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Influential Women: Georgia Van Gundy, Hy-Vee

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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — As executive vice president, chief of staff and chief customer officer, Georgia Van Gundy is the driving force behind Hy-Vee’s companywide goal to become the Best Place to Work in America.

influential womenIn addition to leading this charge, Van Gundy is responsible for several areas of the company, including employee engagement; government and community relations; diversity and inclusion; human resources; training and education; and communications. 

“I believe there’s a direct correlation between engaged employees and happy customers,” said Van Gundy. “By investing in our people and showing our appreciation, we can create a positive, welcoming workplace and an inviting retail experience for our customers.”

Over the past few years, Van Gundy and her team have enhanced Hy-Vee’s benefit offerings to attract top talent to the company, which currently employs more than 80,000 individuals. Weekly pay, a new employee management platform and free Hy-Vee Plus premium memberships are just a few of the most recent perks added to Hy-Vee’s already competitive benefit lineup.

Under Van Gundy’s leadership, Hy-Vee has gained widespread recognition for its workforce development efforts. In the past year alone, Hy-Vee earned the national Great Place to Work certification and was also named one of the Best-In-State Employers by Forbes, as well as one of America’s Greatest Workplaces for Diversity by Newsweek. 

Georgia Van Gundy

Georgia Van Gundy

Diversity and inclusion is an area that Van Gundy is especially focused on growing within the company and across Hy-Vee’s communities. 

“We believe our stores should be representative of the communities we serve,” said Van Gundy. “That’s why we partner with local organizations and nonprofits to recruit and provide career opportunities for diverse populations.”

In 2022, Hy-Vee launched a series of employee roundtable meetings, traveling to different regions of the company to meet with hourly and management employees from different backgrounds. There, employees were encouraged to share their personal experiences and provide feedback and suggestions on how to further increase diversity within the company. 

“We want each of our employees to feel comfortable in bringing their unique perspectives and ideas to the table,” said Van Gundy. “To do that, we are investing in more educational opportunities and developing more trainings to educate our employees about different cultures and backgrounds.”

Hy-Vee also recruits people with intellectual and physical disabilities, as well as active military members and veterans through its Hy-Vee Homefront initiative.

Van Gundy and her team also introduced a series of Hy-Vee OpportUNITY Inclusive Business Summits across the Midwest this past year, inviting minority- and women-owned businesses to network and participate in professional development. Selected businesses also had the opportunity to participate in a pitch competition at the summits for the chance to earn up to $30,000 as an investment in their venture. 

“The summits have been another avenue for us to reach new communities and bring awareness to new and innovative products,” said Van Gundy. 

Hy-Vee also supports small business owners across its more than 285 retail stores and added special displays within its aisles to recognize locally sourced products. 


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