Emerging Leaders win first place in business competition

The first students in the new Emerging Leaders Program have won first place in a competition to develop a business proposal for The Fresh Market. Mary Kathryn Alexander, Morgan Gregg, Francesca Locklear, Caitlyn McKenzie, Annie Preske, and Dara Seelig made up one of 28 Wake Forest University School of Business teams creating a proposal, and they were one of only four teams selected to present to The Fresh Market.

ELP Student Award Winners 2014

The Emerging Leaders with their first-place awards

For their project, the students were asked to develop a shared value plan that leverages The Fresh Market’s core values and drives its core positioning of inspiring people to create special moments around food while delivering value to its customers, employees, and shareholders. They worked as a team to create a proposal that would have measureable social impact, create measureable economic value for The Fresh Market’s shareholders, be feasible, and have competitive separation.

The students identified the heart-health-conscious market as an area of opportunity and determined that heart disease – the number one cause of death for adults in the United States – is prevalent within The Fresh Market’s target market. The team proposed that the company extend special moments around food by reaching out to heart-health-conscious customers and by partnering with the American Heart Association.

The students created a heart-healthy food icon that can be used to direct customers to products that are low in sodium and saturated fats. They recommended that The Fresh Market take steps to make heart-healthy foods easy to identify and access within its stores. Suggested steps were to

  • Create a year-round end-cap arrangement with The Fresh Market’s private label heart-healthy foods, display an in-store sampling of a heart-healthy weekly meal bundle, and create a table display in February, which is American Heart Month.
  • Add a monthly heart-healthy section to the existing e-newsletter, and correspond with local primary care practitioners and cardiologists.
  • Partner with the American Heart Association, develop a heart-healthy cooking class, and sponsor a local annual heart walk.

As part of the Emerging Leaders Program, Alexander, Gregg, Locklear, McKenzie, Preske, and Seelig are earning an MA in management from the Wake Forest University School of Business before entering the Wake PA Program with the Class of 2017. PA Studies is very proud of their performance in this competition and not the least bit surprised that The Fresh Market chose theirs as the winning proposal. We look forward to welcoming these students to the PA Program next June.



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