I started my journey in the grocery industry 39 years ago. My first job was in the deli as a salesclerk. I have had many experiences and opportunities over the last 39 years that have helped shape me into the woman I am today. I am grateful for all the pathways that have shown me the importance of P+FAITH in our industry. (P+FAITH is an acronym used by many to remember the core values of our company.) I would like to share with you both personal and professional experiences that have led me to deeply believe in these values.


I am privileged to be the mother of four boys. (Yes, it was as crazy as it sounds.) I feel like I either learned to have fun or I would have gone crazy, but FUN we had. I spent countless hours on the bleachers of the ballpark or football field watching each one of them doing what they loved. We camped, hunted, rode a few runaway horses, water skied, rafted the Green River, cliff jumped, snowmobiled, and played. We raised horses, dogs, cows, lizards, hamsters, pigeons but never a snake. I learned from each of my boys that life is meant to be fun, to do everything with a smile and fortunately that has bled into my career. If you aren’t having fun, you aren’t doing it right!


I feel it is important not only to be accountable to your position, leaders or company but be accountable to yourself for your growth and progression. Team members need to reach out to their store directors, district managers, managers, and ask how they can grow and take on new responsibilities and opportunities. Letting someone know what your goals and aspirations is very important! I think too many team members get overlooked because they don’t speak up. Be accountable for yourself, speak up and speak out about where you want your career to go.


Integrity shows up everywhere in my personal and professional experiences. When we are working with our leaders, teams, vendor partners and contractors the trust relationship we build is vital to the success of our business partnership. Showing up for them, holding true to what you say goes a long way and helps build for the future. Personally, instilling in each of my sons the lesson of staying true to who they are and staying true to their word was very important. It has been extremely rewarding to watch their integrity shine through in their adult lives.


In our industry, whether we are remodeling a store, navigating a world-wide pandemic, or creating a brand-new store, it takes a village. I have been personally fortunate to work on many different teams in this company and this pathway has taught me that in our grocery world, nothing can be done alone. It was remarkable for me to watch the stores work together during the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone pulled together and worked extra hours to ensure the safety of the guests. I was amazed at the camaraderie of everyone and the support that was offered no matter their role or responsibility. As the construction director I have witnessed TEAMWORK in many aspects. Together, subcontractors, architects, store planners, superintendents, sales ops, DMs and store teams have created beautiful stores for our guests.


A large part of who I am is because of my heart and passion for all things in my life. For those who know me well, these are the two things that are most prevalent both personally and professionally. If you aren’t passionate about what you do, you won’t be as successful. It is so important to have passion for what you do, find what you are passionate about and go for it. I have worked in many positions throughout my career, and I have found my true passion in my current position as the construction director. The opportunity to use creativity, leadership and drive in this position has ignited my passion and propelled me to learn new things and to experience new growth. In my personal life, I have encouraged my kids and grandkids to follow their heart and find what they love. Hold true to their heart and passion and channel it into being the best you can be.

I leave you with this, find your pathways that lead you to important values. P+FAITH values have helped me navigate life both personally and professionally and I deeply believe they can make a difference for all.

Jan Whiteley has worked in the grocery industry for 39 years and is the director of construction for Associated Retail Operations.