d remind me where I could find him if I needed anything at all; I was not only amazed that the owner of Coborn’s was talking to me, but he made a point to get to know me by name and cared enough to take the time to come check in on me regularly, I think I told everybody I know about that, ha!. Coborn’s is a much larger company now than it was 32-years ago, and a lot has changed, but I feel so grateful to have been part of the growth – there is something very special about working for a family-owned business that cares so much about people and the community.”
If these women have inspired you and you are interested in a career with growth opportunities, we would LOVE for you to be part of our team!