Springdale, Arkansas-based Harps Food Stores Inc. recently made two new leadership appointments. Hydie Hale has been named director of all bakery and deli operations, and Sarah Thacker has been named advertising manager.
Hale, a native of Fort Smith, attended Westark (now University of Arkansas Fort Smith). In 1997, while a student at the college, Hale went to work in one of the bakeries as a clerk. A few years later she was promoted to bakery manager at another location, and in 2001, relocated to Northwest Arkansas, where she managed several of the chain’s flagship locations. She also served on the company’s board of directors. In 2014, Hale became the bakery deli merchandiser for the Northwest Arkansas territory. She is replacing John Clark, who recently retired from the company.
“Hydie has shown great leadership skills and has a unique vision for our bakeries and delis. She is also a master team builder. I am very excited to see where she will take us in the future as bakeries and delis are a signature department for our stores,” said Kim Eskew, Harps president and CEO.
“When I was a student in 1997 and started with Harps as a deli clerk, I had no idea that I would end up with the career and opportunities that I have had with this company. So far, the greatest moments in my life, such as meeting my husband, having my son, buying my first home, have all happened while working for Harps, and I expect more great moments in the future. I am very grateful for this next role,” Hale said.
Thacker was born and raised in Hollis, Oklahoma, and graduated from Oklahoma State University with a bachelors’ degree in agricultural leadership in 2012. She went on to receive her masters in agriculture in 2013. After receiving her degree and completing the Harps Manager Trainee program, she trained with various store leaders in the Northwest Arkansas area, and was offered the store leader position at Bentonville before transferring to a new location in Rogers.
“Sarah is a dynamic leader within our organization, and we are excited to provide her with the opportunity to take more responsibility. We expect great things from Sarah in her new role and going forward,” said David Ganoung, VP of marketing for Harps Food Stores.
“I am extremely excited for this new opportunity. The reason I chose to work with Harps was because they offered the ability to be a leader and grow with the company. Harps has truly exceeded my expectations and I am blessed to work with a successful company who is so active in serving their customers and the communities in which they serve,” Thacker said.
Thacker is replacing Huey Couch, who recently retired from the company after 55 years of service.