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Innovator of the Year Southwest

Community Involvement Stamped In H-E-B’s DNA


Community is of great importance to H-E-B. In fact, it’s in the company DNA to “give back and to make our communities better,” according to Winell Herron, group VP of public affairs, diversity and environmental affairs.

“As passionate, committed and excited as we are about what we offer inside the four walls of our stores – great customer service, great products, and great prices – we’re equally as passionate about how we show up and make a difference in the community,” Herron said.


The significance of community to the company got its start with founder Florence Butt, who in the early 1900s served food baskets along the banks of the Guadalupe River, Herron said.

“Giving back is truly part of who we are and what we’re about as a company.”

H-E-B is committed to many charitable causes including hunger relief and is the largest supporter of food banks in Texas. “It starts at the top of our organization,” Herron said.

Other areas of philanthropic focus include education, the environment, diversity and inclusion and the military. H-E-B also shows up when there’s a disaster, she said, whether that’s a natural disaster such as a hurricane or a tragedy like the Uvalde school shooting.

“When Texans are in need, they can count on H-E-B to do everything we can to help the community regain a sense of normalcy,” Herron said. “It truly is in our DNA. H-E-B’s secret sauce is how our Partners volunteer their time, energy and effort to make their communities better.”

Roxanne Orsak, H-E-B COO, said she had the opportunity to be on the front lines following Hurricane Harvey.

“It’s remarkable to me that Partners from across the state of Texas got in their trucks with a barbecue pit, ice chest, sleeping bags and fellow Partners – and off to Houston and the Gulf Coast they went,” she said. “They showed up and they didn’t need to be invited. Our Partners always show up.”

Orsak said they don’t leave until everyone is taken care of. H-E-B’s Partners in the affected areas who were safe invited other Partners into their homes. “It’s a phenomenal experience to watch and be a part of our Partners taking care of our customers. It’s remarkable to see how amazing our Partners are.”

To view the full Innovator of the Year section by The Shelby Report, click here.

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