Top Women In Store Brands 2022: Lashelle Russell, Simmons Pet Foods

The deductions analyst is this year's honoree in the Corporate Services category.
Greg Sleter
Associate Publisher/Executive Editor
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Lashelle Russell, Simmons Pet Foods
Lashelle Russell

A year after joining Simmons Pet Food, Lashelle Russell continues to love her job and being a part of a company that she said is a major force for good in the communities in and around its Siloam Springs, Ark., headquarters. 

“The month I applied for my job the company donated money to the local community to help pay for a splash park,” Russell said. “This is a big deal in a small town and shows they care about the company and put people first.”

On a daily basis, she works to ensure Simmons Pet Food can continue to support its local community. Russell, who is the 2022 Top Women In Store Brands honoree in the Corporate Services category, is responsible for managing the deduction process for the company’s largest accounts. She has also taken on additional responsibilities that encompass more broad-reaching business analytics and account management.

“We work with some of the biggest retailers in the country and make sure that any claims they make regarding products we ship to them are accurate,” she said. “We also work to identify any issues internally and then develop solutions.”

After more than a decade at Walmart, Russell said she applied for a position at Simmons “on a whim.”

“A friend encouraged me to go on LinkedIn and find a job that I thought I would like, even if I felt I was not completely qualified for the position,” she said. “I did that and the result has been amazing.”

During her initial 12 months at the pet food company, she has made a major impact. Colleagues note that deduction processes are robust and a vendor that is not well-equipped to fight deductions will quickly find themselves losing money.

Since joining Simmons, Russell has recouped more than $1.5 million.

“I spent the first couple of months working on getting money back,” she recalled. “I then worked to review our processes to make deductions flow smoothly. We also spent time reminding our teams to complete all orders properly. This alone saves a lot of money.