Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories
Our 2023 Women’s History Month celebration is centered around the national theme, “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories”. This theme underscores the belief that storytelling is a sacred custom in our collective histories and in our everyday lives. It plays out in how we honor present and past heroes, how we raise our children, how we keep cultures and traditions alive and how we draw inspiration from triumphant days and lessons from dark moments. When women tell our stories they are positioned to influence the narrative. They bring awareness and solve problems that are connected to their very existence. They preserve and protect progress and reverse harmful tropes. As women are celebrated and protected, so are the entire communities in which they live and contribute. Women tell our stories through many vehicles – print, radio, TV, stage, screen, blogs, podcasts, news, and social media. All of those avenues are imperative, as are the stories we share individually with our co-workers, neighbors, friends and families. When women tell our stories they infuse their perspectives, but reflect our whole society. History told without women, is simply an incomplete version.
What in your story makes you a great co-worker, leader, family
and/or community member?
When I was in college, I took an elective class called: “Classism, racism, and sexism issues” and it absolutely changed my life. It forced me to think about all of those uncomfortable things that no one likes to think about. One of our first assignments was to write a paper on all the ways we are oppressed.
For example, the fact that I was born with white skin automatically gives me this little invisible fanny pack of privileges that those with different color skin, may not have.
Even more so, understanding that I will never truly understand what it’s like in someone else’s shoes led me to be more empathic, and hungrier for knowledge on how to be a better person, and in turn, a better ally. On the other hand, the fact that I was born a gay woman in a very male-orientated society is a doublewhammy when it comes to labels, stereotypes, and ways that an individual can be oppressed.
It’s no secret that most “high power positions” are held by men, and if women are in that position, you can almost guarantee that they’re not making the same salary.
Also, being a woman who’s part of the LGBTQ+ community slaps another label on me that some may look down upon. This class really opened my eyes to the world and made me think about all these difficult issues, acknowledge them, and figure out ways to make positive impacts. It taught me to be unapologetically myself, and made me a better human, a better teammate, and a better leader.
Co-Manager, Genesse Street
My story speaks of the power of creativity, truth, compassion, and ambition.
What I believe makes me a great leader is my compassionate nature. I lead with my head and my heart, I understand that my teammates are people before employees, and people have needs. I treat my team the way I would like to be treated and focus on developing a work environment where staff feel valued and safe. Parts of my story I wish people knew more about would be that I started from the bottom, not just in terms of my career, I was raised in the inner city, in a low income, one parent home and always strived to reach the top of any situation or obstacle that I encountered. I achieved a bachelors and masters degree as well as many athletic and fine art awards.
One thing I am most proud of that I do not speak much on is that I have been an animal activist and vegan going on 8 years. Practicing fullspectrum compassion. Opening my heart to animals and people who suffer from all kinds of personal struggles.
I have shared my story with teammates so they can understand that they are not alone. There are a lot of situations where others may feel lost, but I feel that sharing personal experiences can help others further believe in themselves and know they are in fact not alone. Women have made a lot of progress as leaders, we have a lot to be proud of. Sharing our personal progress and experiences is important so others can be inspired. Women tend to have unique challenges only we can relate with and often times all it takes is another female’s personal experience to empower other women to achieve their goals.
An American Novelist, short story writer, poet and social activist
“No person is your friend who demands your silence
or denies your right to grow.”
In 1982, Alice became the first African- American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, which she was awarded for her novel The Color Purple. The Color Purple is an iconic women-centered and Black experience story of freedom, resilience and self empowerment.
WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH 2022
Price Chopper and Market 32 teammates were invited to nominate a female co-worker who has encouraged,
uplifted, mentored, empowered and supported her female teammates.
Jessica Voelker – New York
Customer Service Team Leader, Cortland
Nominated by Cady Walts and Debbie Badman
Jessi has been with Price Chopper and Market 32 since 2013 and currently serves as our Customer Service Manager Team Leader (CSM). She is the glue that holds our team together and her personality is something many of us look forward to when coming to work. She is always challenging people to try new jobs, ask questions and learn new things. One of our newer teammates had been here only 3 months when Jessi approached her to become a supervisor. The young woman was floored at the suggestion, but Jessi proceeded to explain what qualities she had seen in her and the young lady said that she never would have accepted the position had it not been for Jessie’s support and confidence in her ability.
“Jessica is the entire reason I had confidence to apply for and accept the Office Manager position at my store.” – Cady Walts
Amy Mathieu – Vermont
Customer Service Team Leader, Shelburne Road
Nominated by Jennifer Lanzatta
Amy has been with Price Chopper and Market 32 since 2013 and currently serves as our Customer Service Team Leader (CSM). She is very good at recognizing and cultivating talent. Amy puts a real focus on morale in our store and created and financed 12 Days of Giving in November where teammates were recognized
for their contributions and given a gift. They were then able to keep the gift or pass it on to another teammate. It was followed by 24 Days of Giving in December which also recognized teammates for their outstanding efforts. Along with making everyone enjoy coming to work, Amy is focused on helping her teammates grow, recognizing potential and increasing self-confidence.
“Amy has been not only my boss, but my mentor.” – Jennifer Lanzetta
Kecie Combs – Connecticut
Customer Service Team Leader, Windsor
Nominated by Crystal Clark- Dugal
Kecie has been with Price Chopper and Market 32 since 2006 and currently serves as our Customer Service Team Leader (CSM). She is very dedicated to her job and her team and leads by example. Kecie is always willing to go above and beyond for her teammates and acts as a resource whether it be helping them sign up for health insurance during the open enrollment, training, or building morale. She is known for the care packages she creates and distributes during the holidays, customized to each teammate, showing them that they are not only appreciated but known, cared for, and heard. She is a champion of customer service and a favorite of our guests.
“Kecie’s spirit and enthusiasm is always positive!” – Crystal Clark-Dugal
Tammie Sullivan – Massachusetts
Regional HR Manager, Zones 5-8
Nominated by Kayla Freitag and Doty Hall
Tammie has been with Price Chopper and Market 32 since 1995 and currently serves as Regional Human Resources Manager for Zones 5-8. Kayla Freitag began working in the stores at 16 years old and at 18 was given the chance to become an Office (back-up) clerk. She says that Tammie believed in her and gave her a chance to grow. She became her mentor and someone she could count on and look up to. Now, 16 years later, she credits Tammie for her success because of the guidance she has always provided.
“I believe that being a gay woman in the world and workforce has given Tammie the empathy and ability to see people as people and talent as talent. I have seen her stand with her teammates during Pride Week and know that the pride feels for them is not only rooted in what they have accomplished, but in who they are.”
Amanda Tatro – New Hampshire
Grocery Department Teammate, West Lebanon
Nominated by Jeff Brogan
Amanda has been with Price Chopper and Market 32 since 2011 and currently serves as a Grocery/GM/HBC Department Teammate. Amanda is first and foremost, a role model not only for her teammates at work but to her daughters who often visit her at work and see that is not only a mother but a very important member of the store team. They even tell people that they want to grow up to be just like their mom! Amanda approaches life with a positive attitude and is involved in community programs, serves as a Girl Scout Leader, and in various other programs. She is a mentor to her teammates showing them that they can make a difference, that they have the ability to overcome challenges, and that they can achieve anything they set their minds to.
“Amanda’s can-do attitude and positive approach set her apart from the rest!” – Jeff Brogan
Melissa Chemchick – Pennsylvania
Pharmacy Tech, O’Neill Highway
Nominated by Kristen Schoemig
Melissa has been with Price Chopper and Market 32 since 2008 and currently serves as a Pharmacy Technician. She is a teammate who genuinely cares about her teammates and customers and understands very well that working in the Pharmacy involves her in customer’s lives during what can be intimate and challenging times. Melissa lost her boyfriend to Leukemia and is always the first
to offer support not only to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, but to anyone in need. She was named Rookie of Year for the Light the Night Walk in Scranton for the money she raised the first year that she walked! She is a teammate that can be counted on for her positive outlook and willingness to help!
“Melissa greets everyone with a smile and a willingness to help (even in other stores) when she is needed.” – Kristen Schoemig
We proudly recognize all of our 2022 Women’s History Month nominees!
HISTORIC WOMEN WORKING
TO BREAK THE BIAS
US Women’s National Soccer Team
• Filed (2019) and won (2022) class action equal pay lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation,
alleging that female players were consistently paid less than male players, despite superior
performance on the field
• Players will receive $22 million in back pay
• The US Soccer Federation will put $2 million into a fund for USWNT players’
post-career goals and has also promised to provide an equal rate of pay between the
men’s and women’s teams
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
1933 – 2020
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
“I don’t say women’s rights—I say the constitutional principle of the equal citizenship stature of men and women.”
• One of 9 women in a class of 500 at Harvard Law School. Transferred to Columbia Law School,
graduating first in her class
• Second ever female law professor at Rutgers Law School, where she filed an Equal Pay Act
complaint, and won
• Co-founder of the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union
• Argued 6 landmark ACLU cases on gender equality before the US Supreme Court
• Helped pass the Pregnancy Discrimination Act
• Second female, first Jewish female US Supreme Court justice
• First US Supreme Court justice to officiate a same-sex marriage
Shirley Chisholm (“Fighting Shirley”)
1924 – 2005
Politician, educator, author
“I want to be remembered as a woman…who dared to be a catalyst of change.”
• First African-American woman elected to Congress, served 7 terms
• First woman and African-American to seek a major party’s nomination for President of the United States
• Introduced over 50 pieces of legislation
• Co-founded the National Political Congress of Black Women and National Women’s Political Caucus
Malala Yousafzai Malik
1997 – Present
Pakistani activist, Nobel Peace Prize laureate
“I tell my story not because it is unique, but because it is the story of many girls.”
• After speaking out publicly on behalf of girls and their right to learn, Malala was shot on the left side of
the head by a member of the Taliban in October 2012, at the age of 15
• After months of surgeries and rehabilitation, she and her father established the Malala Fund, dedicated to
giving every girl access to 12 years of free, safe, quality education
• Youngest ever, second Pakistani, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, 2014
• Travels worldwide to meet girls fighting poverty, wars, child marriage and education
• Graduated Oxford University, 2020
Japanese mountaineer, author, teacher.
“Technique and ability alone do not get you to the top; it is the willpower that is most important.”
• First woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest
• First woman to ascend the Seven Summits, climbing the highest peak on every continent
• Author of seven books
• Organized environmental clean ups of rubbish left behind by Everest climbers
• Led annual climbs up Mount Fuji for youth affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011
1768-1797 Qing Dynasty, China
Astronomer, Poet, Mathematician
“It’s made to believe women are the same as men; are you not convinced daughters can be heroic also?”
• Born to a family of academics in a Chinese feudal society at a time when women had no legal rights
• Self-taught in advanced mathematics and astronomy
• Mastered equestrian skills, archery and martial arts under the tutelage of the wife of a Mongolian general
• Studied the movements of the sun, moon and planets, and explained the relationship between lunar eclipses and solar eclipses
• Wrote the book The Simple Principles of Calculation, helping make learning mathematics easier for beginners
• Other published works include Dispute of the Procession of the Equinoxes and The Explanation of Pythagorean Theorem and Trigonometry