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Lawrence Aylward
Editor In Chief
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Jill Truitt: "I feel like we have amazing leadership."

The women being honored for the 2019 Top Women in Store Brands epitomize what every company in America wants in an A-list employee, no matter the gender. They are diligent, industrious, committed and conscientious, among other superlatives that could be used to describe them.

Each year, Store Brands and Women Impacting Store Brand Excellence (WISE), a professional development organization, solicit nominations from the private brand industry to identify and honor a select few of these women through the Top Women in Store Brands program, which was created to provide well-deserved recognition for female professionals who have achieved exceptional success and bring a passion for store brands to their day-to-day activities.

For the next several days in Store Brands Today, we will continue to profile the winners of this year’s Top Women in Store Brands. Today, we profile Jill Truitt of TreeHouse Foods, winner of the Functional Expertise: Supply Chain and Procurement Award.

AT A TIME WHEN CONSUMER PRODUCT groups are facing service, cost and inventory issues, the TreeHouse Foods supply chain has changed for the better thanks to Jill Truitt, the Oak Brook, Ill.-based company’s vice president of contract manufacturing.

So says Alexis Ward, TreeHouse Foods’ IT director, who nominated Truitt for this award, given to a woman who has made a significant professional contribution to her company and/or the store brands industry through her accomplishments in supply chain and procurement. Truitt leads logistics for TreeHouse Foods in transportation and warehousing.

Even with order lead time times shortening and demand volatility at an all-time high, Ward says Truitt’s leadership and management of warehouse and freight led to improved service levels and freight complexity design, among other positive improvements.

“Jill embodies the notion of servant leadership,” Ward says. “She recognizes that success can only be achieved through people so she selflessly supports her internal and external teams, putting them in a position to win.”

Truitt says her management style is influenced by the company’s leaders and the culture they’ve implemented at TreeHouse Foods. She says the company’s leaders can often be found in plants talking to employees on the line about their concerns and how to improve operations.

“When you see that, you behave the same way,” Truitt adds. “I feel like we have amazing leadership.”

Ward says that while Truitt challenges her team members, she helps them accomplish the goals she puts in front of them.

“She enables them to celebrate achievements they never thought possible,” Ward adds.

It all boils down to excellent customer service.

“Jill understands that if she takes great care of her team members, they will help her take great care of our customers,” Ward says. “And when it comes to serving customers, Jill is relentless.”

Truitt acknowledges that her team members possess different skill sets, and her goal is to utilize each person’s skill set for the sake of that person and the team.

“It’s OK not to know something,” Truitt says of her team members.” But [I tell them] to ask questions because more times than not somebody else has the same question.”

Not everyone can get the best out of the people they manage, but Truitt has been able to do that. More importantly, she celebrates their achievements.

“When you work hard on something, the best reward is when other people recognize that,” Truitt says. “And when people work hard, it’s rewarding to see what they are capable of doing.”

Other 2019 Top Women in Store Brands profiles:
• Angela LePore of Simmons Pet Food
• Julie Jevins of Albertsons' Cos.
• Lisa Schechterman of Great Lakes Cheese Co.

Editor’s note: To select the Top Women in Store Brands honorees, a committee consisting of representatives from both Store Brands and WISE reviews nominations submitted by representatives within the store brand industry. The committee carefully evaluates the nominations, assessing each nominee’s accomplishments.

The award winners will be recognized during WISE’s annual meeting and luncheon on Sunday, Nov. 17, at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont, Ill. The event coincides with the opening day of the Private Label Manufacturers Association’s Private Label Trade Show. For more information about the meeting, click here.