Name: Loretta Goodridge
Store: Thompson’s IGA in Cuba City, Wisconsin
L to R: Trish Thompson, long-time associates Louise Alt and Terry Morris, Winner Loretta Goodridge, and Store Owner Mark Thompson.
Mark Thompson, owner of Thompson’s IGA in Cuba City, Wisconsin, long ago lost track of the number of times he’s heard employee Loretta Goodridge say, “You know what we should try?” Goodridge, who in addition to working as the front end pricing/scanning coordinator, also serves as social media manager, is constantly looking for ways to highlight the store’s offerings and launch new promotions.
“Sometimes it's hard keeping up with her ideas,” Thompson says with a laugh. But in all seriousness, when Goodridge comes to him with a new brainstorm, chances are it’s something that will pay off, whether in sales, building customer loyalty, or in charitable contributions to community programs and organizations.
“She continues to drive all of us to do new things that we just hadn't taken the time to do,” says Thompson. We spoke with him about how he was inspired to nominate Goodridge for IGA Employee of the Month.
Q: How long has Loretta worked at the store?
Since 2008. We hired her as our front end pricing/scanning coordinator, which she still does. I started out doing the social media myself, but it became too much for me. She took it over about five or six years ago and has been running with it ever since.
Q: What makes her such a stand-out employee?
Her creativity and innovation set her apart: she looks around at other stores and gets ideas from them.
Her latest project was "Letters to Santa," which we had never done before and went over well.
We set up a table in the store and she found a cute, red mailbox for kids to leave the letters in. One school had their whole kindergarten class write letters. Then she printed out a letter back for each kid, which I signed as Santa.
She also resurrected holiday coloring contests, which we do for Halloween, Christmas, and Easter, and she hangs all the entries on the store’s front window.
In addition to social media, Loretta handles our e-coupons, and launched a texting program (where people send a text to receive a special coupon), which I didn’t think would go over but it has. She works with our rewards program Loyalty Lanes, and coordinated a campaign where customers could donate their rewards points to the local food pantry to redeem free products.
Q: Why did you nominate her?
I’ve got a lot of great employees, with Louise having been here since I bought the store 42 years ago. But what made me nominate Loretta is the ownership she takes in everything she does. I don’t have to tell her anything, she does it on her own, like posting videos of our lunch specials or promoting our special events. She’s created a following on Facebook—people see things and know they come from her.
Q: Anything else we should know about her?
Loretta’s a good ambassador for the store. She’s always talking to people, communicating the benefits of the rewards program, making sure people are aware of the stuff we’re doing.
She’s also honest with you and she’ll call you on the carpet if you screw up. She’s a good person to have on our team.