Background Guide Publix,Where Crisis is a Pleasure - GatorMUN
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2 Dear Delegates, I am beyond excited to welcome you to GatorMUN XVII and to present my very first crisis committee: Publix, Where Crisis is a Pleasure. My name is Mark Merwitzer, and I am a sophomore studying Political Science at the University of Florida. Since I am incredibly interested in politics, I joined Model United Nations last year as a freshman. Ever since I competed in a few college conferences and served in the staff of the previous year’s GatorMUN, I have been super excited to direct this committee. Although I am not a business major, I am fascinated by the retail grocery industry. I have worked for Publix since I was 14 years old. To this day, I am impressed by not only the scale of the company but also the many intricacies involved in running the largest grocery business in the southeastern United States. Outside of Model UN, I am a massive fan of 70/80s music, traveling to new places, and Star Wars. Enough about me, let’s get back to Publix. Publix is not just a grocery titan; it is a staple of Florida’s culture and pride. Overseeing the largest employee-owned company in the world comes with many fun, educational, and challenging scenarios that I look forward to throwing at you. While I do not expect anyone in the committee to know the exact way to make a perfect chicken tender sub, I do hope that you all dive into the basics of retail, including how Publix interacts with its community and how a large company deals with the diverse political landscape of Florida. In addition to this background guide, some great resources include Publix’s corporate website, recent news articles, the company’s SEC filings, and the Florida Retail Federation. Once in committee, I hope that you all will come up with innovative ideas to incorporate in the company. What I value as a director above all is seeing you all collaborate to come up with great ideas, and then see how you respond after we throw some curveballs to the committee. I enjoy delegate-driven committees. I hope to include your crisis plans as much as I feasibly can in the updates and see where the committee goes based on things that are happening collectively in the committee room. If it is within the realm of possibility, my staff and I will try to give you as much as possible. Try your best to be creative; let’s see what you all can do within your roles. Position papers will not be required for this committee. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com. I am looking forward to having a great committee, and I can’t wait to see you all at GatorMUN XVII! Sincerely, Mark Merwitzer Director of Publix, Where Crisis is a Pleasure
Rules of Procedure 3 Quorum A majority of voting members answering to the roll at each session shall constitute a quorum for that session. This means that half plus one of all voting members are physically present. Quorum will be assumed consistent unless questioned through a Point of Order. Delegates may request to be noted as “Present” or “Present and Voting.” ompany any motion for a Moderated Caucus. In a Motion to Set Speaking Time, a delegate may also specify a number of questions or comments to automatically affix to the Speaking Time. These designated questions or comments may also have Speaking Time or Response Time (in the case of a question) limits, but these are not required. The Director may rule any Motion to Set Speaking Time dilatory. This motion requires a simple majority. Any delegate may make this motion between formal speakers in an effort to change the Speaking Time. Motion to Suspend the Rules for the Purpose of a Moderated Caucus This motion must include three specifications a. Length of the Caucus b. Speaking Time, and c. Reason for the Caucus During a moderated caucus, delegates will be called on to speak by the Committee Director. Delegates will raise their placards to be recognized. Delegates must maintain the same degree of decorum throughout a Moderated Caucus as in formal debate. This motion requires a simple majority to pass. Motion to Suspend the Rules for the Purpose of an Unmoderated Caucus This motion must include the length of the Caucus. During an unmoderated caucus, delegates may get up from their seats and talk amongst themselves. This motion requires a simple majority to pass. The length of an unmoderated caucus in a Crisis committee should not exceed fifteen minutes. Motion to Suspend the Meeting This motion is in order if there is a scheduled break in debate to be observed. (ie. Lunch!) This motion requires a simple majority vote. The Committee Director may refuse to entertain this motion at their discretion. Motion to Adjourn the Meeting This motion is in order at the end of the last committee session. It signifies the closing of the committee until next year’s conference.
4 Points of Order Points of Order will only be recognized for the following items: a) To recognize errors in voting, tabulation, or procedure, b) To question relevance of debate to the current Topic or c) To question a quorum. A Point of Order may interrupt a speaker if necessary and it is to be used sparingly. Points of Inquiry When there is no discussion on the floor, a delegate may direct a question to the Committee Director. Any question directed to another delegate may only be asked immediately after the delegate has finished speaking on a substantive matter. A delegate that declines to respond to a question after a formal speech forfeits any further questioning time. The question must conform to the following format: Delegate from Country A raises placard to be recognized by the Committee Director. Committee Director: “To what point do you rise?” Country A: “Point of Inquiry.” Committee Director: “State your Point.” Country A: “Will the delegate from Country B (who must have just concluded a substantive speech) yield to a question?” Committee Director: “Will the Delegate Yield?” Country B: “I will” or “I will not” (if not, return to the next business item) Country A asks their question (it must not be a rhetorical question.) Country B may choose to respond or to decline. If the Delegate from Country B does not yield to or chooses not to answer a question from Coun- try A, then he/she yields all remaining questioning time to the Committee Director. Points of Personal Privilege Points of personal privilege are used to request information or clarification and conduct all other business of the body except Motions or Points specifically mentioned in the Rules of Procedure. Please note: The Director may refuse to recognize Points of Order, Points of Inquiry or Points of Personal Privilege if the Committee Director believes the decorum and restraint inherent in the exercise has been violated, or if the point is deemed dilatory in nature. Rights of Reply At the Committee Director’s discretion, any member nation or observer may be granted a Right of Reply to answer serious insults directed at the dignity of the delegate present. The Director has the ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY to accept or reject Rights of Reply, and the decision IS NOT SUBJECT TO APPEAL. Delegates who feel they are being treated unfairly may take their complaint to any member of the Secretariat. Directives Directives act as a replacement for Draft Resolutions when in Crisis committees, and are the ac- tions that the body decides to take as a whole. Directives are not required to contain operative or preambulatory clauses. A directive should contain: a. The name(s) of the author(s), b. A title, and
c. A number of signatories/sponsors signatures’ necessary to introduce, determined by the Director 5 A simple majority vote is required to introduce a directive, and multiple directives may be intro- duced at once. Press releases produced on behalf of the body must also be voted on as Direc- tives. Friendly Amendments Friendly Amendments are any changes to a formally introduced Directive that all Sponsors agree to in writing. The Committee Director must approve the Friendly Amendment and confirm each Sponsor’s agreement both verbally and in writing. Unfriendly Amendments Unfriendly Amendments are any substantive changes to a formally introduced Directive that are not agreed to by all of the Sponsors of the Directive. In order to introduce an Unfriendly Amend- ment, the Unfriendly Amendment must the number equivalent to 1/3 of Quorum confirmed signatories. The Committee Director has the authority to discern between substantive and non- substantive Unfriendly amendment proposals. Plagiarism GatorMUN maintains a zero-tolerance policy in regards to plagiarism. Delegates found to have used the ideas of others without properly citing those individuals, organizations, or documents will have their credentials revoked for the duration of the GatorMUN conference. This is a very serious offense. Crisis Notes A crisis note is an action taken by an individual in a Crisis committee. Crisis notes do not need to be introduced or voted on, and should be given to the Crisis Staff by sending the notes to a designated pickup point in each room. A crisis note should both be addressed to crisis and have the delegate’s position on both the inside and outside of the note. Motion to Enter Voting Procedure Once this motion passes, and the committee enters Voting Procedure, no occupants of the com- mittee room may exit the Committee Room, and no individual may enter the Committee Room from the outside. A member of the Dias will secure all doors. • No talking, passing notes, or communicating of any kind will be tolerated during voting pro- cedures. • Each Directive will be read to the body and voted upon in the order which they were intro- duced. Any Proposed Unfriendly Amendments to each Directive will be read to the body and voted upon before the main body of the Directive as a whole is put to a vote. • Delegates who requested to be noted as “Present and Voting” are unable to abstain during voting procedure. Abstentions will not be counted in the tallying of a majority. For example, 5 yes votes, 4 no votes, and 7 abstentions means that the Directive passes. • The Committee will adopt Directives and Unfriendly Amendments to Directives if these docu- ments pass with a simple majority. Specialized committees should refer to their background- guides or Committee Directors for information concerning specific voting procedures.
6 Roll Call Voting A counted placard vote will be considered sufficient unless any delegate to the committee mo- tions for a Roll Call Vote. If a Roll Call Vote is requested, the committee must comply. All dele- gates must vote: “For,” “Against,” “Abstain,” or “Pass.” During a Roll Call vote, any delegate who answers, “Pass,” reserves his/her vote until the Commit- tee Director has exhausted the Roll. However, once the Committee Director returns to “Passing” Delegates, they must vote: “For” or “Against.” Accepting by Acclamation This motion may be stated when the Committee Director asks for points or motions. If a Roll Call Vote is requested, the motion to Accept by Acclamation is voided. If a delegate believes a Directive will pass without opposition, he or she may move to accept the Directive by acclamation. The motion passes unless a single dele- gate shows opposition. An abstention is not considered opposition. Should the motion fail, the committee will move directly into a Roll Call Vote.
The Basics of Business and Economics 7 Before we get into the specifics about Publix as a company, I would like to explain the basics of running a business. The root of all business is identifying a need in society and putting some- thing on the market to fulfill that need. In other words, a business is an entity that provides goods and services typically profitable for all parties involved. Economics When a business seeks to identify a problem in our society, there are multiple components that need to be identified. First and foremost, a business must see that there are enough people willing to pay enough money in order to fix that problem (demand). Demand in a buyer comes from one of these three things: the solu- tion to their problem provides value, it makes the buyer money, or the solution to their problem increases their happiness. On the other side of demand is the supply to meet that demand. Supply is the amount of something available from a willing producer in a given time period. When an item is purchased in society, there is a trade-off where someone gives up something to get something. In a world where everyone is seeking to maximize profit, the price (trade-off) of an item is determined when there is a balance between the supply and demand of an item. The primary trade-off of a household is a budget; the maximum a person can spend on a good. There are a plethora of things that influence both supply and demand. For example, a drought could cause the supply of corn to decrease, causing a price increase. The main area where businesses make money in that trade-off is by purchasing large quantities of items at a lower price, then turning around and selling that item individually for more. For example, let’s say Fred has a problem of being out of bread, and he wants some toast. Now he can either try to grow the wheat in his backyard, cultivate the crop, and process the flour to make bread, or he can just run to the store to grab a loaf of bread. The reason why it would be benefi- cial for Fred to go to Publix to buy the bread (among other reasons) rather than grow it him- self is economies of scale. Economies of scale means that the more production there is of an item, the less costly it will be to produce the item. In other words, a farm that has millions of barrels of wheat can afford to sell bread for much cheaper than if Fred were to grow it himself. The biggest takeaway from this is that the bigger the business, the more the cost-savings. However, Publix can only put so much bread in their store before they run out of space for other goods, or make the price of bread so low that it becomes impossible for them to profit from selling loaves of bread.
8 Retailing in Brick and Mortar Stores: The Core of Publix “Simply stated, the philosophy of Publix is to run a better supermarket than our competitors. This was the primary reason why I founded Publix back in 1930.” -Mr. George Publix is what is defined as a “brick and mortar” store. While the term has a negative connotation in business these days since Amazon is becoming an online mega-giant, all brick and mortar means is a traditional place where goods are exchanged face-to-face. The reasoning why compa- nies like Publix are still doing very well in an era with massive online business growth is because Publix provides the opportunity for customers to browse and inquire items. The primary reason why customers shop at Publix is because customer service is at the core of their business mod- el. In addition to customer service, being a brick and mortar store provides customers with the opportunity to get instant gratification for purchases. If someone wants a gallon of milk, are they going to wait two days for it to show up at their doorstep or go to the store? With that said, the rise of e-commerce has had an effect on Publix. Today, customers can shop for their groceries online using Instacart and have them delivered to their house within hours. The key takeaway here is that if a brick and mortar store wants to survive, the company must find ways to adapt to emerging technologies, market themselves well, and continue to provide excel- lent customer service to their consumers.
General Historical Background of Publix 9 Publix originated from very humble foundings. Mr. George W. Jenkins founded his first store in Winter Haven, Florida, in 1935. At the time, the store was only 3,000 square feet and grossed $120,000 in sales annually. Eventually, Mr. George opened a second store down the street which also ended up being successful, despite the great depression. In 1940, Mr. George closed down the stores to create the very first Publix Supermarket. The store was one of the first to have air conditioning, speakers to play music, air conditioning (huge back then), and refrigerated sections. Unfortunately, during World War II there were shortages, preventing him from building more stores. Mr. George was beloved by his employees, and that affection carried over to his nickname “Mr. George”. In the early 1950s, he opened his first warehouse and continued to expand the company throughout Flori- da. The company moved its headquarters to Lakeland, Florida and bought out the All American stores, replacing them with Publix. A few years later in 1956, Publix hit $1,000,000 in profit and over $50,000,000 in sales. With these profits, the expansion continued throughout Central Florida. Eventually, the company continued to expand and opened its first store in Miami in 1959, bring- ing with it its culture of customer service and modern amenities. In 1963, Publix opened a distri- bution center in Miami and began deli services. The rapid growth continued, and in 1974, sales hit $1,000,000,000. The chain then expanded to the Jacksonville area around the same time. In 1979, Publix hit $2 billion in sales and had 234 stores employing 26,000 people. Publix was a market leader in Daytona Beach, Palm Beach, and St. Petersburg, where owned 30.6 percent of the grocery market. It was the second largest chain in the Miami area, with 26 percent of the market. All Publix stores were designed similarly inside and included in-store delis and bakeries. Publix supermarkets also took advantage of technological advances by using the second largest number of price scanners of any business in the United States. 1980s Explosive Growth By 1980, Publix dominated the Florida market, except for the rural panhandle area. A large part of Publix’s expansion had to do with its investments in advertising. Publix spent about .75% of sales on advertising, which was about $15 million in 1980. In-store merchandising displays were highly theatri- cal and changed with the weekly sales. The in-store ads were created by employees without direction from the Publix central office since Jenkins believed that store managers best knew what would work in their own territories. During the 1980s, America saw a large growth in household credit and debit cards. To respond to this growing trend, Publix launched Presto! an ATM network which eventually made its way to
10 being installed at every store, long before many banks installed ATMs. The firm was also one of the first to use scanners in its stores, which helped to ease the checkout process. Sales for the entire chain in 1985 reached $3,200,000,000, a growth of over $500 million from 1983, making Publix the ninth largest grocery chain by sales nationally. Another trend in the 1980s was the emergence of superstores. In the 80s, Publix also began opening superstores to compete with this trend. In 1986, Publix opened its first store with a phar- macy, where customers can shop and get prescriptions, and two more in the Tampa and Tamarac areas, in addition to three more in other parts of Florida. Publix also remodeled and expanded old supermarkets and opened new ones as well. Publix continued to open many new stores, of- ten putting them in cities before the rapid population growth of Florida arrived. The 1990s and 2000s The 1990s saw many challenges for the company. The founder, Mr. George, suffered a stroke in 1990 and retired soon after. He was replaced by his son, Howard, who started at the company in a lower-level position. Publix has a history of only promoting within and not hiring outside manage- ment. This type of promoting method is thought to strengthen the company’s culture, and it allows for companies to grow their workforce from within and rewards employees who are seen as good leaders. The promotions also make it possible for someone in the manage- ment to know exactly what it is like on the other end of their leadership, and is thus more adaptive to their environment. Most importantly, it makes the company more adept to reward loyalty within the company. In 1990, Publix was also planning on building a massive store 80 miles south of Savannah, Georgia, and afterwards built aggressively around the greater Atlanta area. By 1994, Publix had gained around 10% of the grocery market, only behind Kroger and Winn-Dixie, whose market shares fell due to Publix’s performance. In 1995, Publix built a massive three million-square-foot distribution center in Lawrenceville, Georgia, with its own milk plant. By the time Publix was done building in Atlanta, it had 34 stores built from scratch in the city. Being the largest employee-owned company in the world, many employees have purchased shares of the company’s stocks, allowing for employees to have a direct stake in the company’s success. In 1993, Publix was for the first time listed as one of the top ten companies to work for by the publication The 100 Best Companies to Work for in America. This recognition did free Pub- lix of many of its issues, but many labor, racial advancement, and feminist groups accused Publix of discrimination in its hiring practices. The groups threatened a boycott if Publix did not remedy their concerns and hire more women and people of color. During the same year, the Equal Em- ployment Opportunity Commission demanded Publix audit their management numbers. In ad- dition to these practices, Publix agreed to pay a $500,000 fine after the Labor Department found
minors working too many hours and during prohibited times in 11 of their stores. After paying that fine, Publix takes minor labor laws extremely seriously and has addressed those concerns. 11 Despite these legal challenges, Publix continued to expand to South Carolina and eventually became the 7th largest grocery chain in the nation. Yet after this growth, 1994 saw a downtrend in retail sales and Publix as a result suffered. At around this time, Publix opened its 500th store. In 1995, the EEOC joined in a massive class action discrimination lawsuit. In 1996, a judge ruled to allow the case to proceed as a class-action suit, expanding the field of possible litigants to 120,000 current or former workers and making it the largest sex discrimination case in US his- tory. Publix settled the class-action lawsuit in 1997, and paid over $81.5 million, the fourth larg- est settlement in US history for this type of demeanor, creating a major blow to Publix’s profits. Publix also paid a $3.5 million fine to the EEOC over accusations that it had denied job opportu- nities to people of color. There were also two related lawsuits that were filed at the time due to similar practices. Regardless of their past indiscretions, Publix is ranked one of the best stores in customer service and places to work in the United States. The company offers generous benefits to its full-time employees and has addressed many of the issues that faced the company over the years. The 2000s saw the company expand into its fifth state and roll out programs like aprons cook- ing, a Spanish Publix called Sabor, and liquor stores. In 2005, sales hit over $20,000,000 and, in 2006, the chain opened its 1,000th store. Today the company is currently expanding into the Virginia and North Carolina markets, with just a few stores currently in each. Publix continues to be ranked among the best companies in the industry, the nation, and the world. Despite this rapid growth, Publix has been one of the biggest targets of gun control advocates like David Hogg, for the companies generous monetary support to the Adam Putnam campaign. In addition, Publix is the biggest supporter of the Florida Retail Federation, which is one of the largest interest groups in state politics, along with a strong foothold in Washington, DC Publix is one of FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies To Work For” since the list’s inception and a BusinessWeek Top 25 Customer Service champ. In addition, Publix has been recognized for its sustainability efforts and community involvement. Publix regularly raises money for various charities in its stores, including the Special Olympics, March of Dimes, Children’s Miracle Network, United Way, and local food banks.
12 Current Services and Partnerships Aprons Cooking Publix Aprons is a cooking school located in 11 different locations. The program engages cus- tomers and teaches them easy-to-make dishes, with all the ingredients needed within the store. In addition to the 11 different large-scale school locations, Publix offers recipes to their custom- ers online and often samples these recipes in store. Not only does this help the company boost in-store sales through the promotion of various ingredients, but the program also allows Publix to compete with other companies who sample food in their stores, such as Costco and Sam’s Club. Aprons Event Planning Aprons event planning is an in-store catering service which allows customers to order event items and have Publix fulfill their needs. The event planning service currently has limited availability, but it has proven to be successful. Essentially, it is the one-stop shop for events since Publix is able to supply fresh produce, deli, and other grocery items through this service. Aprons Event Planning gives customers the option to have all of their goods transported directly to their event, which help to increase the conve- nience, competitiveness, and cost effectiveness. Greenwise Market In response to the growing demand for organic and sustainable foods, Publix opened up a store with health-conscious foods. Much like Whole Foods, Greenwise stores include hotbars and salad bars, all with healthy items. While this store currently targets the younger market, it is not nearly close to fully tapping into the market potential of the kombucha thirsty and avocado-toast-loving millennials. The subsidiary also offers a rewards pro- gram called GreenWise Rewards. Members receive personalized deals, invitations to in-store events, and other benefits. The market also offers a Market Good program where Greenwise will donate to a local charity whenever a participating customer checks out, similar to Amazon Smile. The Market Good Program is utilized for tax purposes, lowering the company’s tax bill. The purpose of these rewards programs incentives patrons to visit the store more frequently. Greenwise Brand Items Even though Publix offers completely organic stores in certain areas, the company also offers Greenwise products in every store. Greenwise products are essentially the generic brand of a product, but organic. Being both organic and generic offers the best of both worlds customers in terms of price and health, creating a competitive advantage compared to other retailers.
13 Publix Sabor Publix currently owns seven Latin-oriented stores named Publix Sabor (sabor means flavor in spanish). These stores have bilingual employees and operate mainly in the hispanic communities of the Greater Miami Area. To accommodate for the deeply hispanic culture, the stores offer open-seat- ing cafés, and a wider selection of prepared food from the deli and bakery with Hispanic flavors. Despite catering to a major population segment of the southeastern United States, the store faces fierce competition. In Miami, Sabor is competing directly against Sedanos, an extremely well-ground- ed grocery chain. Due to this tough competition, if the company wishes to expand the hispanic brand, it must find a way to simultaneously innovate and appeal to hispanic culture. Pharmacy Approximately 90% of Publix stores have a pharmacy and they are consistently ranked num- ber one in customer satisfaction. Currently, Publix offers various drugs and services for free as long as they have a prescription, which allows the company to serve more people, especially the elderly, and bring them into the store to take advantage of this opportunity. Every free pre- scription that Publix offers is in quantities of 14 days for antibiotics and 90 days for maintenance medications, making it so customers come into the store every time they need a refill. In addi- tion, only generic drugs are offered on the free list, making the cost of these drugs to purchase extremely low. Tax incentives make pharmacies at Publix crucial to the company’s business model, and enables the company to serve the elderly population. To date, Florida is one of the largest retirement states in the country with seniors make up 23% of the population. A bonus to profiting off of the drug sales is that Publix gets customers to shop in the store when they go to pick up prescriptions. Instacart Instacart is an online delivery service for groceries that is currently offered at 90% of locations. Currently, grocery delivery accounts for 3% of total grocery customers. Only 25% of consumers have tried online delivery, and only 26% of them said they use the service more than once a month. Instead of shopping online, most customers go to the store multiple times a week. While the industry of grocery delivery is not mature, the delivery service will be essential to the company’s growth in the 21st century. In addition to industrial challenges, Instacart faced a $4.6 mil- lion lawsuit due to falsely calling their employees “independent contractors,” in an effort to pay them less and be subject to less labor laws. In 2017, workers of Instacart alleged that the com- pany paid them wages as low as $1 an hour. Due to numerous
14 controversies facing the company, Instacart agreed to revise its pay system and give back pay to workers in February of 2018. All of these challenges are a detriment to Publix’s delivery expan- sion and need to be addressed. Publix Liquors Publix liquors is generally attached to the main grocery market and includes wines, spirits, beers, and accessories. Publix liquors is currently in 250 different loca- tions and continues to expand to this day. The liquor business faces much less competition than the standard grocery business, since a license is required to sell it. Profit margins are also higher, ranging from 75 to 80 percent. Despite the not-so-competitive market and higher profits, liquor stores are often the target of shoplifters, robberies, and other major crimes. Starbucks The first Starbucks to open within Publix stores was in 2017 and the franchise has expand- ed to over 25 stores since. Starbucks serves customers drinks, breakfast sandwhiches, and pastries. The largest challenge to opening up more Starbucks stores is the lack of availability of space in many stores. However, the com- mittee will have to get creative as to finding space in new stores to put these shops if needed. Having Starbucks in stores will be essential to attracting the next generation and also keeps customers in the store if they choose to utilize the cafe.
Laws Affecting Retail 15 The most considerable law affecting the retail market is taxes. Generally, retailers pay the high- est corporate tax rate in the nation because the limited amount tax loopholes and decentralized lobbying in Washington, DC The biggest challenge to Publix’s national agenda is the lack of a retail coalition in DC that would serve as the active voice of retailers across the nation. While there is a Retail Federation in Florida, such an organization does not exist federally. In addi- tion to corporate tax (which was slashed in the Tax Cuts and Job Act), every retail establishment is subject to a wide array of sales and property taxes. Every retailer is also affect- ed by the minimum wage and other New Deal Era laws. The primary regulators impacting the implementation of these laws is the Department of Labor, Federal Trade Commis- sion, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Each agency creates a wide network of regulato- ry challenges to the company’s bottom line. Statewide, the company is heavily involved in the Florida Retail Federation which advocates for various pro-retail legislation. The lobbying includes getting online vendors to pay sales tax, void- ing of local regulations, and expanding pharmacy use beyond current licenses, such as enabling them to become flu centers. The organization also opposes minimum wage increases and ex- pansions to regulations. In Florida and other states primarily in the Southeast, Right to Work Laws are prevalent. Right to Work laws are state laws that prevent unions from requiring employees to pay unions for repre- sentation, regardless of whether or not the employee benefits. The law is considered by many to be extremely anti-union, and it makes it harder for unions to represent workers in bargaining agreements. Due to this, unions are not nearly as prevalent in Right to Work states. The bottom line is that the government plays a huge role in determining how business is con- ducted and can create barriers or opportunities for market entry.
16 Powers of the Board Any initiatives that require formal company action and affect Publix as a whole will require a di- rective. This means that if an initiative requires something beyond your portfolio powers and is a broad objective, consent of the board through a directive will be needed. As per usual, portfolio powers may be combined to accomplish things in joint crisis notes. District managers may take actions in their district that are unique to the rest of the company so long as it is within the realm of possibility, legitimate plans that flow well, and the impact does not expand beyond their dis- trict. Conclusion Publix is one of the most iconic brands of the southeastern United States. The company has over 1,110 stores across six different states, being one of the largest employers in the Southeast. Be- ing such a large icon and employer comes with great responsibility to shareholders, customers, and government. The committee will face many challenges such as expanding into other states, figuring out innovative ways to survive the online tech boom, and curtailing unfriendly business regulation. Get ready to make shopping a pleasure and create the best experience for everyone involved! See you at the next board meeting in Winter of 2020.
Positions 17 Disclaimer: Characters and events in this committee, while based on real people, are entirely fictional. David Phillips: Treasurer David began his Publix career in 1984 as an internal auditor. He rose through the ranks and in the late 1990s, he became the treasurer for Publix. He graduated from the University of Virginia and received a bachelor’s degree in management information systems. As an internal auditor and treasurer, David is responsible for evaluating how efficiently the company is being run. He is also responsible for making sure the company follows all financial regulations and does not commit fraud, embezzlement, or any other criminal actions related to the company’s finances. Sam Pero: Lakeland and Tampa Bay Area Division Vice President Sam began his career with Publix in 1977 as a front-service clerk in Miami. During his career, he has been promoted to various leadership positions until he was finally named the Jacksonville Division Regional Director. After serving as Jacksonville Regional Director for over 10 years, Sam became a senior vice president overseeing the Lakeland Division. As the head of this division, he ensures that all of the stores in the Lakeland area are running smoothly, following corporate guidelines, and serving customers to the best of their ability. While Sam does not have complete say over things in his district (reference Power of the Board section for general divisional port- folio powers), he does have the ability to motivate managers and staff, and find creative ways to increase sales. In addition to serving as the Lakeland Division vice president, Sam is the director of the Sarasota 2020 Woodstock festival. He has a fair amount of connections with the music industry and the leaders of hippy culture, including Jill Stein. Jessica Blume: Director of Sustainability Jessica is an extremely experienced veteran in the business world. She graduated from the Uni- versity of Central Florida in 1980 and has a bachelor’s degree in business administration. After college, Jessica was employed at Deloitte, an extremely valuable consulting firm, for over 25 years. Jessica has a strong focus on making companies more sustainable and environmentally friendly, and she also sits on the board of Centene, a healthcare company based out of St. Louis, Missouri. She has been a director of Publix since April of 2016. Bob Betchel: Miami Area Division Vice President Bob began his career at Publix in 1978 as a front service clerk in Sarasota, Florida. After moving up at various locations, he became a store manager in 1991. He rose through the leadership ranks of Publix and currently serves vice president for the Miami division overseeing all manag- ers and day-to-day operations. While Bob does not have complete say over things in his district (reference Power of the Board section for general divisional portfolio powers), he does have the ability to motivate managers and staff, and find creative ways to increase sales. Miami is home to the highest revenue-generating stores in the company, hosts a market serving almost nine million people, and is a worldwide tourist attraction. Bob also has connections to many South American agricultural companies and has ties to the Ecuador government, the largest banana exporter in the world.
18 Mike Lester: Vice President of Distribution Mike was previously the director of warehousing and became the vice president of distribution in 2016. He began his career in 1983 as a warehouse selector in Lakeland, and worked in various positions before eventually being promoted to director of warehousing in 2014. He ensures that all Publix stores throughout the country are regularly supplied with the necessary items needed to successfully run the store. He also has strong ties to many Florida farms and the Florida Farm Bureau. In his spare time, Mike is a conservative editorial cartoonist and author of children’s books that teach kids about business and general conservatism. Jennifer Jenkins: Director of Legal Affairs Jennifer was not previously employed by Publix prior to accepting the position of director of legal affairs, but she is a descendant of Publix’s founder, George Jenkins. Jennifer graduated from Duke University in 2006 with a juris doctor degree and became a professor at the University of Florida. Jennifer now advises Publix on all of the company’s legal issues and works to defend the company in lawsuit cases. She has many connections with top law firms in Florida due to her high-ranking member within the bar association. Jennifer is also in charge of making stores less prone to tort cases and ensuring that the stores are safe for all customers. Laurie Douglas: Senior Vice President of Media Relations Laurie is currently a senior vice president, serving as the chief media liaison officer. She joined the company in 2006 after serving as senior vice president and chief information officer of FedEx Kinko’s Office and Print Center Inc., and, prior to that, vice president of information and e-busi- ness technology at Home Depot. Laurie is in charge of media outreach, including handling the company’s Twitter, Facebook, and newspaper ads. She also has strong connections with various news and production companies to publish TV commercials highlighting Publix’s friendly envi- ronment and deals. Dave Taulbee: Architect Before he joined Publix in 2001, Dave developed prototypes for refrigerated warehouses, corpo- rate offices, and government buildings. He earned his bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Cincinnati. In his current role, he manages a team of 13 associates, which include eight highly-skilled architects. Dave is a crucial factor in determining the design of new stores, es- pecially in emerging markets. He has connections with raw material, engineering, and construc- tion firms. While he does not personally design every store, Dave has a considerable amount of input into how each store looks and how the company interacts with other design firms. Vladimir Ali: Director of Information Technology (IT) Application Delivery Vlad started working for Publix in 2005 as a systems analyst/programmer. He advanced through the roles until he was promoted to his current directorial role in early 2018. Vlad currently over- sees Publix’s massive IT infrastructure and ensures that it is secure. This infrastructure includes corporate records, point of sale systems, in-store wifi networks, and company computers. While we cannot confirm nor deny if Vladimir has Russian connections, he was the head of IT for Clin- tonmail email service who managed Secretary Clinton’s email server up until she stopped her campaign due to congressional investigation. Bridgid O’Connor: Director of Real Estate Strategy Bridgid has been with Publix after being hired as a part-time cashier in Dunedin, Florida, in 1998. She earned her bachelor’s degree in finance and real estate from Florida State University, and her MBA from the University of Notre Dame. She worked in various aspects of the real estate team,
including assets, operations, and strategy, before being promoted to her current role in 2017. She oversees the purchase of real estate for the company, in addition to ensuring that the cur- 19 rent real estate owned by the company is becoming more valuable overtime. Bridgid has many connections to the alumni networks at both FSU and Notre Dame, and she’s extremely school spirited from her college days. Randy Barber: Vice President of Industrial Maintenance and Industrial Operations Purchasing Randy joined Publix in 1978 as a front service clerk. In 1982, he transferred to the Lakeland dairy plant. He held various positions before being promoted to Lakeland dairy plant general manag- er in 2009, and then to director of industrial maintenance in 2013, and finally to his current role as vice president this year. Randy ensures that Publix maintains the highest standard in indus- trial equipment. He has connections with companies like Caterpillar, and has a research team dedicated to improving Publix’s manufacturing equipment in pursuit of bringing more profits through automation. Randy also provides industrial equipment to every warehouse and store, and decides what machinery the company uses and what equipment goes where. Karen Murino: Director of Brand Marketing and Analytics Karen Murino joined Publix in 1987 as a part-time cashier in Indian Harbour Beach, Florida. In 1994, she became an ad designer in the marketing department. Karen rose through the market- ing division of the company and was promoted to her current director role in 2008. Karen works to ensure that all in-store Publix branded items are selling properly and competitive to other products. Since she analyzes prices and data from other retailers, she has a lot of sway over the prices of items in store. Karen is also your classic soccer mom who likely wants to talk to your manager whenever she goes shopping. Susan Cox: Director of Greenwise Markets Susan was hired by Publix in 1993 as a stock clerk who quickly rose through the ranks of the company. She became the manager of the first Greenwise store when it opened in 2008. With the eventual expansion of the organic Publix store, Susan became the director who oversees all other Greenwise stores in the chain. While she does not have say over things that must be approved by the board, Susan does have a lot of control over the day-to-day operations of the Greenwise stores. She is largely tasked with motivating managers and staff, and finding creative ways to increase sales in the Greenwise stores. Outside of Publix, Susan is the president of the West Palm Beach Rotary Club and Miami Chamber of Commerce, which brings businesses to- gether to promote interbusiness charitable events and synergize business plans with other local businesses. Michael Payne: Director of Governmental Affairs Michael has been representing the interests of Publix in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama legisla- tures since 2000. He is the son of an incumbent state representative in Florida and has a tremen- dous sway in state policy in regards to retailing. Michael is the head of the Florida Retail Feder- ation and works with other retailers around the state to ensure that lawmakers do not legislate against the interest of Publix. While his creativity in crafting beneficial policy for Publix is one of his biggest assets to the company, Michael has worked hard to lower taxes, fight pharmacy reg- ulations, and keep the minimum wage low in the United States. His close connections with the Adam Putnam for Governor campaign led to the protests of many anti-gun advocates, and his inner circle is also strong in other legislatures due to his support of GOP campaigns across the country.
20 Hannah Valdez: Director of Nonprofit Coordination Hannah has been with Publix since 2005, and was originally employed as a front-service clerk at a store in Savannah, Georgia. Hannah has a great amount of southern pride and strongly believes in southern hospitality. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Hannah was the president of her sorority, which has many notable busi- ness alumni throughout Georgia. Her values of giving back to the community is what drove her to getting involved with nonprofits through Publix. She manages the company’s involvement with many charities, including United Way, Feeding America, Children’s Miracle Network, and more. All of these are essential to keeping Publix’s tax burden low and maintaining an excellent reputa- tion in the community it is in. Charity is one of the biggest cores of Publix’s business plan due to those factors. Louis Hartman: Director of Business Liaison Louis joined Publix in 2012 as a member of the business liaison department. Over the years, he has gained the respect of the people in the corporate office and rose to the position of director in 2017. Louis is currently in charge of making deals with other companies to get new and ex- isting products sold in the store. Deals are usually negotiated in bulk and the company works with suppliers to ensure that deliveries of items are on time to warehouses. In addition, Louis is in charge of coordinating with local and international farms to get produce and meat products supplied to the store. To ensure Publix gets the best deals and best quality, Louis maintains close relationships with the biggest food companies in the United States, such as Nestle, General Mills, and Unilever. Kenneth Bryant: Director of Security Kenneth is a former Las Vegas police officer who has a background in private security. After serv- ing in the Las Vegas police force, he founded the multi-national security firm , Integrity Security. In addition to his private firm, he is a nationally renowned police officer who is known for busting MS-13 members. After this national recognition in 2016, he became a security officer for Blackwa- ter and served in Iraq. He joined Publix in 2018 and is now in charge of over 500 security officers who patrol stores, bust shoplifters, and monitor security cameras. Toby Flenderson: Director of Human Resources After moving on from being the human resources manager at the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, Toby joined Publix in 2013 as a member of Publix’s corporate human resource personnel. During his time at Dunder Mifflin, he was the head of their human resources department. Despite his history, Toby oversees the company’s human resource policies and gath- ers input from various sources to suggest changes to the board. Toby is also in charge of acquir- ing paper for Publix since he has a history in paper management. Wendy Lee Gramm: Director of Company Portfolio Wendy has sat on the boards of Enron Corporation, Iowa Beef Processors, Invesco Funds, Longi- tude, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and State Farm Insurance Companies. She recently joined Publix after being head of the Regulatory Studies Program at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and she is very skilled at guiding investors into reasonable and sound invest- ments. Wendy has a close relationship with the Bush family after serving as one of the leaders in the oil industry back in the 2000s when George W. Bush was serving as the governor of Texas. Due to her investment expertise, Wendy is crucial in managing the company’s $100,000,000 in- vestment portfolio for retired associates. One of the main objectives of her job is to find lucrative business opportunities around the world to invest in to ensure that Publix remains a responsible
and profitable investor. 21 Bruce Martin: Consultant at Mckinsey & Co. Due to the size of Publix, the company has been using consultants to help make crucial busi- ness decisions since the 1990s. As a consultant, Bruce has access to a private jet, tremendous amounts of money, and world-class research teams. Bruce is a Harvard graduate with a doctoral degree in business, and he has close relationships with other Harvard alumni such as Mark Zuck- erburg and Jared Kushner. Since Bruce works at Mckinsey & Co., he can use the firm to evaluate management decisions prior to the decisions made at the start of the committee. However, Mck- insey also consults with other mega corporations and has connections available for Publix’s use, such as Monsanto, Bactana, and Sangamo.
22 Works Cited https://www.bain.com/insights/omnichannel-grocery-is-open-for-business-and-ready-to-grow/ https://www.fooddive.com/news/grocery--instacart-strike-earlier-this-week-had-no-impact-on- operations/511521/
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