Two additions to the executive leadership team of Bashas’ Family of Stores signal a sharpening focus on the customer experience, sustainability and technology for Arizona’s hometown grocer. The family-run company – which operates Food City, AJ’s Fine Foods, Eddie’s Country Store and both Bashas’ and Bashas’ Diné supermarkets – has appointed Sue Klug to its board of directors, and Steve Mayer as SVP of marketing, merchandising and procurement for its more than 100 grocery stores across Arizona.
Klug brings years of experience to board
With a rare blend of experience in retailing and sustainability, Klug’s’s expertise spans operations, finance and marketing in the grocery industry. Most recently, she was EVP and chief marketing officer for Republic Services, a national recycling and non-hazardous waste disposal company based in Phoenix.
Her expertise is the result of three decades of guiding strategy and operations for some of the nation’s leading grocery chains, including serving on the board of directors for Gelson’s Markets and as the EVP and chief marketing officer for Unified Grocers. In the latter half of her 10-year tenure at Albertsons, Klug served as president of its Southern California Division, overseeing operations and finances for stores across California and Nevada. Prior to those roles, she led the sales and marketing for all Vons and Pavilions stores across Southern California and Southern Nevada.
“Not only does Sue bring decades of insights that will help mold our member training, development and internal communications systems, but she also provides invaluable guidance on key market trends and sustainability efforts as we expand our grocery rescue and recycling programs,” said Edward “Trey” Basha, president of Bashas’ Family of Stores. “Her perspective will be essential as we continue forging our path of growth and local leadership in our communities.”
Beyond her professional appointments, Klug has shared her deep category knowledge and strong relationships in the industry with several organizations. She served as the first female president and chairperson of Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC) and sat on the board for the Independent Grocers Alliance (IGA). She also has been recognized as one of Progressive Grocer’s “Top Women in Industry,” Food Industries Sales Managers’ Club of Los Angeles’ “Top Woman in Industry,” and The Shelby Report of the West’s “Woman Executive of the Year.”
She received a bachelor’s degree in food industry management and an MBA in advertising and promotion strategy from the University of Southern California.
As an avid hiker, snow skier and certified scuba diver, Klug spends her leisure time taking in the beauty of nature and enjoys spending her most precious time with her family. In addition to her professional accomplishments, she also fills her free time serving the community as a board member and volunteer for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and serves on the advisory board for the USC Marshall Graduate School of Business.
Mayer leading technological advances
As an industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience in the grocery industry, Mayer brings a deep understanding of merchandising planning, pricing strategies, store layouts and marketing. He has held a variety of strategic leadership roles at some of the most renowned grocers across the country.
“With a highly specialized skillset and innovative approach to the industry, Steve has a solid track record of generating measurable results,” Basha said. “Steve is already playing a vital role in evolving relationships within the vendor community, while reinforcing the deep-seated commitment we have to our customers.”
In his new role, Mayer is leading technological advances for Arizona’s hometown grocer. He was instrumental in introducing Hypersonix, an artificial intelligence platform that provides insights on consumer behavior to enhance sales and analyze promotions. Under Mayer’s direction, Bashas’ is also enhancing its e-commerce platforms and services to improve grocery delivery, curbside pickup and personalized offers for customers. He is also continuing infrastructure investments that result in an easier and smoother customer shopping experience.
Mayer came to Bashas’ Family of Stores from Schnuck Markets, where he progressed to the role of chief merchant and member of the executive strategy team after serving as group VP of produce, floral and deli. He also served in executive roles at Meijer Corp., Bi-Lo, Ahold USA and Flavor 1st, where he was appointed the company’s president.
His dedication to excellence in the industry is reflected in his commitment to sharing his knowledge with the next generation of business leaders in the U.S. He has served as a business professor of both undergraduate and graduate programs at his alma mater, University of Phoenix, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management, and a master’s degree in organizational management. He also earned a doctorate in business administration from California Coast University and completed Harvard Business School’s certificate program in 2011.
A transplant from St. Louis, Mayer is an avid cycler and has participated in multiple father-son races with his father. He is also a certified rescue scuba diver. He and his wife, Jeanette, are the parents of three children.