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 few days in Store Brands Today, we will continue to profile the winners of this year’s Top Women in Store Brands. Today, we profile Sarah Fair from Daymon, winner of the Functional Expertise: Operations Award.
FAST AND FURIOUS. That’s how Sarah Fair likes to roll in her job as director of Daymon Creative Services.
“It’s definitely an industry where you have to have your foot on the gas pedal, and that’s a really fun environment to work in,” Fair says. “And Daymon fosters that environment.”
Stamford, Conn.-based Daymon is a company that specializes in building successful private brands programs for its partners. Daymon Creative Services is an agency within Daymon that offers full-service private brand package design solutions.
Fair has been with Daymon for about five years, and has led the account management and packaging management teams at Daymon Creative Services team for about two years. But in that time she “has significantly improved all processes across the creative teams,” says Aimee Becker, Daymon’s senior vice president of strategic advisory, who nominated Fair for this honor, awarded to a woman who has made a significant professional contribution to her company and/or the store brands industry through her accomplishments in operations.
“Sarah has been instrumental in turning around teams and in driving process improvements,” Becker adds, noting that Fair is also part of Daymon’s Strategic Advisory Leadership Team and considered a leader in the Daymon organization. “Through Sarah’s accomplishments, our partners are seeing benefits of getting new and differentiated products to market faster, and helping retailers and manufacturers control their costs of goods.”
Fair previously worked for a manufacturer and a retailer in the consumer packaged goods arena. She says she understands the pain points that both endure, which has helped her in her current role.
Fair says the pace is faster in the agency world because it has to be. First, it’s highly competitive. Second, deadlines have to be met on time because there’s a lot on the line, such as a clients’ products making it to store shelves on schedule.
“We dedicate ourselves to being as fast as possible,” Fair adds. “Because that’s what private brands require.”
While it’s fast, it’s rewarding.
“Last year we demonstrated a 26% improvement in speed to shelf for our clients, which had an enormous impact on [our clients’] incremental sales,” Fair says.
Every day is different, which Fair enjoys, but the working environment is always dynamic.
“We are constantly evolving our processes, strategies and services to look at how we can make private brands better for consumers and retailers,” Fair says. “But it’s thrilling and exciting.”
Fair says Daymon is a roll-up-your-sleeves-and-let’s-get-it-done type of company.
“That works well for me because that’s my personality as well,” she states. “This is an industry of constant change, and you can’t be complacent.”
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.
• Jill Truitt of TreeHouse Foods
• Hope Schoeffling of Camerican International
• Anitra Farmer of Topco Associates LLC
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.