‘Moving the store forward’
Flanigan is new FD Hy-Vee store director
A summer internship blossomed into a leadership position for Lindsey Flanigan, the new store director for the Fort Dodge and Webster City Hy-Vee stores.
Flanigan, a native of Mapleton, was studying human resource management at Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska, when she started working for Hy-Vee.
“I started working for an HR internship and that’s when I fell in love with Hy-Vee,” she said. “At the end of the summer, my boss said he had a job for me once I graduated college.”
After graduating in 2010, Flanigan became the full-time assistant manager at a Hy-Vee store in Council Bluffs. She worked there for several years before taking a job at a Hy-Vee store in Omaha. Next, she accepted her first store director job in Fairfield. Following that, she moved back to Council Bluffs as a store director. Then she went back to Omaha before accepting the position in Fort Dodge.
“I’ve worked at several different stores,” Flanigan said. “I just stayed (with the company). I really liked it.”
Flanigan has worked a total of 12 years for Hy-Vee.
Her first day on the job in Fort Dodge was Oct. 25.
Interactions with both employees and customers has made Hy-Vee a great place to work.
“It sounds cliche but the people is the best part,” Flanigan said. “Both the employees, the camaraderie you build with the team, and the customer side of it — being able to help them with their needs.”
Shed added, “I like that my job is different every day. It’s interesting in retail because you can plan your day by the minute but it just won’t go that way. I enjoy that the day-to-day is still different.”
In her role, Flanigan oversees store conditions, store merchandising, buying and pricing, employee relations and customer and community relations.
“Hy-Vee has always been a big part of the community, which has always appealed to me also,” she said. “Through donations and giving back and being involved in the communities.”
One of her favorite days of the year was Thursday when Hy-Vee showed its appreciation to military veterans.
“We always do a free breakfast for veterans,” Flanigan said. “That’s always been my favorite event we do. We honor the veterans and serve them the meal and spend extra time talking to those veterans. Everything is usually go-go-go but veterans is a time where we can slow down and really thank them for our country. It’s like to coolest way to me that Hy-Vee helps our community. That sticks out as something that is the coolest thing we do and it’s a good tradition. I know people look forward to that.”
The holiday season is another time of year that brings a lot of joy to Hy-Vee. But it also comes with its challenges.
“For the whole staff, coming into the holidays is the most challenging time of year,” Flanigan said. “We get busier because of the demand and we are working during times when everyone else is home with their families. The holidays are the most fun at Hy-Vee, too. When everyone comes in shopping is in a good mood because they are planning for their family meal.”
Flanigan has moved to Fort Dodge in recent weeks. At the moment, she calls the District 29 apartments home.
“I can see the Hy (from the Hy-Vee sign) from my window,” she said.
She said Fort Dodgers have been very friendly.
“Fort Dodge has shown how welcoming the community is to both my husband and I,” she said. “I love going out to eat. It’s one of my favorite things to do and it seems like there’s a lot of cool places in Fort Dodge.”
In terms of store operations, Flanigan said her previous experiences have taught her the importance of teamwork.
“It really takes the whole team,” she said. “Running a retail operation is really hard, so it takes the whole team and I’ve been fortunate to have really good teams. You really have to utilize people’s strengths to get the most out of the team and move the store forward.”
Her favorite part of the day is the morning.
“The morning is my favorite part because it’s the time where we really prepare the store for a new day of customers,” she said. “Make sure our displays are full and our shelves are full.”
I like seeing the store in that state.because as the day goes, it is not in that state. When everything is calm and we can prepare for our customers.
It’s important to her that Hy-Vee remain an inviting place for both employees and customers.
“I want it to be a fun place to work and shop,” she said. “We employ a lot of people in the community, so I think it’s important for us to be a fun, fair, safe place to work. It’s important for me to be good to our customers and take care of our employees. I want it to be somewhere where the community wants to come.”