Here, Everyone Belongs
"H-E-B was founded on the unwavering belief that each and every person counts."
Craig Boyan, President at H-E-B
Because People Matter
We're in the people business. We just happen to sell groceries.
Because People Matter
We're in the people business. We just happen to sell groceries.
Director of Digital Merchandising
When San Antonio native, Stacy Torstrick, joined H-E-B in 2010, she was excited about the prospect of working for her favorite grocery store as a Business Development Manager – especially since she took a field trip to H-E-B in kindergarten! Since then, Stacy worked in Healthy Living, helped develop H-E-B’s Heritage Ranch pet food, and is now the Director of Digital Merchandising. As our digital business has grown during the global COVID-19 pandemic, Stacy’s found fulfillment and excitement in the challenges and will tell you, “there’s never a boring day at H-E-B.”
Read3 Program Manager
Christa Aldrich has made a career fostering children’s minds and feeding the future of Texas. As the H-E-B Read3 Program Manager, Christa used her public education experience to find her place at H-E-B by fostering a love of learning and building a legacy of literacy. Recently H-E-B’s Read3 program celebrated 10 years of changing lives and Christa has no plans to slow down anytime soon as she continues scaling its impact to reach even more Texas families.
Corporate Culinary Nutritionist
Chef Charlotte Samuel believes food is the great connector, and she’s leaned into that belief wholeheartedly over her twelve years of working at H-E-B — especially during the pandemic.
Stacy, From Dogs to Digital
What’s your H-E-B story, Stacy?
When I applied for an Associate BDM (Business Development Manager) position with H-E-B, I had absolutely no idea what the job entailed, but I was qualified for it based on my experience and education. Plus, who wouldn’t want to work for H-E-B?!
After thinking I’d bombed the interview, I ended up getting the job -- guess there was something about me that they liked! As a BDM in Grocery for a year, I got the opportunity to learn about procurement, so I moved over to Healthy Living — still as a BDM — and I loved it. I distinctly remember how cool it was to work with a wide variety of suppliers – from the large brands we all know, to the small businesses who make all their products in their kitchens.
After that, our Pet Department gave me the opportunity to create H-E-B’s Heritage Ranch pet food brand where I learned so much about how to take an idea and turn it into a product. I was there for six years before moving into Digital Merchandising. With everything that’s happened in the past year and a half, it has been very much trial by fire, but I’m really enjoying it and I’m excited for what’s next!
Tell me about H-E-B Heritage Ranch… how did that come about?
It’s really kind of a love story to my dog (and to my wallet). About six years ago, my then-boyfriend and I took that next serious step in our relationship and adopted a dog together (it went well, and we’re married now!) Franny was, and still is, a diva in the sense that she can’t really eat a lot of different foods. At that time, we took her to the vet and learned our options were, give her monthly shots or change her food — we went with changing her diet.
Even though I worked at H-E-B, I didn’t really think of it as a dog food destination, so I went to another national retailer that specializes in pet needs to get what Franny needed. When I moved into the Pet department at H-E-B, I remembered how challenging our experience with Franny’s diet was and thought to myself, “we need a good dog food that can compete with the other specialty dog foods on the market, but is still affordable.” From there, H-E-B Heritage Ranch was born! Okay, so it wasn’t quite that simple, but working to create the best for Texas pets was such a worthwhile endeavor.
What exactly goes into creating a pet food?
A whole lot of detail, passion, and days spent going back and forth to the drawing board. When creating a pet food, you’re essentially thinking about two customers — the pet (cat or dog) and the owner. The key is understanding how to make something delicious that the pet will love, but also something that appeals to their owner. For most pet owners, their animals are their family, and they want the absolute best for them.
I have to know, did Heritage Ranch help Franny?
Yes, it did — plus, she loves it! I admit she probably eats too much of it, but she’s getting older, and I just don’t have the heart to tell her no.
Let’s switch gears a little bit. What’s your favorite part of your job now?
No day is ever the same, and I love that about my role. You have to pivot on almost a daily basis. It’s super exciting, but also challenging because every time you get caught up, you’re behind again. That’s just the reality of technology, and the ever-changing dynamics of keeping a century old grocery company on the cutting edge of what’s happening in the digital space. There is never a boring day at H-E-B.
What’s been a memorable moment over your career at H-E-B?
By far my coolest and most memorable moment was getting to record an H-E-B commercial when I was in the Pet department. This was a family affair, and I remember making the trek to Austin the morning of the shoot with my husband, our two-year-old, and Franny! Toddlers aren’t exactly easy to handle all the time, especially when they’re missing a nap, so it was an interesting experience to say the least. Being an introvert who definitely wasn’t used to filming commercials, I was sweating profusely as my husband and I did our best to squeeze some cooperation out of both the toddler AND the dog — we didn’t get much. While it was a bit stressful in the moment, it’s so surreal to look back and realize just how much H-E-B trusted my family with that undertaking. That commercial is like a time capsule of that moment in my life that I can go back and relive anytime I want and that is so special to me.
What’s next for you?
Uh, tomorrow? Ha! What’s next for me is the next thing my team and I have to solve for. When I think about the digital landscape and all the opportunity that awaits us in the future, it’s hard to pinpoint what exactly that looks like because it always changing. One thing is for sure though, I plan on staying here at H-E-B for as long as they’ll have me.
Charlotte, Connect People and Cultivate Community
What’s your H-E-B story?
Although I’m from Texas, I went to culinary school in Rhode Island, and worked in Arizona for several years before finally deciding it was time to come home, but when I did decide to come home, I just picked up and moved – I didn’t have a job lined up or anything, I just winged it.
When I got back to Texas, my family recommended Central Market as a place for me to work, so I applied and got a job there as a Foodie – a job that was meant to be temporary until I found a permanent job as a chef. As the story goes, Cooking Connection at H-E-B recruited me to be a manager and I spent five years in that role before transferring to Beer & Wine. While working in the Beer & Wine department, I went back to school to complete my master’s degree in nutrition. Later, H-E-B opened a Culinary Nutrition position which offered an opportunity to use my Chef skills with my nutrition degree, so I made the interesting shift from working in Stores to working at our Corporate offices. It was definitely one of those fake it ‘til you make it type things because I had no idea what I was doing for a while, but I quickly discovered how much I love teaching people about food.
It’s been twelve years now, and I love everything I get to do — teaching virtual cooking classes, working on product development, and educating about nutrition. It’s funny to look back and realize that what was initially supposed to be a temporary job has now taken up a third of my life – and, like so many others, I wouldn’t have it any other way!
That’s an awesome journey – I have to ask…is it true you have a cooking show?
YES! During the quarantine, Scott Tompkins and I were approached by our Digital Marketing team with the idea to do a virtual cooking show. It was another way for H-E-B to remain relevant while many people were staying home, and we were intrigued! I remember our first class was a Turkey class right before Thanksgiving, and it was a total hit! I was honestly shocked by how many people were interested in showing up to watch me cook a turkey. Now, we’ve done over 40 of these classes and the overwhelming response from participants has been gratitude. Scott and I take turns moderating and cooking during the show, so he is absolutely vital to the entire experience. We get a lot of repeat watchers too — which is awesome. We have a foodie following!
Now that we’re a little more experienced at putting these cooking shows on, we center the theme of the classes around what the stores are celebrating or promoting. Our team creates all the content and then produces this hour-long show on Facebook, YouTube and Zoom. Participants can also ask questions and I’ll answer them live, creating a unique sense of community and intimacy which has been so refreshing, especially during the pandemic. It doesn’t matter how often we do them, the feeling at the end of each show is always the same — we did it!
What was your experience with H-E-B like when you were younger?
H-E-B has always been a constant for me, especially since I was born and raised in San Antonio. When you grow up with H-E-B, you kind of end up taking it for granted, because it’s always there! It wasn’t until I moved out of state that I realized how much I missed H-E-B. Let me tell you, I’m so happy to be back now. In fact, my favorite part of my job is sharing food experiences with people and getting to know them through those experiences. Food is the great connector because we all have to eat, right? I love gathering with others, even if it is virtual, and getting to know them over a meal.
What’s the most challenging part of what you do?
Most challenging has been moving into the role of ‘teacher’ instead of ‘student’ because I have to find creative ways to keep my skills sharp and always stay on the cutting edge of my craft.
At home, I’m always in the kitchen learning new techniques and will regularly end up with leftovers that I’ll deliver to my neighbors. They must think I’m the food fairy or something!
How do you feel your contributions are valued?
Well, honestly, being asked to do this interview is pretty validating! It’s also super cool to see an idea that you helped facilitate go from concept to ideation to manufacturing and then walk down the aisle and see a customer picking up the finished product and placing it in their basket. When that happens, I always think to myself, is this it? Have I made it? Ha!
What’s next for you?
Every step of my journey has been different, and I’ve always sought to keep myself open to new opportunities, so I’m leaving myself open to what’s next. I love being a chef, so I imagine I’ll always keep one foot in that door.
What’s been a memorable moment for you at H-E-B?
Many, many years ago H-E-B hosted this event called Slim Down Showdown, where we would basically sequester 20 people in a hotel for one week and they’d participate in a wellness program that included both fitness and nutrition. It was a lot of work because I’d be up at 4am everyday preparing food, but it was such a fulfilling experience. Towards the end of the event, the participants did a gratitude circle with the staff, and they’d tap you on the shoulder if they were grateful for you and I remember my eyes being closed but suddenly feeling all these taps on my back. To this day, I cry when I think back to that moment because it solidified how something as simple as food can make an impact in the life of someone else.
What advice would you give others about working for H-E-B?
The amazing thing about H-E-B is you get to write your own story — so keep yourself open to new opportunities and seize them when they come because it could just change your life.
Charles, From an African Village to the Midway Central Market - A Journey Focused On Finding A Home
Alright, Charles, tell us where your Central Market journey started?
Although my Central Market journey officially started three years ago, I like to say this is a story that’s been unfolding for the past decade. My wife and I were living in Miami in 2007 where she was completing her residency and I was working on my graduate degree in Business Administration. I knew that grocery was the industry I wanted to build a career in, and I researched food retailers extensively. Even though we didn’t live in Texas, I had my heart set on working for Central Market, but when I applied, I didn’t get the job!
That didn’t sway me though -- a decade later, after gaining experience, I applied again and got the job! So, we relocated to Dallas. And though it took me a little while to get here, it was worth every minute of waiting. Sometimes I feel like I have to pinch myself to see if it’s real — there’s no doubt I’ll retire with Central Market!
That’s quite a story about persistence – What kept you interested in Central Market after being turned down initially?
That’s the secret to life — persistence! If you want something bad enough don’t give up on it, no matter how long it takes!
When I immigrated from Zambia to America to pursue my BS in Business Administration, I had no scholarships and not a lot of money, so I immediately started working at a regional grocery store to put myself through college. It was there that I really took a keen interest in the grocery and retail industry and started researching the other companies that were out there.
The values and principles professed by Central Market really drew me in — their heart for the community is something that mimicked the experiences I had growing up in a small village where community was everything. Nowhere else did I really see this like I did at Central Market, and I knew that’s where I wanted to be.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Wow — there are so many things I love, but my favorite part has to be the community events. Not long after joining the team, we hosted an event called Passport UK where we transformed the entire store to emulate the United Kingdom — the food, décor, everything. Having spent a year in the UK before coming to America, it felt just like being back there — it really was a fantastic experience. Beyond that, I love being able to work with Partners, developing, coaching, and empowering them to get wherever they want to go.
What’s been your favorite event?
Feast of Sharing, without a doubt. In 2019, I had the distinct honor of serving as the Security Chair for the Feast of Sharing Dallas Event. It was there that I realized H-E-B/Central Market is more than just a grocery store, it’s intertwined into the fabric of our communities.
To grow up in a third-world country and witness poverty in it’s true form just makes my appreciation for what H-E-B does with Feast of Sharing even deeper — it’s amazing to be a part of feeding thousands of people. That year, I remember a man coming up to me asking for two pies to go, so I went through the line and picked up five pies and gave them to him — he gave me the biggest hug -- a hug I can still feel to this day. I’ll never forget it. You don’t get those opportunities anywhere else.
Amazing. Do you feel that every day at H-E-B?
I do! The sense of belonging I feel at Central Market is so special. Every day I have the opportunity to show up to work not only as a Partner, but also as an Owner. Whether I’m aiming to deliver the best customer service experience out on the floor or working alongside my Partners to develop and guide them, I find immense purpose in what I’m doing.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to work for H-E-B or Central Market?
When H-E-B says, Because People Matter and Here, Everyone Belongs, those aren’t just catchy slogans, they’re promises you can take straight to the bank. If you’re searching for a place where you can find belonging and do purposeful work, you can find your home with H-E-B.
Christa, Making a career fostering children's minds and feeding the future of Texas
So, Christa, what brought you to H-E-B?
My career started 18 years ago as an educator in the San Antonio Independent School District – where I worked many jobs -- as a special ed teacher, administrator, elementary school principal, early childhood development specialist and eventually, in the Head Start program.
When H-E-B started their Read3 program in September of 2011, my role at the district was to support the program on campus. When I met with a couple of people who were part of Read3 at H-E-B, they mentioned that they were looking for someone to come in and lead the program. I had the necessary skills and experience, so I thought to myself “I could definitely do this. Why not?” So, I applied and was so happy when I got the job!
Your job isn’t a typical ‘grocery retailer’ job, so what do you do exactly?
H-E-B’s Read3 program is a coordinated effort between H-E-B, local school districts, and local colleges that teach students to be teachers. Before children enter kindergarten, we invite them and their parents or caregivers to attend a Family Literacy Workshop where we help families learn how to introduce literacy concepts at home so that their kids are ready for school when they get there. Kids who start behind other children have a harder time catching up, so we do what we can to prepare them to be successful. We also introduce nutrition education for the families who participate. We provide the curriculum, books, food, and classroom materials. The school districts invite the families and host the workshop on their elementary campuses and the local college/university provides the teachers of the program by using future teachers in their education degree programs.
When I started at H-E-B, the program was still very much in its infancy — it had a framework in place, but needed direction and some navigation of the school system. We had relationships built with a few districts in the area, so I continued fostering those relationships while also expanding our scope of reach so that we could include more districts and, consequently, more families and children. So far, roughly 9000 families in 24 different cities have gone through our family literacy workshop!
Before working here, what was your experience with H-E-B?
As a San Antonio native, I grew up shopping at H-E-B — it was really my first taste of independence. Our neighborhood H-E-B was so close to our house that as I got older my parents would let me ride my bike there to pick up a few things when we needed them. It was cool to be a part of providing for my family in that way, and I’m sure that’s an aspect of H-E-B that many can relate to since a lot of people choose H-E-B as their first job. Even if I was just picking up a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk, I loved that I was entrusted with that responsibility, and H-E-B will always hold a special place in my heart because of that.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Oh, definitely the book hug. Ha! When we give books away to children, especially those who don’t have access to many books at home, they will almost always take their new book, pull it in close to their chest, wrap their arms around it and break out in the biggest smile. I call it the book hug! And each time I witness this moment I am reminded all over again why I do what I do. It’s such a simple thing, but so gratifying and fulfilling.
What is the most challenging part of what you do?
The challenge of this role lies in how unique it is. We don’t have another literacy program manager at H-E-B, or in any other company that I know of, and I often say I’m a one-woman show with many supporting actors. I’m very grateful for the other Partners focused on education that I work with on the Public Affairs team. It requires a lot of intentionality on my part to seek out opportunities for networking and growth with others who are doing work that is very similar to what I do.
What is next for you?
To continue doing good work and making an impact through Read3 — right now our focus is scaling our impact to even more families while remaining fiscally responsible. Another big piece is continuing to find new and innovative ways to support the literacy work that’s taking place in our Texas communities. Children need to learn how to read so they can read to learn and grow into productive and active citizens — and I’m so passionate about equipping and empowering parents and educators to guide them in that process. It’s important to remember that these children will be our future Partners and Customers, so we are truly invested in their growth! I truly love what I do, and I plan on staying at H-E-B as long as they’ll have me.
What advice would you give others about working for H-E-B?
Be open-minded when you start your job search. H-E-B has so many opportunities that I believe anyone can find a fulfilling career here, doing what they love. And of course, always be your true and authentic self. Don’t be afraid to bring your own perspective to the table — that’s what makes H-E-B so special and unique.
Quynh, From Automotive to H-E-B: A Story About Relationships and Vulnerability
So, what’s your H-E-B story?
Well, my journey to H-E-B had some stops along the way— but It was amazing once I finally got here. I worked in automotive early in my career, and later moved to a medical device manufacturer (which is what brought me to San Antonio back in 2010) all before I found my way to H-E-B! After that company was bought out, I started searching for a new role and reached out to a few of my colleagues who gave me the name of a recruiter at H-E-B. I sent her an email with my resume and after an extensive interviewing process, was offered the position as Director of Continuous Improvement for Manufacturing in 2014. Shortly after that, I took over responsibility of our meat plant, and then in 2015 also took over the San Antonio Snacks Plant, Print Plant and Floral— I’m sure you’ve noticed that none of these alike. This role definitely brought me out of my comfort zone in more ways than one.
How was the grocery industry different from what you were doing?
Not to oversimplify it, but at its core manufacturing is really just taking raw materials, converting them and producing product at the end of the day.
With automotive and medical devices, the process involved is so precise it can be measured down to the micrometer. As I’m sure you can gather, food isn’t quite so precise. Livestock differs, produce differs, it’s not always so precise. Sure, we do plenty of planning, but there is always some level of fluidity and adaptation.
Did you have any experience with H-E-B before this?
Not really, but as I was preparing for my H-E-B interview, I really dived into the company to learn all I could, and I remember being so blown away by how highly everyone— both Partners and customers— spoke about H-E-B.
Coming from the world of automotive, this was significant to me. We had a mission statement hanging on the wall like every other company, but we didn’t really live into it, and I could tell that H-E-B did.
What do you love most about working for H-E-B?
For the first time, I’m in a career where I truly feel like I can be myself. The automotive industry can be very competitive— there wasn’t a lot of trust to go around, and you didn’t dare share any details about yourself or your work. I felt like I could never let my guard down and just be me. In 2014, I attended the Women in Leadership conference and I remember being shocked by a couple of things: one, that there were so many female leaders– that was a rarity in automotive— and two, how open and vulnerable these women were with everyone. They didn’t share their credentials or their accomplishments, they shared their stories. This was such a foreign concept to me at the time, but I loved it and I started working to model vulnerability with my own team.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
Definitely the people– they are at the heart of everything we do. Early in my career, when I had just taken over responsibility of the meat plant, I decided that the best way to learn the processes and the Partners was through hands on experience. So, in my first year I made a commitment to work every single assembly line. I wanted to understand the process, but I also wanted to gain insight into what our Partners do every single day. All I gotta say is, our Partners are amazing—they do the work with such skill and consideration. Working alongside them, however briefly, helped me gain a whole new level of appreciation for them. Even more, our Partners have such great ideas and recommendations for improvement, and I always try to take the time to listen those, as well as their challenges and frustrations so we can work together to find solutions.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Definitely anticipating and staying ahead of the demand. H-E-B is continuing to grow and expand, which means an increase in demand, and we are constantly auditing our processes to make sure we’re working as efficiently as possible to prepare.
How do you feel your contributions are valued?
One of my favorite things about H-E-B is the Because People Matter awards. Getting nominated for one of those and reading what another Partner or leader says about you is so heartfelt and special. Especially because they took the time to recognize you and your contributions. I’ve been honored and humbled to have been selected for the Harvey Mabry Excellence in Management Award in 2015 and the Linda D. Jiminez Diversity Leadership Award in 2017— both big highlights of my career.
What’s been a memorable moment at H-E-B for you?
One that really stands out to me is getting to watch our EOC in action during Hurricane Harvey.
They had set up shop here in our building, just right down the hall actually and being able to participate in answering calls and be a part of the planning was a neat experience. I got to really see first-hand how H-E-B steps in and helps in times of crisis.
During hurricanes and times of immense crisis, our dairy and especially our bakery plants become so vital because these are the basic essentials that people need. It’s very fulfilling to be a part of that.
What’s next for you?
That’s a great question— I’ll be anxious to see too! When I started as the Director of Continuous Improvement, I wasn’t thinking about the opportunity I’d have later to lead all these various plants, and now here I am! I’m always up for a challenge and eager to see what’s next!
What advice would you give to others about working for H-E-B?
Building relationships is a huge deal at H-E-B and can be the key to your success– make it a priority! Our culture is definitely about relationships– the collaboration we gain by working together is so much greater than what we could do alone.
James, Follow your passion to find your place at H-E-B
What is your H-E-B Story?
Not originally from Texas, I didn’t get to experience H-E-B when I was younger, so my H-E-B story starts 18 years ago when I took a job as the Business Development Manager (BDM) for our African American, Cajun & Creole Communities. My first interview with H-E-B was with Scott McClelland. Hal Collett was the VP & GM of Store Operations for the Houston Division and he told me that at H-E-B, Partners eventually find their way to doing something they really enjoy. Lucky for me, my interests lined up perfectly with my career at H-E-B and the fact that I am still working in these roles 18 years later, just shows that I have always been doing what I was meant to do!
What do you do in your role specifically?
Over the last two decades, H-E-B has been intentional about working with as many local and diverse suppliers as we can. As the Director of Diversity & Inclusion and Supplier Diversity, much of what I do today brings awareness to our D&I efforts that we’ve been engaged in for so long. So much of what we do and who we are is because of our commitment to helping grow local companies with diverse leaders who offer unique products to Texans from our diverse supplier communities. If you don’t have a wide variety of suppliers, you can’t offer a wide variety of products that serve a wide variety of customers —and, that’s critical to tailoring our stores to our neighborhoods so that every Texan can say, “That’s MY H-E-B.” This also has an impact on the supply chain sustainability. While I don’t ultimately decide who we use as our suppliers, I love that I get to play a role in seeking, education and connecting these local and minority-owned businesses to the proper channels.
What is your favorite part of your job?
The best part is the generational impact— choosing to support local and minority-owned businesses directly impacts their lives, their children’s lives, their grandchildren’s lives and so on. Even more, local businesses often support other local businesses, so it is the gift that keeps on giving back to the local economy, and ultimately, the state of Texas.
What’s the most challenging part of what you do?
It is everyone’s job to support and drive diversity—not just the diversity and inclusion team. Diversity is owned by all of us. What’s most challenging at times is casting that vision for our Partners so that we can all be a part of that mission.
How do you build a diverse supply chain for every community we are in?
Seeking out local suppliers starts from the get-go when we’re entering a new market. For example, when we’re building a new store in a new geographic area, we specifically look for local contractors to help build it. When you’re a part of building an H-E-B store, it reinforces the idea of “My H-E-B”— so immediately, the family members and friends of those who helped build it want to shop there because they have a personal connection. We do the same thing when we start looking for local suppliers. There are roughly 500 Chambers of Commerce in the state of Texas so when we are ready to start sourcing suppliers, we work with the local Chamber on outreach efforts to identify local providers and then build a relationship with them to reach our mutual goals. These suppliers, their employees, family, and friends are current and potential H-E-B shoppers and I feel this approach honors the legacy of a small business, an example set my Mrs. Florence Butt. After 18 years, I can say that I find it personally rewarding to watch how all the work and preparation my team has done faithfully in the background, now has more eyes on it as the world has started to pay attention to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. The best part is that more and more people feel connected to this mission and serve as allies to strengthening the contributions of a diverse and inclusive supply chain.
What’s next for you?
There’s still a lot of work to do around education of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. My plans are to continue driving awareness about the diverse customer population we serve by looking at our suppliers through a Diversity and Inclusion lens. There is so much richness we gain by being inclusive and focusing on local providers.
What advice would you give someone who wants to work for H-E-B?
When we first start at a company, we may not always know what our passions and interest are, or what’s possible for us. I encourage any Partner, whether you’re just starting or have many years under your belt, to take courses on iDevelop, and talk to as many leaders as possible. Speak to and gain wisdom from seasoned Partners, establish mentors and sponsors. If you take the time to gain a better understanding of yourself and where your passions lie — you’ll find your place at H-E-B.
Kedar, Who knew selling groceries could be this hard – or this innovative?
So, Kedar, what’s your H-E-B story?
When I graduated from UTSA, I had two goals -- I wanted to marry my girlfriend and become a consultant – not necessarily in that order. So, I interviewed with every large consulting firm in Texas and found a job in Houston. Two and a half years later, I proposed to my girlfriend and she accepted, but with one minor stipulation - she wanted to move back to her hometown of San Antonio. She said I was travelling for business most of the year anyway, so I didn’t get much of a say where we lived— hard to argue with that logic! So, we got married and moved back to San Antonio. After a couple more years, my wife comes to me again and tells me that she wants to start a family, but she’d like me to find a job closer to home first. I wasn’t crazy about leaving my dream job, but I start putting together what I considered the most boring resume of all time, thinking it might buy me some time. The Monday after posting it online, I get an interview request from H-E-B.
Growing up in Dallas, I knew H-E-B was a grocery store, but not much else. For my wife, this was like hitting the career lottery, “You have to take this interview!” While it didn’t seem nearly as glamorous as what I’d been doing, I agreed to take the interview and it went really well, but I still wasn’t convinced. It was hard for me to justify taking a job in grocery and retail when my experience was in oil and gas pipelines— and I loved what I was doing. But my wife was insistent, so I took the job under the pretense that I was going to give the company six months and go back to consulting. While she thought I would love it, I didn’t think I’d love anything as much as I loved my current job and I wanted to prove her wrong.
Well, it’s 15 years later and I guess I proved her right. Which, I’m happy about.
I guess we have your wife to thank for you sharing your skills with H-E-B! What did your first job at H-E-B look like?
When I started as a BI Analyst, I was reporting directly to Lynette Padalecki, our Chief Data & Analytical Officer. The first project I was tapped to work on was building out our reporting dashboards using technology that I already had experience with. This dashboard was meant to give us an overall look at how the business was doing on a daily basis— with daily reporting. But this was 2006 and the way data was processed back then was not what it is today. It would take 36 hours to process each daily report… I’ll let you do the math on that one. We ended up having to stick a pin in the project and I felt a little bit like a failure— my first project at H-E-B and I couldn’t bring it to fruition – with technology I already knew!
But a pivotal conversation with Lynette changed how I approached my work going forward. One day, I was expressing my personal disappointment when she asks me “Did you do everything you could?” I told her yes. “And did you enjoy working with your team, and them with you?” Yes. “Then you didn’t fail– the project may have, but you did not.” It was then that I realized the importance of building relationships at H-E-B, and that your success here isn’t wholly defined by the work you do, but more so by the relationships you build.
Well, that’s quite the story! Is that when you decided to stay?
From the get-go, I was counting down the days of the six-month agreement I’d made with my wife. A laptop, pen and a notebook are all I had on my desk when I started, I didn’t bring one family photo or any other personal effects. Why would I? I wasn’t staying— or so I thought.
I guess you could say I decided to stay after my realization that the grocery business, especially at H-E-B, was anything but boring or mundane.
It didn’t take me long to realize a few things: (1) Groceries are really complicated (2) Selling groceries is complicated -- who knew? (3) Selling groceries properly, and doing it well is really hard work! Selling groceries, doing it well, and staying profitable is both an opportunity and a challenge and I knew that by sticking around I’d get the opportunity to solve unique challenges while in the company of some really smart people (data scientists, mathematicians, merchandising, experts, supply chain experts, etc.) who all love their job.
In fact, it was actually super cool and very innovative, and I knew there was going to be a lot of opportunities here. I was eager to see what was next!
So, when my six-month anniversary at H-E-B rolled around, I brought in a tiny 1x1 picture of my wife for my office— I guess you could say that is when I decided to stay.
So how did you move into eCommerce?
My next venture came after a conversation with Gavin Gallagher and Lynette – they wanted me to build an enterprise team and manage a lot of the open projects that didn’t currently have an owner. Earnestly, I jumped right in and starting building relationships with many other Partners across the company, specifically Reade Ahrens, who wanted me to start working with his associate BDMs (Business Development Managers) on several big initiatives.
One night we’re all hanging out and I learn that one of the associate BDMs, Wes, a food scientist, had been asked by Roxanne and Martin to put together a strategy deck for the best way to break into eCommerce. This immediately piqued my interest, and I guess Wes could tell, because he asked if I wanted to help. We get to work immediately on a strategy deck to present to our Senior Leadership Team. No pressure, right? Armed with what I thought was the best presentation ever, I expected to get that slow Rudy clap when I was done— you know the one I’m talking about? (Ha!) Well, that’s not exactly how it went but that meeting still put us on a course to entering the online retail market.
Is it true our eCommerce business started by selling cakes online?
Yep! That’s where that big meeting with SLT got us. The big idea was to start selling cakes online. Keep in mind, this was still only my side gig— I still had my primary job reporting to Lynette.
SA41 was one of our stores that sold the highest volume of cakes, so that’s where we initially piloted this. Countless hours were spent with me on the phone with our bakery Partners trying to explain how the system worked. Eventually we rolled out to all of SA West and after we got that down, added Deli, Floral, Beer & Wine to our offerings. It wasn’t until all of this took off that I moved over to working our eCommerce business fulltime. It was a wild few years, that’s for sure.
You’ve had quite the H-E-B journey. What are some key takeaways that you think Partners and potential Partners should know?
No one ever asked me to do eCommerce— it was never even a part of my job title. I stumbled into it because I had built good relationships with the Associate BDMs and I wanted to help. I love what I get to do, and when I look back at how I got here I realize that by building relationships, and being willing to ask if I could help in other areas, I’ve been able to create a successful and fulfilling career at H-E-B. You never know where simply asking could get you, and the opportunities are endless here.
What’s next for you?
No idea! I’m sure I’ll eventually move on to something else, but for now I’m 100% focused on getting our eCommerce Fulfillment Centers to perform the way H-E-B needs them to perform— and I really love what I get to do!
Cathy, One Company, Many Exciting Careers
Cathy, what is your H-E-B Story?
Like many people, I didn’t plan to work for H-E-B after college. Just before I graduated from college, there was a career fair on campus and we were told to sign up for five companies. I selected four and when I turned in my interview form, the administrative assistant told me to select a fifth company and insisted that it be H-E-B. She couldn’t say enough great things about the company and the “stability of the grocery business when the economy takes a turn for the worse.” Candidly, she wore me down until I finally added H-E-B to my schedule. After my “home office” visit to H-E-B, I was sold and knew this was a very special company that I had to be a part of. I will be forever grateful to that administrative assistant!
What was your experience with H-E-B before you interviewed?
My Dad was in the Air Force and was assigned to Randolph Air Force Base when I was two. As a young girl, my Mom shopped at the military commissary because that is what we were used to. But over time, we slowly shifted more and more of our shopping to H-E-B and I remember my Mom saying that H-E-B’s meat and produce was so much fresher than the commissary. At one point, I remember asking my dad what H-E-B stood for and he told me it stood for “Hello, Every Body”— it took me a while to realize that wasn’t actually what it stood for.
What was your first job at H-E-B?
My first job at H-E-B was getting into the CST Program (which is the equivalent to today’s SORL program) at Austin 15. After completing the one-year program, I became the Service Director at Austin 2. After that, I worked my way through a variety of store leadership positions eventually becoming a Top Store Leader with my first store being Austin 9 in 1990. Ironically, we were trying to figure out how to deliver groceries to our Customers’ homes -- we had a register lane set up in the backroom, took customer orders via fax and phone calls, shopped for customers and then delivered them in a van. Looking back, we were way ahead of our time!
After other Top Store Leader assignments, I was offered the opportunity to move back to San Antonio to become a Category Manager in General Merchandise. My next opportunity was to lead the Own Brand Product Development Team, something I knew nothing about. I quickly realized that you learn the most when you are challenged the most -- and I was certainly challenged in that role, but developed skills I may not have otherwise. After spending some time in our Own Brand division, I moved back into operations for the San Antonio Region team as their Director of Merchandising and Marketing. I then became a DRO and in January 2020, I moved back to Austin to proudly take on my current role of leading our incredible Central Texas team.
What’s your favorite part of your job? And most challenging?
My favorite part of my job is always the people -- our Partners, and our customers! For our Partners, I love seeing them grow and develop into what and who they want to be. For our customers, I love hearing them talk -- affectionately and passionately --about “their H-E-B”.
Another thing I love about H-E-B is our culture of inclusion – throughout my journey from stores and into leadership positions, even at times when we didn’t have many female leaders, I always felt supported and seen in terms of career development. This kind of support, from both men and women, over the years is what fueled me to get to where I am, and I work to do the same.
The most challenging is the speed in which our business continues to evolve, and the need for us to keep moving fast. This has been brought on by a highly competitive and dynamic environment combined with the ever-changing needs and expectations of our customers. Even though it can be difficult, I’m so proud of our teams and how effective we are as we continually lean into that challenge.
What advice would you give others about working for H-E-B?
I have a significant responsibility to mentor those who are coming up after me; teaching them about the business, how to be an effective leader and ultimately ensuring they have every opportunity to be the best version of themselves. When people do that, success always follows. You just have to be willing to work hard, be a livelong student of the business, learn how to drive results, and find a good, trusted mentor who can help you navigate your career.
If you look at my journey over the past 36 years, I’ve essentially had 6 or 7 different careers inside of one company. And that’s available to everyone. The opportunities are endless at H-E-B. They really are.
What’s a memorable moment at H-E-B for you?
That’s a tough question because there are so many. From getting my first Top Store Leader position at Austin 9, to leading the product development team in the development of Creamy Creations Ice Cream, to the incredible work our San Antonio region team does in response to the ever-evolving retail landscape — there’s a lot of good things to look back on and be proud of. But like most of us, I’d have to say that both COVID and SNOVID are pretty memorable, and I couldn’t be more proud of our Central Texas team and our entire company in how we led and managed through those enormous challenges.
What’s next for you?
I’m exactly where I want and need to be. Working side by side with over 22,000 incredibly committed and talented Central Texas Partners who serve our customers and our communities in impactful ways. I love what I get to do.
Vic, Growing Up With H-E-B
Vic, is it true that your entire career at H-E-B started because your dad told you not to come home without a job?
YES! When I graduated from Huston-Tillotson University, my dad told me, “Don’t come home without a job.” So, I didn’t know where to start, but I knew I needed to do something. A friend of mine who I played basketball with worked at H-E-B and helped me get hired. I didn’t necessarily plan on working in the grocery business, but I definitely wanted to be able to go home!
Once I was hired on, I just absolutely fell in love with the company. During college, I had other jobs and at those places, there was a divided system of the “haves” and the “have-nots" -- there were the leaders and the other folks. At H-E-B, it’s not like that. We’re all Partners. I fell in love with how we approach the business and how we treat each other and I felt – even then – like I truly belong.
That is a story we hear a lot at H-E-B – people think they’re taking a part-time job, but end up building a career.
Yep! That’s what happened to me. Almost 30 years later I’m still here!
You said you didn’t want to work for a grocery store – what was your experience with H-E-B before you worked here?
My family moved to Austin from Oklahoma when I was 17 years old -- during my senior year in high school. H-E-B was really the only place to shop and I remember it was much better than any grocery store we’d ever been to. I made some friends in my new school who worked as checkers at H-E-B, and they would talk about how fast they were at checking customers out, but I didn’t pay much attention other than just finding their competition interesting.
But, once I started having to shop for myself, I immediately fell in love with H-E-B. During college I had no idea I was going to work here – especially as long as I have – but I do remember loving the whole experience.
So, was your first job at H-E-B as a checker?
Nope, I got a job as a bagger. It was right out of college and I had no intentions of staying — I just wanted to get my dad off my back. But my store leadership started to mentor me and really talk to me about how I could grow a lot with H-E-B. He told me, “anything you’re looking for in a career, you can have right here.”
Who was that?
My store leader, Greg Nichols, talked to me about sticking around because there was a lot of room for growth. I had never worked in the grocery business, so I really depended on him to lead me. I remember telling him, “I want to be a Top Store Leader like you!” and he said, “Okay, let’s map it out!” He told me I was good with people, but he really wanted me to start learning the business, so we’d walk the store every morning and he’d show me how to do certain things. Then he said, “You know, I think you'd probably be a really good grocery manager.” So, I moved to a career in grocery management, and I loved everything that I was doing.
I figured I’d apply for the SMT – Store Management Training (now called SORL) one day, but I was just trying things as they came. Initially I didn’t even want to apply, because I was having so much fun as a grocery manager, but I kept getting encouragement from my leaders to go into store leadership.
After I went through SMT, I ran stores for H-E-B and then I got promoted to be the Director of Customer Service, which is when the Group VP of HR, Christy Banazek came to me and asked If I’d ever thought about working in HR. Honestly, I hadn’t ever considered it, but she and Chief People Officer, Tina James told me that they thought I’d be very successful in HR and I trusted them both. So, I said “Okay, let’s try it!” Little did I know it would be one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. I came into HR as a Director back in 2010 and last year I was promoted to VP of HR! I’m still on cloud nine about it. Even though I’m working my tail off, I’m happy as can be!
Is it really the most challenging?
Yes! Don’t get me wrong – I love it. My favorite part of my job is the people. A lot of the time people look at us like “Oh here comes HR, what did somebody do wrong,” but that’s just not the case at H-E-B. HR is different at H-E-B. We set up our processes so that we can truly be the voice of the Partner. Our belief that “Each and Every Person Counts” is something we get to live by every single day. That’s really the best part of my job.
On the flip side, the biggest challenge is helping people understand that we’re not able to help them 100%, all of the time. Not being able to always completely solve issues or help Partners solve their issues can be really challenging. But, every day, I get a chance to try and over the years, we’ve done some amazing things. And, that’s pretty awesome.
What’s different about HR at H-E-B?
When I got into HR, I was talking to our Chief People Officer, Tina James and she told me “I don’t need ‘Yes!’ People on my team. I need people on my team who will challenge the status quo and use their voice.” In this company, I've seen many of my ideas come to fruition, both when I ran stores and in my current job in HR. When you can see your contributions come to fruition, there’s really nothing better than that.
Do you have an example?
I was fortunate enough to be the HR Leader in Central Texas during the fires in Bastrop. In our store we had a ton of folks whose homes were in jeopardy of being burned down or had been burned down. So, I met with Tina and she told me they’d give me the resources so I could take care of the Partners. I spent 2-3 weeks meeting with every single Partner in the store, giving them food, donating clothes, getting them out of the shelters and putting them in hotels, just making sure they were taken care of.
After a couple of weeks of that, Charles [Butt] showed up to the store and met with me and a couple of other folks and asked what we were doing for the Partners. That was one of my proudest moments because I was truly deputized to take care of our Partners at H-E-B. I was so excited because I got to tell the person who owns this company, who leads by example, that I was able to take care of the people in a way that he would be okay with. It doesn’t get any better than that for me.
What’s next for you?
I love what I do, and I love talking to and helping Partners. As long as I can do that, I’m not too concerned with what title I have. I learned early on not to chase titles, but to fall in love with the work and make sure the job is done to the best of your ability.
Whether I was in carry-out, a checker, or a service leader, I’ve been able to help Partners— and that hasn’t changed in 29 years. What’s next for me is to continue doing that, whatever role I’m in.
What advice would you give others about working for H-E-B?
When I think about the most successful folks at this company, their core is their heart for people. You have to care for people, and you have to work hard. And then, of course, you’ve got to love food. At H-E-B, we’re Texans Helping Texans, we work hard, and we care for people. I think anybody can be successful at this company if they do those things.
Esther, From Checkout to Corporate
Is it true that you were wearing flip-flops during your first interview with H-E-B?
That is correct. I was wearing a t-shirt, torn-at-the-knees sweatpants, and flip flops! I had temporarily moved back in with my mom while I was in school, and she sent me to H-E-B to pick up a few things. The store was having a job fair (this is back when we did all of the hiring at store-level), and I needed a part-time job. I thought I'd fill out an application and see how it went, not realizing they were doing on-site interviews. When I got to the front of the line, I figured "What the hell? I have nothing to lose." Thank goodness they saw past my fashion and gave me the job.
So, you started working as a front-end checker at the San Antonio Marketplace store. What was your first day like?
I started on November 23, 1993, four days before Thanksgiving. On my first day, a Partner (what we call H-E-B employees) took us upstairs and gave us a sheet of paper that looked like the keyboard. The trainer showed us what every key did, gave us a couple of scenarios, and sent us downstairs to pair up with an experienced cashier.
But the store was shorthanded, so they put a Partner on the check-stand next to mine in case I had questions, and set me off.
If you have ever been a checker or bagger four days before Thanksgiving, you know it is crazy busy. Needless to say, I had no choice but to figure it out as I went, scanning more turkeys than I ever imagined possible.
How long were you a checker?
Only for a little bit. At that store, I worked for an amazing manager, Kathy Bowen, who saw something in me. She started using me as what we then called a Junior Assistant Service Manager. She urged me to apply to the training program we now call our School of Retail Management (SoRM) to develop my skills in H‑E‑B store operations. I went through the program and became a Service Director, which I loved.
After a couple of years, there was a re-org and that role no longer existed. So, I moved into our grocery department as a Manager. Again, I was influenced by great leaders—Michael Strauss (currently Director of Retail Operation in San Antonio), Bob Brandt (a retired Partner known for Customer Service—he even has an award named after him), and others—who encouraged me to apply for H-E-B's School of Retail Leadership (SoRL), which develops skills at the total store level. The first time I applied, I didn't get in. I was upset, but I got over it, tried again a year later, and made it
Once you made it in, what was the program like?
It was awesome and challenging—a lot of learning all at once. I was only in the program for about five months when Alice Childers, who was Vice President of San Antonio Food and Drug, HR called and said, "Kiddo, I have a great opportunity for you!"
You never know what will happen when people say, "I have an opportunity for you." They needed an Assistant Store Director to work with my previous boss Kathy Bowen to open a new store in Fredericksburg, TX. (Kathy and I have a lot of history—she's probably one of the most influential leaders of my career.) So, I moved to Fredericksburg.
How did you move into corporate?
After a two-year run in Fredericksburg, I was able to return to San Antonio as a Top Store Leader—that's what we call the person in charge of each individual store. Then I moved and opened two other stores, then trained other leaders on our larger store formats. Then I got another "I have a great opportunity for you" call. This one was to work on a productivity project on the corporate side. I had no idea what that meant, so I asked around and everyone told me not to do it.
So, I accepted.
I love to work on things that people tell me I can't or shouldn't do. So, I helped start our Continuous Improvement & Design (CID) department. That team looks at our processes from end to end to find out how to make them more streamlined and efficient. I'm super proud of that work and how it evolved to be a significant part of how we do business every day.
What was the biggest adjustment as you transitioned to the corporate level?
I thought I knew a lot coming from stores, but this role challenged me in ways I could not have imagined. I was making a ton of mistakes because I did not understand the other sides of the business. I understood the power of relationships at the store level, but I had never invested in the relationships at the corporate level. We were also working on something most people at H-E-B were not totally bought into, so getting everyone on board and open to a new way of running their business was quite challenging. I had to quickly learn about change leadership, the power of effective communication, empathy, and relationships—four key learnings that changed the game for me as a leader at H-E-B.
And then what?
After eight years on the Continuous Improvement & Design team, I went back to store operations as a Director of Retail Operations in Houston, which was another job that I absolutely loved. Then I got a call from Paul Tepfenhart, Group Vice-President, and Howard Butt III, who said: "Esther, we have a great opportunity for you." And here we are!
Currently, I have the awesome opportunity to run the Store Operations side of H-E-B Digital, which has been the most rewarding and most challenging job I have ever had at H-E-B. I am having a lot of fun, but this role is stretching me and so many others in ways we just could not have imagined. While the CID change was pretty significant, this one is definitely challenging in new ways. I guess that's why this one is called a "digital transformation."
What’s your favorite part of your job…and the most challenging?
My favorite part will always be about the people, our Partners and customers! I have the most amazing team that leads the charge every day (I get a lot of the credit, but make no mistake, my team makes all these great things happen—not me). I also love all of the energy in the stores, the excitement from our customers and all of the amazing Partners I have met across the company. I have learned so much on the tech side, which was a part of the business I knew nothing about. I still don’t know much, but now I know who to call!
The biggest challenge for us right now is that we are learning while we are also working to win. There is no time to slow down and we have to build a business in a space that we haven't spent a century in. We have experts in tech, experts in store operations, experts in delivery, and experts in product development—the challenge is sharing that expertise across all areas of a very complex business to bring the absolute best experience to our customers.
The great news is that, like anything else at H-E-B, we will figure it out!
What's next for you?
Ha, we will see when the next "great opportunity" comes my way. I love H-E-B and will continue to work hard in whatever capacity I’m needed to make sure we succeed.
When did you know H-E-B was going to be your home for the long haul?
It's hard to say the exact moment that it happened, but here is what I can tell you: 26 years ago, I never imagined that I would be able to work for a company that I love and respect, surrounded by people that I love and respect, earning a living that allows me to provide my family with a life I did not dream possible, and doing all of this in a job that is as exciting as it is challenging and rewarding. I also get to work for so many leaders that I believe in and admire who I know believe in me. How in the world could anyone ever walk away from that?
Justen, An Unlikely Career Path: From Engineering to Emergency Preparedness
Is it true your H-E-B career started with a summer internship?
Yep! I started at H-E-B as an intern while I was a student at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. I was getting my degree in industrial engineering and as part of that learning track, I had the opportunity to do an internship in our planning and research department for our warehousing division. I started out doing time-studies in one of our warehouses, which translated to me standing there with a stopwatch timing everything that was being done.
Did you have any experience with H-E-B before this?
Not at all— I’d never even heard of H-E-B! I grew up in a small town just North of Wichita Falls and we didn’t have an H-E-B even close to where I was. In fact, I was working for Wal-Mart when I accepted the internship. A classmate of mine at Tech told me about this internship she had completed for this awesome company in San Antonio, and this was intriguing to me since I had never been anywhere south of Wichita Falls, so I applied for and was accepted into the program! When I got to San Antonio, I immediately fell in love. I guess it was meant to be because I’m still here!
Wow— I guess the internship went well?
Oh, it was a great experience. My very first project was converting our warehouse order selection system, which was a manual process at the time, into an electronic system—something we still use today! I remember my internship was getting ready to end and I was planning to head back to Lubbock when H-E-B offered me a full-time position as an Industrial Engineer. Of course, I said yes, and I ended up finishing my degree online through Kansas State University!
So how did you make the switch from industrial engineering to emergency management?
In 2004 I got a call from my boss at the time to go help out Glen Murray, “the hurricane guy”. It was during Hurricane Claudette and they needed someone to help answer the phones, make copies, and help with other support activities. This was the first time I was exposed to any kind of hurricane support work— I grew up in North Texas, we had tornadoes, not hurricanes. I didn’t really think too much about it at the time, I was just there to help. Later that year, I got another call from my boss who said that Glen wanted me to take on the hurricane responsibilities. Of course, I was honored, but it was nerve-wracking because, besides that one day, I had no experience in this kind of emergency management. I didn’t jump into the work full-time right away, I was just there as a supporting role while I stayed in my primary role, but in 2005 Glen retired and mentored me as I moved into his position.
I was outside in my backyard when Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans, and I thought to myself “how can I help with this.” It wasn’t affecting H-E-B directly, but we stepped in any way to support evacuees that were coming to Houston— supplying food, our mobile kitchen, and other supplies. Besides being my first major disaster in this new role, it was also my first taste of the philanthropical side of disaster relief.
So, you had no experience in disaster relief or emergency management before starting in that role… what do you think they saw in you that said, “we need him for this job.”?
Wow, that’s a great question. I’ve never asked! I had a lot of experience in both rolling out new systems at H-E-B and supporting them as they got up and running. This translated to me always being “on-call.” Whenever anyone needed me, I was there. So, I think what caught their eye was my reliability and my willingness to do what it takes to get something done and bring it to fruition.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I love that it’s different every single day— no two days are alike. Every day brings a new set of challenges and opportunities, and I’ve found that I really thrive in that ambiguity. I guess that’s just the nature of the work. People say, “no two disasters are alike”, and that’s so true. You could have two hurricanes hit the same place with the same power and the same windspeed that will affect people differently. When I finished my degree online through Kansas State, I studied Social Science— the study of human behavior– and nothing has been more useful to my current role than that. The human side of this work is so intriguing to me, but also so challenging because you’re walking alongside Partners at, potentially, their darkest time and you can feel the weight and responsibility of that as you work to be a light and bring about something positive. It’s challenging work, but it’s so fulfilling. I also get to help in influencing how this company operates in a way that affects our Partners positively— because that’s our number one goal when it comes to disaster relief, we want our Partners to thrive.
How does H-E-B do Emergency Response different?
It’s easy to look at emergency preparedness as a necessary evil, but H-E-B looks at it a different way. This is just another way for us to have a positive impact on the lives of our Partners, customers and communities. Disasters are inevitable, but it’s how we respond in those moments that sets us apart. It’s not about our bottom line, it’s about being a good neighbor— that’s the Spirit of H-E-B.
Do you do anything outside of H-E-B to keep your skills sharp?
Back in 2013 I joined, and now serve as Vice Chairman of the Board of, Texas Search & Rescue, an all-volunteer non-profit organization based out of Austin. I believe it’s so important to give back to the community, and this is one of the ways I’ve found to do that while also keeping my skills sharp.
What’s been a memorable moment for you?
The funny thing about this role is you end up building relationships with buildings— and I don’t mean in the literal sense, nor do I mean specifically with the operators and leaders. You build relationships with the experiences and memories with a particular store. One of those for me is our Bastrop store, where I spent a lot of time after the fires. Another is SA32, which at one point had rain pouring into the building after the hailstorm in 2016 caused significant damage to the roof. But I think the store that sticks out to me the most is our Braeswood store in Houston, which is now closed.
This store flooded 3 years in a row— first in 2015 with the Memorial Day floods, then in 2016 during the Tax Day floods, and again in 2017 when Hurricane Harvey hit. I remember watching the cameras as the area around the store started to flood and thinking “here we go again.”
Later on, our VP of Security and Loss Prevention calls me and says “hey, there’s someone trying to break in to Braeswood.” At this point, the store had taken at least 4 feet of water. I got on the camera and watched, thinking it was probably looters, and what I saw just astounded me. I saw the glass of the front door break and a man step in, then he turns around, and a baby is handed through the broken glass and placed in his arms. Shortly after, the mom comes through and they all get on one of the registers to take refuge and get out of the water. Even though that store is permanently closed now, I love that in her final moments she was able to shelter and save the lives of three people during Hurricane Harvey.
What’s next for you?
Continue to make things better! We have an amazing set of tools in our Emergency Response toolbox, forged out of many lessons learned. There will always be areas where we can improve, and our commitment to relentless dissatisfaction keeps us from staying still too long. Every disaster is another opportunity to grow and learn how we can continue being there for Texas. I know I can’t do this forever, but for now I want to continue working as hard as I can to make this sector of our business the best it can be for whoever takes my place one day.
What advice would you give others about working for H-E-B?
Try everything you can! If you’re asked to take on a new project or try something outside of your wheelhouse, do it. Those experiences are so valuable to finding your career calling and where you can make the most impact. Whatever it is, H-E-B can help you get there.
Sarah, A Family Legacy of Service and a Heart for H-E-B
Sarah, where did your H-E-B career start?
It all started at our Kerrville store 25 years ago. My career began in SORL (then called SMT) where I spent a month in every department at that store. By having the opportunity to walk in each of our Partners’ shoes — frying donuts, stocking shelves, cutting meat at the market — I got to witness first-hand the value that each and every one of our Partners bring to H-E-B.
Soon after, I became the Grocery Manager— which was an interesting experience because back then, there weren’t any female grocery managers. From there, I worked my way up to Unit Director and then eventually, I got to open SA29, which is now the store that my husband runs!
What was it like as a young, female recent college graduate in this role as Grocery Manager?
Well, the average tenure of the Partners on that team at the time was longer than I’d been alive and at that time, there weren’t a lot of women Grocery Managers -- I was a young, female, with a college degree but very minimal grocery experience and I moved into the role during the holidays – our busiest season! I’m not sure who was more terrified -- me or the Partners on the team!
But, I learned quickly and I leaned on the team a lot because they had more experience in Grocery than I did – and I realized that building relationships with those around you --other Partners and leaders -- is so important. That’s how you end up with someone in your corner who will lift you up and help you when you need it. The culture at H-E-B isn’t one of competition – it is built on a rock-solid foundation at the corner of comraderie and collaboration. And it’s been that way in every job I’ve held at H-E-B through the years.
How did you make the transition into HR?
I was invited to do a rotation in HR and ended up spending about 6 years in SA West (now just called San Antonio Stores) doing everything from college relations and recruiting to Partner relations. Then, my career went full circle and I began managing the SORL program that I started in, which was so much fun!
Not long after, Tina James, our Chief People Officer, tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I would be interested in going over to MWT and that’s where I’ve been for 11 years. I really had to push myself out of my comfort zone to switch from Stores to MWT — it felt like I was starting all over. Once again, I was a woman in a historically male-dominated industry with very little knowledge of manufacturing, warehousing, or transportation -- I had so much to learn. But, my peers, leaders, and colleagues were all there to help me through it. It was hard, but definitely one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
“Sarah is a great business partner… she’s really my right hand. Because of her background in stores, she has an integral understanding of H-E-B as a whole, the strategy behind how everything works and how to keep the business moving, but also a true understanding of the heart of our Partners and their needs.”
– Carson Landsgard, Executive VP Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Logistics
How is working in MWT after 11 years?
We are doing so many amazing things at MWT and while some may look at my 11 years here and think “wow, that’s a long time” I truly feel that we’re just getting started.
Recently, Carson and I started conducting quarterly facility visits, and we end each visit with a roundtable where Partners are invited to hang out and share any comments or concerns. This new tradition is something I enjoy so much; it just gives me so much energy and insight to how we can help our Partners! The challenge is we can’t solve every problem, but we work really hard to fix the ones we can.
I tell everyone that MWT is the place to be -- it’s pretty exciting!
“Sarah is awesome. She was my first HR business partner, and I had the pleasure of working alongside her for 5 years. Every meeting with Sarah is either started or finished with ‘MWT is the place to be!’, and she says it with an energy that is so contagious. Regardless of the circumstances or the specific challenge we’re facing, she brings a ‘can-do’ spirit that is encouraging and always lifts people up.”
– Juan-Carlos Ruck, Executive VP North West Food Drug
You mentioned that your husband works for H-E-B, but he’s not the only one in your family, right?
No, a lot of people may not know this, but my mother also worked for H-E-B. She was in the legal department for 33 years before retiring just a couple of years ago. It was cool to watch her grow in her career – at a time when there weren’t a lot of women in the legal department – and now my daughter, step-daughter, niece, and step-granddaughter also work at H-E-B. There are a lot of Elizondo women here. And Sixto, of course! Sixto just celebrated 50 years, and he’s so proud of his daughters and granddaughter carrying on the legacy!
Wow, that is quite the H-E-B legacy. What advice did you give your daughter when she went to work at H-E-B?
When I started working at H-E-B, my mom encouraged me to make sure I loved the work I was doing. So, I handed that advice down and I encourage it in my daughter. There will be those discouraging days when you may not enjoy the work— maybe that’s when you’re dealing with an angry customer or a power outage or something else, but I remind her to focus on the positive and remember that everyone has a story and you never know how it may be impacting them. I also remind her to be her true, authentic self and to be courageous in sharing her thoughts and ideas. People are going to form an opinion of you regardless, so it should be an opinion based on the REAL you. And that takes work!
“Sarah is a great role model and a trailblazer when it comes to the roles women hold at H-E-B. Whether it was early on in her career and serving as one of the first female Grocery Managers to today, where she is the VP of MWT. She is respected for her thought leadership, the insight she brings to a conversation, and is seen as a great partner with the operation.” – Lisa Rowan, HR Manager
Did your dad work for H-E-B too?
No, but he was SUCH a huge fan of H-E-B. He used to shop at SA34, and that’s actually the store I used to run. So, when I got assigned there, I just happened to mention my dad and my team was like “Oh, we know him!” It was pretty cool to get assigned to the H-E-B store where my dad had been shopping for years.
I think the moment that the spirit of H-E-B touched me the most was when we had his funeral. I remember it so clearly, the H-E-B managers at SA34 showed up in their red shirts to pay respects to their customer, my dad, and I didn’t even work there anymore. It was so special.
He loved that I worked for H-E-B, and I know he would be just ecstatic that his granddaughter now works for H-E-B. It’s a legacy I know he’d be so proud of.
What makes H-E-B so special that your whole family works here?
The culture, our great Partners and the commitment to making the lives of Texans better. Since the very beginning of my career at H-E-B, from that first time I walked the Kerrville store with Charles in SORL, it’s evident that the Sr. Leadership at H-E-B genuinely cares about the thoughts and opinions of Partners at every level. I know I’ve felt that for sure throughout my career, regardless of my role I’ve always felt that my opinion is valued.
Now that I’m in a position of leadership, I’m mindful of the impact this had on me and want to make sure I’m doing the same for my Partners. We need the thoughts, ideas and opinions from every level and every area of our company so we can continue being successful long into the future.
If you weren’t at H-E-B, what do you think you’d be doing?
Hmm, that’s a great question. I’ve thought about being a Principal or a College Professor— I’ve always been passionate about teaching others and helping them grow.
“Sarah is very personable and genuine leader. She has a great personality and gives you the encouragement to come see her to discuss any concerns you may have.” – “Bob tail” Joe Gonzales, H-E-B Driver
One of my proudest moments was winning the People Development Award. I love helping people figure out what their strengths are and then watching them grow into those strengths. It’s a huge passion of mine.
What else has been a memorable moment at H-E-B for you?
Definitely getting my first assignment as a top store leader 20 years ago. Even though SA14 was a small store, I still couldn’t believe I was handed the keys and had my picture up on the wall, especially considering how young I was. That was such a highlight for me. It was terrifying and exciting all at the same time.
Since then, there have been a lot of moments like that, but that first one where I was trusted with the legacy of H-E-B was a big one. I can’t imagine how Florence must have felt in 1905 when she opened our first store in Kerrville, but I felt the weight and honor of her in that moment and have tried to carry that with me and pass it on to current and future leaders of H-E-B – especially those in my own family!
Phyllis, From Top Flight to Top Store Leader
So, Phyllis, what’s your H-E-B Story?
I started at H-E-B as an external hire into the SORL (School of Retail Leadership) program. Before that I was a flight attendant, which I loved, but I decided to come to H-E-B because of my son. He was missing mom at his school activities, so I decided it was time to make a career change.
Being born and raised in Austin, of course I’m familiar with H-E-B because I shopped there with my parents, but my interest in working for H-E-B came about because of an article my husband saw in the paper about H-E-B hiring store leaders. He said to me “Hey, what about this position? This sounds interesting, this might be something you might like to do... be a store leader for H-E-B!” I kinda laughed. And now here I am 22 years later and loving it! These have been some of the best years of my life. I remember my first rotation in SORL in the produce department at Austin 17, I showed up on my first day in heels and a suit. I knew I was going to be in produce, but I really didn’t know what that meant because I didn’t have a background in grocery retail. So, I had to go home, on my first day, and get some flats. But here I am, I made it through, and I’ve had the opportunity to not only work in store operations, but also serve in a regional role as the Regional Merchant on the GM/Drug side of the business and have had the opportunity to help with several company initiatives.
What was your experience like with H-E-B when you were younger?
My father used to take me and my three siblings grocery shopping with him and he would quiz us on the different fruits and vegetables. If we got them right, we got to choose an extra snack for the week. Those were some of my fondest memories, shopping at H-E-B with my dad. He made it an adventure. So, what a delightful coincidence that the produce department was my first rotation in SORL.
Once you got to H-E-B, what did your journey look like?
I completed my rotation in the produce department, then I went to Austin 20 and completed my Manager in Charge (MIC) total store rotation and then moved on to Central Checkout at Austin 3. Now, ironically, I’m back as a Top Store Leader at Austin 3, it’s been exciting, fun and surreal to come back and run a store of this magnitude.
Sometimes I look back and think about how amazing it is that H-E-B hired me, a flight attendant, and gave me the opportunity to learn the grocery and retail industry. I have almost 500 Partners in my store, and I get so much joy from leading them.
Growing up, H-E-B was never on my radar so that almost makes it more surreal that I saw that article and now I get to help lead the store and lead our team. I love having such a huge team that believes in me as a leader— but you can’t do this by yourself. My team’s success is my success. It’s an overwhelming, amazing feeling.
What’s something you learned as a flight attendant that is serving you well in your role now?
Hospitality. And really caring about people. Those experiences being so close to the public, dealing with different personalities and handling those moments transpires over into what I do here at H-E-B very well. I’m glad H-E-B saw that skillset and took a chance on me.
What’s your favorite part of your job? And most challenging?
One of my favorite parts of my job is interacting with my team. Another part is not knowing what I’m walking into every day. That's exciting and I love that my position is not predicable. Leading a team of almost 500 Partners to achieve our goals is rewarding. I love putting on events for the public and just taking things to the next level. Taking all the different inputs from my team to strategize and create these events is so exciting.
It can be a challenge to guide and coach so many different personalities, because everyone’s voice deserves to be heard. Respecting everyone’s ideas is key to achieving our Team’s Goals.
How do you work to make sure that your Partners feel their voices are heard?
Listening. Listening is key. And you have to make sure you’re making yourself available to them. You have to make the time, no matter what’s going on, so they know that what they have to say is valuable.
How do you feel your contributions are valued?
When I’ve had the opportunity to participate in special projects and my input is heard and utilized that makes me feel that my contributions are valued. When I served on the Diversity Council, I presented the idea of establishing recognition for non-titled female partners during the month of March for Women's History Month. That idea evolved into H-E-B's Women of Distinction celebrations which are held in March throughout the entire company. The company taking my input made me feel valued.
What’s next for you?
I really enjoy what I’m doing, so I’m not sure yet. One of my goals is to be the General Manager of a Plus Store format, but maybe a corporate position down the road—my interests lie in talent development— and marketing because I love events and merchandising strategies. I’m not sure what’s next, but we’ll see!
What’s a memorable moment at H-E-B for you?
When I received the Because People Matter, Hal Collett Great People Award for Central Texas. The award is so special to me because my team nominated me for it and that just spoke volumes to me. It was also so special because Hal Collett hired me, he was my last interview. I have the Award in a special place. It’s humbling when your team nominates you for a regional award like this.
What advice would you give others about working for H-E-B?
My advice is run to your computer, fill out the application and apply. All your career goals can be achieved. There are endless opportunities with our company.
From Brenham to Big Time, how a small town farmgirl grew a career with
So, Barbara, is it true your H-E-B Career started at a fast-food restaurant?!
YES! It actually started by chance! I worked for another company for 10 years, but I knew it wasn’t where I wanted to be long term— I just didn’t know what I wanted to do next. So, I resigned.
I happened to be eating lunch at a fast-food restaurant that was in the parking lot of an H-E-B and saw that they were hiring— impulsively, I decided to see if I could get a job there!
The day I went in for my interview, I dressed pretty professionally, because that’s what I was used to. The store leader looked at my resume, looked at me, and asked “You're applying for a Partner position?” When I answered in the affirmative, he asked, “Are you sure you don’t want to enter our management program?”
Not knowing what I really wanted to do, I declined and said, “Nope! I don’t want to be a manager!” So, my H-E-B career begin as a customer rep in the Deli – the department I am currently the Regional Merchant for in the NWFD Division!
Anyway, after a couple of days, I realized I was struggling with NOT being in charge— I’m not the type to just watch things unfold— so, I went back to my store leader and took him up on the management opportunity. He connected me up with Roxanne Orsak, our district manager at the time, and she sent me to the management training program in Austin, TX, which actually proved to be a bit of a roadblock at first.
Why is that?
Growing up on a farm just outside of Brenham, I thought I’d always stay close to home, but my career with H-E-B has taken me all over the state of Texas — from Austin to San Antonio and then Houston and Dallas where I live now. It’s all worked out, but I didn’t know how I felt about it at the time.
For my first solo-assignment in Austin, I showed up to my new store – not in a suit this time, but in my Wrangler jeans, cowboy boots and button up shirt— people started calling me “Miss Country.”
How did you move from Austin to now being settled in Dallas?
By always saying, “Yes” every time the phone rang and someone offered me a new opportunity.
After opening up Austin 23, I got a phone call to go to Houston and help open one of the big format stores as the Deli Manager. After almost a year of doing that, another phone call from the Director of Deli led to the VP of Deli taking me on an adventure to San Antonio where I took the job as Corporate Merchandiser for Deli. This was a brand-new position that I helped develop and shape over the course of 6 or 7 years.
Being in that position was interesting because it bridged the corporate world with the store so I was working with Partners on a daily basis — I got to have my feet in both worlds!
Then, you guessed it— another phone call! I moved into the role of Deli Regional Merchant (RM) for San Antonio West and then eventually into the Continuous Improvement & Design (CID) team. It was in CID that I helped create the deli model that the department still uses today.
In 2016, I transferred back to Houston to help launch the 5S Program, and I was there for a couple of years before I was offered a position as the Regional Merchant for Deli/Restaurant for the new Northwest Food/Drug division!
What’s a memorable moment at H-E-B for you?
There’s one moment that happened early in my career that sticks with me to this day. I remember it so clearly because it was the moment that I remember thinking “I love doing this.” Back during my first solo assignment at Austin 1, I was working the Deli as the manager and we had this one older customer who was just… unpleasant. He was difficult to work with and ALWAYS gave the deli Partners a hard time with his order. So, one day I said to myself: “I’m going to find a way to connect with this man.”
So the next time he came in, I walked over from whatever I was doing to work with him. We talked and I really just tried to get to know him. I finished his order, handed him his bacon (he always got bacon) and then he grabbed my hand and put something in it, looked at me and said, “next time you see your parents, tell them they raised someone special.” I looked down at my hand and saw that he had given me a Werther’s Original. I think I went into the cooler and cried after he left. I took his order every time we came in from that point forward, and he would always give me a Werther’s Original before he left. It became our thing. Although I was still new in my career at H-E-B at the time, that moment made me stop and think to myself “you’ve got this, Barbara.”
How do you feel your contributions are valued?
In my previous role as the Corporate Merchandiser for Deli, I noticed that a lot of the training materials we were using hadn’t been updated since 1994, so I talked with my VP about helping to develop processes that put structure behind how we do things, so it was formalized across all stores. It’s incredibly rewarding to realize that a lot of the stuff that’s being used in Deli is material that I created.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I have a huge heart for people. Interacting with others, getting to know them, and supporting them— whether customers or Partners— brings me so much joy.
What advice would you give others about working for H-E-B?
Put in the work to be great, stay true to yourself, and help those who need it.
What’s next for you?
Well, I have only been in Dallas for just over a year – in fact, I hit my one-year anniversary in October 2020! Which was also the Grand opening of our Lubbock store! I’m having so much fun doing what I do. I would love to stay here awhile and see Dallas become what Houston is— there’s many exciting things going on right now.
If someone has an opportunity that they feel I’d be great for, I’m not opposed to it. We’ll see what that next phone call brings— I haven’t said no yet!
Building a Career You Love
So, Bonny, what’s your H-E-B story?
H-E-B Own Brand through and through, I started with H-E-B about 15 years ago as a Brand Manager for our Own Brand Department. At the time, this part of the business was just ramping up so I was pretty heavily involved in building out our distinct brand, our goal was to build something that could be well-known and well-loved by our Partners and Customers. After about 5 years, there was an opportunity to be a Brand Growth Manager where I was able to work closely with our procurement team to bring the renowned famous condiment, ketchup to be exact, of a local favorite burger place to H-E-B shelves!
From there, I served as the Director of Branding before moving into my current role as the Director of Own Brand. At that time, the department had 50 Partners but is now made up of more than 115 Partners. I have the pleasure of leading a team of talented Partners who all support Branding and Development for our unique Own Brand products. It’s funny because for the first couple of years at H-E-B, I maintained my resume, but after that 2-year mark, I haven’t updated it since! I’m an H-E-B Lifer!
What exactly do you do?
What we do each and every day is develop products for customers, providing them the best quality, the best assortment and the best experience— giving families now what I got to enjoy growing up, but on a much larger scale. It’s also fun to create products that are unique to Texas – this is a unique state and our customers deserve flavor profiles that you can’t find anywhere else. It’s created for Texans by Texans – and that’s pretty cool.
Of course, I have to ask. What’s your favorite OWN Brand product?
Hmm. I never have just one! It changes almost by the week and just depends on what I’m craving at the moment! Right now, I’m loving our Meal Simple by H-E-B brisket queso. Our new H-E-B snack mixes are great as a snack OR you can crush it up and use as a breading for chicken. So versatile and so yummy! (My favorite is the honey mustard.)
What is your favorite part of your job?
My answer is twofold. First, I love to see the products we work so hard on—that are inspired and developed by Texans—come to life in our grocery stores, because I know that they are going to serve our communities.
Second, I’m very passionate about leading, developing, coaching and mentoring Partners, and this works out well because that’s about 80% of my job, ha-ha! Before my current role I had absolutely no experience leading anyone. I remember asking my Leader at the time I was promoted to Director if I was going to be trained in leadership before jumping into the role
And he said, “no, I told our admin support to convert all of my individual Partner meetings to your calendar. You start tomorrow!” While that was a rapid education by wildfire, it worked out. I discovered a love of mentorship, especially mentoring the women on my team to help them become leaders. When I started, there weren’t a lot of women in leadership. The company does so much to invest in female leaders and I wanted to do that within my own team.
What do you feel is the most challenging part of what you do?
Cultivating a culture of passionate and educated Partners about Own Brand so they know why it is so important to the company and our customers and how it allows us to create customer loyalty and drive profitability. An easier feat with smaller teams, but with a company of 137k Owners, it becomes more challenging.
What’s been a memorable moment for you?
Speaking of career-life balance, there was a pivotal point in my career where I felt like I had achieved all I wanted to, and I started to think about leaving the workforce and staying home with my kids. This was about 5 years into my career, and I remember at the time there was a Buyer I worked closely with that was telling me not to leave, that I had so much more to offer.
So, I remember sitting down with my girls, after talking it over with my husband, and asking them what they would think If I was the one picking them up from school each day and spending summers with them at home, and they responded with “will we still get to try the products you bring home that aren’t even on shelves yet?” and I said, “Well, no, because I won’t be working for H-E-B anymore.” And what they told me was, “then no, mom, that means a lot to us that we get to spend that time trying those products with you, and you get to do what you love to do.” That was really a career-defining and mom-defining moment for me. I felt like they gave me permission and released me from some of that guilt I felt. It’s been 10 years since, and I still think about that moment.
As a strong female leader, yourself, how do you lead by example within your own life?
As a career woman and also a wife and mother, I wanted to model balance within my own life so the women on my team can see that it is possible for them as well. No matter their life goals -- whether to have their career, marriage, children, any or all or none of the above— I want to show them that it’s possible.
There’s been times in my own career when I’ve had to tell my leaders that I’m not ready for a specific opportunity yet because of the stage my family was in. There isn’t always going to be an equal balance, especially after the year we’ve had, and sacrifice will be necessary at times, but H-E-B has never stopped investing in me. This company has allowed me to build a career and a life that I love, and I want to do the same for those on my team.
How do you invest in the women on your team specifically?
Besides mentoring them, and sharing my own story, I also make it a priority for us to attend Women in Leadership conferences, as well as recommend great books on leadership. The biggest fear I hear from my team, specifically the women on my team, is they want to get married or have children one day, but don’t want that to impact the trajectory of their career. I want to help address those fears and show them what’s possible.
What advice would you give others about working for H-E-B?
Build foundational relationships with others because that will serve you well in your career. You don’t have to be an expert in everything, just build relationships with other people you can trust. And also, be adaptable to change. It’s inevitable, especially at H-E-B given our commitment to relentless dissatisfaction, but it will challenge you and grow you in so many ways.
What’s next for you?
You know, I’m not sure what’s next for me. I know for right now and into the foreseeable future I’ll continue working on driving customer loyalty, developing products customers cannot live without, and creating a culture of excellence. I love what I do!
Coming Home to H-E-B
Alright, Aldo, let’s start with your H-E-B story!
Well, my story starts out similar to many others– I started out as a bagger working in the Border region, where I’m from. When I started going to college to get my degree in teaching, I transferred to Austin and worked at several locations there in many different roles— checker, business center, bookkeeping, service lead and salary service manager. At the time, I wasn’t really planning on a long-term career with H-E-B. My plan was to work there while I completed my degree and then pursue my passion of teaching in the public school system.
When that time finally came, it was still so hard to leave… I loved working at H-E-B. But I finally made the decision to move on to public education where I spent 3.5 years as a teacher and then as an instructional coach— which is just basically teaching teachers how to teach. Around this time, my husband Ronnie, who still worked for H-E-B, told me about a position that just opened up for an Instructional Designer and I thought, “this sounds interesting.” Turns out the skills needed to be an Instructional Designer were eerily similar to the skills I had as an Instructional Coach. Funny how that happens, huh? Ronnie didn’t think I’d ever leave public education, he thought I’d be there forever, but the role I was in didn’t give me the opportunities to truly make a difference that I had hoped for. Plus, the thought of coming back to H-E-B just felt like coming home.
So, I reached out to my now leader to ask for more info and she told me everything I wanted to hear– and more! So, I applied, and here I am! This time around, I have no plans to leave.
Well, I’m sure H-E-B is glad to have you back. So, what exactly is an instructional designer?
Broadly speaking, an instructional designer is essentially a curriculum writer. But we do more than just develop the curriculum, we also do a lot of the analysis—identifying the components that we feel will be most useful for Partners to learn, and then determining the best vehicle to deliver that training. Then, we go back and evaluate the efficacy of the whole thing. It’s a very holistic approach to training and curriculum.
Did you have an experience with H-E-B when you were younger?
Of course! Growing up in a small border town, there weren’t many options to choose from when it came to grocery shopping… but thankfully we had an H-E-B! I grew up with my grandparents, so I often went with them and it was an experience we all loved and cherished. I have fond memories of little things like putting the stickers on the large items at the bottom of the basket, getting balloons from friendly Partners, getting to pick out one thing every time we went. It was just an all-around memorable experience. To this day, stepping into the Eagle Pass store just brings all of those fun memories flooding back.
How have those experiences translated into what you do now?
A lot of what I’ve learned over the years came from my experiences with H-E-B— whether that was that magical feeling I felt as a kid, watching how good customer service made all the difference, or in the different roles I held throughout my early years at H-E-B. I take all that I’ve learned and use it to create memorable experiences for my fellow Partners. My job is really the best– not just because it’s a cool job, but because it’s a part of my life, and has been for my whole life. It’s part of my identity, really. So, for me, it’s getting to provide that same feeling to others.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part is also the most challenging. Every new training is different so it’s a lot of research and working to tailor our curriculum to meet the needs of our Partners– it’s challenging but in a good way. Because we work with so many aspects of the business, I find myself learning as we go. We want to make sure the content we’re creating is simple and easy to digest for our Partners, without distilling out all of the goodness, and making sure that it translates well cross-culturally since we have many Partners who speak Spanish. Fortunately, I’m bilingual, but we have to make sure the message is getting across effectively.
How do you feel your contributions are valued?
Seeing the work-life of our Partners improve and getting to be a part of that process through the training and curriculum we create is really special. For example, the Unconscious Bias training we put together had to be translated into Spanish. My mom, who is also an H-E-B Partner, is primarily a Spanish speaker, and she was able to watch those videos and really understand the intention and the message behind it all. That’s very meaningful to me.
How do you feel H-E-B really lives into their Here, Everyone Belongs slogan?
Like I mentioned earlier, returning to H-E-B really felt like coming home to me— not just because I’d already spent several years here, but also because I have always felt welcomed and accepted. I’m comfortable bringing my whole self to work and being able to talk about my husband or my son without feeling like I need to censor myself is so important. I think there are two parts to this though: one part is H-E-B doing the work, so every person feels like they belong, but the other part is, as individuals, being empowered to comfortably and authentically show up every day. I wasn’t always so comfortable or confident in who I am, but now that I’ve done the work to get here, I feel the responsibility to be an example of what that looks like for others as well.
That’s awesome… what’s next for you in this journey?
My goal is a position of leadership within Talent Development so I can continue making an impact on those around me– but something I’ve tasked myself with while I work towards that is to continue showing up every day as my true self, so I can inspire others to do the same.
What’s been a memorable moment for you at H-E-B?
Maybe this is kind of corny, but I’d have to say definitely meeting my husband, Ronnie! J I remember the day we met, I had just transferred to the store in Austin where he was and he walks up to me, out of the blue, and says “Do you speak Spanish?” No ‘Hey’ or ‘Hi’ or anything, and I’m thinking, well this is random. So I say “Yeah?” and he says “Oh okay, there’s a customer over there that needs assistance.” Ha ha! Well, that makes sense! From there we start talking, become friends, and now we’re married with a kid and two dogs!
It’s funny because my first interaction with him seemed so random, but he’ll tell you that when he saw me his immediate thought was “that’s the love of my life.” We got married in 2018, and officially adopted our son, August, this past March. That was another really cool moment– our H-E-B family really supported us as we moved through the adoption process. Both of our leaders worked in conjunction to make sure we got the time we needed, and I will forever be grateful for that.
Love it. Final Question: what advice would you give others about working for H-E-B?
Work on being comfortable enough to show up authentically, as your whole self, and the opportunities to grow and make a difference here will be endless.
Here, Everyone Belongs Podcast
H-E-B believes that Each and Every Person Counts, and we are proud of our longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. From our Partners to our customers to the communities we serve, we are dedicated to making the lives of Texans better.
“I love my job at H‑E‑B. We’re given the support and opportunity to try new ideas and to push boundaries. It’s challenging, but also incredibly rewarding.”
“In our company, you don’t have to leave the company to have multiple careers. Here, You have the opportunity to really hone in on what you’re passionate about, but still stay with the company that takes care of the community and connects with our Partners on a deep level.”
Director of Leadership Development
“The most exciting part of my role at H‑E‑B is that I am able to see the impact of my work almost in real time. The new horizons of retail, especially E-Commerce, require us to be thinking three or four steps ahead.”
Finance Manager - E-Commerce
“H‑E‑B invests a lot in training and developing leaders. As a result, I’m part of a great leadership team and working here has been the best experience of my career!”
Technology Leader, Corpus Christi Bakery
“More than any other company, H‑E‑B has character. People matter – you’re more than what you do. There’s a real sense of pride in being an H‑E‑B Partner.”
“At H‑E‑B there are so many different things you can do, so many different paths you can take, to follow your passion. From my perspective, there’s never a reason to leave H‑E‑B
Esther, Digital Commerce
H-E-B Own Brand
Planning & Analysis
Strategy and Loyalty
Accounting & Tax
Quincy, Director of Corporate Security
What drew me to H-E-B was the commitment to community and the Partners that are an integral part of being able to provide that kind of dedicated service and outreach across Texas. The coolest thing about my job is having a role in protecting our Partners, customers and people that are part of the communities H-E-B serves. It is an amazing responsibility that I take seriously every day.
In my four years at H-E-B, I’ve never experienced anything like the sense of pride in company and community that I see here. At H-E-B, People always come first, and the Partners are a priority. I experienced that first hand when I was part of the response team for Hurricane Harvey victims. Watching the way that H-E-B went above and beyond to provide aid, assistance and support to all affected has been one of the highlights of my career.
I have been able to work on various projects and assignments that have both impacted store and Partners across various areas in H-E-B and beyond. This work is what gives me the motivation to get up in the morning to work. Much of what we do is not able to be measured but, in the end, has a great impact on peoples lives and families.
I have moved with my wife and three daughters several times during my career, before settling here in San Antonio, I fell in love with the city and knew San Antonio would be my new home. Being a Texan is unlike anywhere else. I am proud and honored to work for such an amazing company!
Loss Prevention & Security
H-E-B Own Brand
Beer & Wine
Former Intern – Store Operations
Former Intern – Developer
Sushma, Vice President of Digital Product Management
Mike, Chief Product Officer
Bobby, Facility Leader
I have been with H-E-B for thirty-three years. I started right out of high school as a Potato Bagger in the produce warehouse. Two weeks later, I moved to the Frozen Foods warehouse. My original plan was to work for H-E-B, pay for school, and go into law enforcement. I was going to be a parole officer. Throughout my education, I stayed on with H-E-B. Every break from school, I would come back and work as a lift operator. Once I graduated, I realized that I truly enjoyed working for H-E-B, and took a full time role here.
I was working in Houston, when I needed to move back to San Antonio to be closer to family. H-E-B transferred me to Dispatch, and it was fate, I had found my calling. I immediately fell in love with Transportation! The work touches so many people, I know all the warehouses, stores, vendors, and managers. I get to wear so many hats in my job. I’m never bored because I’m constantly learning something new!
The heart of H-E-B is giving back to the community. This company is constantly doing so much to support the communities we are a part of. Many of my favorite memories working for H-E-B are being involved in programs like the H-E-B cycle team, Cystic Fibrosis Board, Feast of Sharing, and more. I love working for company that encourages and allows its employees to spend time giving back.
When I come to work every day, I feel like I belong and am contributing to the company. So much is invested in Partner’s training and education; it really shows how much H-E-B cares about people. If you want to be exposed to a business where you can learn and grow, from the supply chain to the stores, Transportation at H-E-B is the place you want to be!
Sabino, Order Selector
As an order selector at the San Antonio Refrigerated Warehouse for H-E-B, it’s my job to pull the products for orders we receive from the stores. I stack the product on pallets, wrap the pallets, and set them in front of their designated door to be loaded on to the trucks. Anything you see in the store that’s cold, it came from right here in the refrigerated warehouse!
I have been doing this for twenty-two years, and I still get a sense of pride when I see product that I pulled from the warehouse out in the stores.
I have an evening shift, and on any given night I can pull over ten thousand pounds of product and complete between twenty to thirty orders. It sounds like a lot, but it doesn’t seem like it when you’re going through pulling a little here, a little there. You’re on your own throughout the whole shift, so as long as you are meeting the time limits, you can work at your own pace. I like the job because I really enjoy physical work that keeps me on my feet!
My career with H-E-B has been spent as an Order Selector because I found my passion here, I truly love my job. The thing about H-E-B though, is that you don’t have to stay in the same job. H-E-B is one the greatest companies to work for because there are so many different opportunities, and this is a place where you can grow and find your passion, and your leaders not only support it, they encourage it. I love my job here at H-E-B because I’m around people that care for others!
Chris, Lead Overnight Stocker
As an Overnight Stocker for H-E-B, it’s my job to make sure that all the products get stocked, and placed properly in all the aisles. Most people don’t know the speed at which we have to work throughout the night. People might think overnight stocking is a slow-paced environment, but this job is all about speed, moving quickly, being efficient with your movements, and making sure the job is done right every single time. To be successful at this job, you need to have the desire to learn the store. You must be able to stock any aisle no matter what night it is, so you are constantly learning product placement. Overnight stocking gives you the ability to learn the entire store, not just the grocery department.
The thing I love most about my job is the teamwork. We all work together on every single aisle and we get to know each other inside and out. H-E-B hires people from all walks of life and when you come to work for this company, you become part of a family. My fellow Partners are like my brothers and sisters now! Working together as a team is the biggest thing that motivates everybody here. It makes me love coming to work every single day.
My favorite thing about H-E-B is the ability to move up within the company. They really invest in their people help them to grow and achieve new goals. I plan to continue to build my career here at H-E-B. I’d love to run my own store some day!
I started with H-E-B as a bagger in Waco. I was a high school senior and my first shift was a maintenance shift. I was sweeping floors and taking out trash. From there, I went into a Cashier position and moved from Waco to Austin to attend UT. In Austin, I became a Central Checkout Specialist and then moved into the School of Retail Management (SORL) program. In 2007, I got an internship at the corporate office and started with a team called, Points Club Rewards. I thought that after the internship I would be going back to stores, but there were so many fun and challenging projects that I decided to stay. My first big project was the Valued Partner Perks (VPP) program.
In 2014, I started working more with Information Technology and had the opportunity to become a Solutions Delivery Leader. A couple months later, I started leading our mobile app team and shopper marketing teams. I was then promoted to Director of Information Technology. Being in the stores for seven years and then the marketing division for eight years helped me in a lot of ways. The true value is in the relationships I have made over the years.
I’m in my third career here at H-E-B. In most companies, if you want to do something different, you have to leave. H-E-B is a place where you can have the traditional career path, or you can design your own. If you want to take control and manage what you do within your career, this company is where you can accomplish that. It’s something that H-E-B encourages. I like to solve problems and go onto the next one and I’ve been able to do that with H-E-B for eighteen years! I have never been in a place where I feel like what I’m doing is repetitive.
The thing I love most about H-E-B is the openness of the company! At H-E-B, you really see the open-door policy, where you have access to company leaders and the ability be listened to. For me, that’s important because you never know where the next good idea is going to come from.
Joseph, Software Developer II
H-E-B’s investment in technology is impressive, but their investment in their people far surpasses that. In my role, H-E-B requires that I hold certain certifications. Certifications that they not only pay for, but also give me the time to study for! Plus, we have access to libraries and courses so we can continue to build our skill set, and research new technologies and trends. Technology changes so quickly – if we aren’t five steps ahead then we’re falling behind.
The best part about my job is the variety – you never get pigeonholed, and I’m able to see a project through – from beginning to end – as well as its impact on the customer experience. Our team is cross-trained, so if you don’t know how to do something, you’re going to learn! It’s challenging, but it makes the team so much more agile and better able to serve our customers.
I’ve also fallen in love with San Antonio. Not being from here, I was skeptical. But like H-E-B, San Antonio is friendly, fun, and the food can’t be beat – there is a great mix of trendy restaurants and small, hole in the walls within walking distance of H-E-B’s downtown headquarters.
While I was a student at Texas Lutheran University, I interned at a different company each summer. Upon my first day as an Intern at H-E-B, I fell in love. I met Partners who had grown with the company – they started as a Checker in our stores and are now running projects and departments. I knew I wanted to get a job and build my career here. There aren’t many other places I know of where your first job can turn into a career!
Janise, Food Service Rep
I’ve always loved baking, so when a position in the bakery opened up, I jumped at the opportunity. I worked for five years as a Cashier, which gave me some great experience working with customers, which definitely helps in my job now.
As a Food Service Rep, I get to have a part in every aspect of the bakery. Working in the bakery is not just baking bread! There’s a lot that goes into it! We do everything from the scratch baking, to things like cake decorating, presentation, wrapping, cleaning, and the customer service side of it all. I love working in the bakery because it’s fast-paced and I like being on my feet. I’m never just standing in one place doing the same thing over and over – my tasks are different through the day so shifts go by very fast! Not to mention, it always smells amazing!
So many people come in to the bakery for special occasions. From new babies, to birthdays, to retirements, to engagements, when I help them I feel like I’m small part of the customers special event. It’s a very rewarding feeling!
I love working for H-E-B because of all the friendly people here. We all work together as a team, there’s a nice flow, and it’s a comfortable environment to work in. I always encourage anyone interested to apply here because H-E-B cares about its people. There is a lot of opportunity to move up or try something new. H-E-B is a great company to work for, I’ve been here almost ten years and I’ve never regretted a minute of it!
Josue, Information Security Analyst
When I first applied to H-E-B, I didn’t fully understand how big of a company it was. I certainly was not expecting IT to be as big and diverse as it is! Before working at H-E-B, I had reached a plateau in my career. Honestly, I felt pigeon-holed and wanted to work where there was more opportunity for movement. H-E-B has enabled me to grow both personally and professionally.
In my previous IT jobs, I did very specific security work and every day was the same. As an Information Security Analyst at H-E-B, I work at a project level with different teams as a security liaison. Our team here is involved in helping push out all applications in a secure manner. We aren’t just protecting our customers; we are protecting our Partners as well. H-E-B is constantly innovating to keep up with the speed of the market, and my team gets to be a big part of that. In my role, I get to see what I work on being used in the store. It’s an experience unique to H-E-B.
My favorite experiences have come from the many events that H-E-B organizes for the Partners. I’ve been a part of the softball and kickball leagues, bike rides, marathons, and been given tickets to Spurs games. They’re all events you can bring your kids to and meet others outside your department. I’ve forged a lot of very close friendships in the last seven years working for H-E-B. This is the longest I’ve worked for a company and I have no plans to leave. It’s a great place to work!
Charles, Own Brand Manager
I received both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas State. During that time, I taught communications and always thought that’s what I would keep doing. After I didn’t find a teaching job, I worked in PR for a large company in California. It was there that I developed a passion for wine and worked in the wine industry for six years, doing everything from PR to brand management. When people I knew at H-E-B let me know about a job opportunity, I jumped at the chance. I grew up here, so I was familiar with the quality of H-E-B products and the special connection the company has with the community.
As an Own Brand Manager, I develop and create a brand portfolio of all H-E-B products. The most challenging thing about the job is the standard to which H-E-B holds its products. The most challenging thing about the job, is the standard at which H-E-B holds its products to. If we put an H-E-B logo on a product, it must be as good as, or better than the national product. We do extensive vetting and customer testing to make sure that we live up to our standards, with 100% satisfaction guarantee placed on every product.
H-E-B has passion. There is such a big commitment and dedication to developing great products, and to serve the community. My favorite memories working at H-E-B are of giving back to the community through the Tournament of Champions and helping at the food bank and habitat for humanity. H-E-B really lives its core value of people first.
Trevor, Customer Service Assistant
When I first started, I was surprised by how pleasant everyone was – both the Partners and the customers we serve. Interacting with everyone is definitely the best part of my job.
My whole job is about helping the customers. A Customer Service Assistant at H-E-B helps customers bag their items, take their items to the car, and helps with anything else they might need. My shift is usually six to eight hours here, but it goes by so fast because it’s always busy and the energy is good – it’s not a long day that you dread coming in for. My role has also given me the opportunity to work with other departments, and get a good feeling for the operations of the entire store. Every day there is someone new to talk to and something new to do. It never gets boring here!
One of the things I like most about working for H-E-B is the opportunity they give Partners to learn and grow, and the ability to move up in the company. If you’re looking for a career, this is a great place to start. I plan to go through the leadership development programs here at H-E-B.
I applied at H-E-B because I heard it’s the best place to work and that’s held true since day one. This is a happy place to work!
Leon, Software Developer
I moved to San Antonio in 2007. I attended the University of the Incarnate Word, where I majored in Computer Information Systems. I worked at Central Market through school and had a few internships with different companies. Before graduating in 2012, I found out about the SADC program at H-E-B, applied and got in. It’s specifically for programmers and developers and includes a lot of special training and certifications. It was a great program for me just coming out of college.
I first thought that H-E-B might have an IT department, but that it would be small. I was really surprised by the depth and breadth of IT here. In everything that goes into making the business run, from the warehouse to the stores, IT is helping improve efficiencies and make life easier. My current work is with the Pharmacy pricing area; I’m creating a pricing a tool for the analysts to competitively price prescription and over the counter drugs. H-E-B is always innovating through new technology and apps built from the ground up! It’s awesome that in my role as a developer, I actually get a say in what techs are used to help improve the business.
More than any other company, H-E-B has character. You know when you’re at an H-E-B store and when something is an H-E-B product. I grew up in Washington, shopping at other stores, and when I moved here I instantly recognized the uniqueness of H-E-B. There’s a strong connection to the community. The culture at H-E-B is very friendly. The work itself has a vibe that feels like a family, versus strictly a business. People matter and that’s reflected in the idea of our Partners – you’re more than what you do. There’s a real sense of pride in being an H-E-B Partner.
Kristen, Software Developer
When I arrived at H-E-B for my interview, I was not only blown away by how friendly and genuinely happy everyone was, but also by how big the IT department is and H-E-B’s investment in technology. Growing up in San Antonio, I was familiar with H-E-B and their involvement in the community, but it wasn’t until a professor of mine suggested I apply for a developer position, that I even gave thought to beginning my career with them. Once I joined, I quickly learned that IT plays a critical role in keeping an organization the size of ours running and that we’re constantly innovating.
My work at H-E-B is anything but boring. Typically as a developer, your focus is on one small aspect of the project. Here, I have the opportunity to work front-end to back-end, and be a full stack developer. Plus, I get to work on so many new and different technologies – it’s never the same day in and day out – which can be a challenge, but keeps me learning and that’s incredibly rewarding!
Even more rewarding is how we are encouraged to spend time giving back to the community. As a female in Tech, it’s important to me that young girls know the opportunities available to them in STEM careers. Recently, I was part of a group of female developers that visited with the girls at Girls, Inc. and shared some of our knowledge with them – it was so amazing to see the excitement the girls had for technology. I felt so blessed to be able to share that with them and to be a part of a company who truly cares for people and our future generations. Everything we do at H-E-B is for people, and making other’s lives better.
I LOVE my job at H-E-B!
Cesar, Director of Leadership Development (former Store Director)
Initially, I was attracted to the company in college. H-E-B came on campus at UTSA and I went to one of the info sessions. Honestly, it was there that I fell in love with the culture. I remember telling the recruiters I was going to work for the company someday, I just needed to find my niche. H-E-B is an awesome company, but it’s important to understand what gets you going in the morning. Once you find what that thing is, we can find a home for you in the company.
I first started with H-E-B in the Manufacturing division. While I loved it, I started to think of what I was passionate about and what really excited me was helping the Partners, building talent, connecting with people, and running a business. I thought about what I wanted to do with my life long-term, and it led me to the stores. I knew that’s where my heart wanted me to be. I now have the pleasure of leading this store here, downtown!
In our company, you don’t have to leave the company to have multiple careers. You can go from the manufacturing division, to working with customers and Partners in the store, to working on an advertising project in the Arsenal (H-E-B Headquarters). It’s amazing! You have the opportunity to really hone in on what you’re passionate about, but still stay with the company that takes care of the community and connects with our Partners on a deep level.
What I enjoy most about H-E-B is we never hesitate to do the right thing, we don’t think twice. I love that we do what’s right in the community and what’s right for our Partners. The most rewarding aspect of my career is spending time with a Partner or manager helping them achieve their goals. I found my passion and something that I feel is not a job. I can’t imagine doing anything else, I’m living the dream right now!
Martin, Technology Leader, Corpus Christi Bakery
My first exposure to manufacturing was during summer internships, while getting my master’s degree in mechanical engineering. After graduating in 2008, I spent over five years with that same company I interned with. I worked as a process engineer on some of the biggest projects I’ve done in my career and I felt like I had a bright future there. However, the job was in Louisiana, and my wife and I wanted to be closer to family back in Texas.
I initially had no idea that H-E-B had manufacturing plants. A former co-worker had just started with H-E-B and he was the first to tell me about it. After that, I was able to find an opportunity and I started at the Houston bakery as maintenance team leader. Prior to coming H-E-B, I had zero food manufacturing experience. My time in Houston really helped prepare me for my current role at the Corpus Christi bakery.
My job encompasses a lot here. I’m responsible for a broad range of engineering work, but it’s not just an engineering role, I get to lead people. This job is more hands-on with people than any other engineering job in my previous experience. H-E-B invests a lot in training and developing leaders. As a result, I’m part of a great leadership team and working here has been the best experience of my career!
H-E-B is a caring company. After Hurricane Harvey hit, I really saw the Spirit of H-E-B in action. Serving the communities hit by the hurricane was a very special time for me. We have a duty to our community and H-E-B takes that responsibility seriously. It’s like no other company!
Catherine, Project Manager
I started with H-E-B in Houston in our dry grocery facility. I first came in as an Operations Leader, supporting shipping, receiving, and inventory teams there. After that, I worked with our transportation team, supporting the delivery operations. I moved to San Antonio as a business development leader with our transportation teams. A short time later, I joined the continuous improvement and design team as a project manager, supporting supply chains initiatives. In my current role, l still get to work with our warehouse and transportation teams to improve efficiencies from an end to end perspective.
An average day in my job takes me all over the place! I could be at a store observing a current process or change we made. Last week, I walked three different warehouses in three different cities, talking through a new project that’s going to be launching. I am always giving presentations or having meetings with various stakeholders. I am so blessed to get to work with merchants, warehousing, and transportation!
At H-E-B, there are so many different things you can do. One of the things that I’m attracted to about the company is all the paths you can take to follow your passion. From my perspective, there’s never a reason to leave H-E-B. You will find so many people who have done a lot of different things within the company. My path was from warehousing and transportation to retail and project management. What’s great is that H-E-B allows and encourages that movement!
Many parts of my career have been rewarding, but most recently it was supporting Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. The amazing people I work with is the what I love the most about my job. H-E-B is such a great company to work for! At the end of the day, we all have the shared goal of helping our Partners, our customers, and our community.
Kedar, Director, Digital Commerce Fulfillment & Innovation
My consulting job after college provided experience in multiple industries all over the world. When I moved to San Antonio and started a family, my wife, who was from here, encouraged me to work for H-E-B. Initially, I only intended to stay a short time and was extremely naïve about all that goes into being successful at selling groceries. Within six months, I was hooked and super happy to be here. I have been with H-E-B for twelve years since then and I have no intentions of ever leaving!
The span of what we work on in E-Commerce surprises most people. We work on curbside, ship to home, home delivery, and we are always learning new technology to test the waters with. E-Commerce is very dynamic and what holds true today will not be the case in three, to twelve months. We must understand the innovation happening in the field today and try to look eighteen to twenty-four months ahead.
H-E-B is an aspirational company that asks, “Where can we go?” We work on large tech projects that require multiple departments working together. Collaboration between so many departments can sometimes require more upfront work, but it pays dividends when you’re looking to go live. It prevents issues and the collaborative environment leads to everyone pitching in to get a new concept off the ground.
I love working for H-E-B because there is no defined career path and I have always been encouraged by my bosses and the senior leadership team to explore new ideas. I was brought in to do a very specific task and I ended up in a job where I’m being asked to do things that other retailers have not even come across yet. We get a blank sheet of paper and sit down with industrial engineers, operators, developers, we try anything and the best idea wins. It’s the greatest job in the world!
Karen, Finance Manager - E-Commerce
Growing up in Texas, one can’t help but be familiar with H-E-B. I always thought that they were a great company, so when I graduated from Texas A&M and accepted a job with them in their Planning & Analysis department, I was elated!
I first came on to support our Warehousing & Transportation side of the business, but part of what I love at H-E-B, is that if you have a desire to move around and experience different parts of the business, you can! In my time with the company, I’ve worked with Buyers, the store operations side, and it’s my background at H-E-B – the knowledge I’ve gained and the relationships I’ve formed – that has really given me a great foundation for my current role. It taught me how we work, how we get product into the hands of our customers, and all of the financials that go into that. E-Commerce is an area that is rapidly growing and changing, so having that basic knowledge to fall back on is key and helps give me context to operate from.
We have a lot going on in E-Commerce! Right now one of the projects I’m involved in is our curbside business, where our customers can order their groceries online and pick them up at the store – without ever having to get out of their cars! And now we’re working on at-home delivery, too! It’s amazing how we’re constantly striving to better meet the needs of our customers, and given how large we are, how quickly we can adapt.
I’m having so much fun at H-E-B, I don’t have an average day. I could be in a meeting with top leaders one day, and learning new technologies the next (which is so crazy to me since I have a Finance degree) – it’s so dynamic and changes so often, I can’t imagine going anywhere else!
Mari, Customer Service Lead
While working in another department, I got my cosmetology license, so when I heard about the opening in Beauty, I knew that it was exactly where I wanted to be! I’m truly in my element here! At H-E-B, we are always keeping up with new trends and new techniques in the beauty industry. I have been here five years and there’s still something new to learn every day.
As a Customer Service Lead in Beauty, I make sure that the department looks nice and welcoming to customers. We don’t just put products on the shelves – we do the ordering, the reports… but most of all we must have knowledge of the products we sell. Our goal is to help customers, so we aren’t just selling you a product, we are helping you find the best product that meet your needs, and to help you feel your most beautiful!
The customers at H-E-B are great, helping them is my favorite part of my job. I am always meeting different types of people, every day there are new faces with new needs. Through my interactions with so many customers, I am constantly learning from them and improving my knowledge and ability to help more people. Our goal is to help customers, so we aren’t just selling you a product, we are helping you to find the best products that meet your needs, and to help you feel your most beautiful!
My nine-hour shifts go by so fast because I really love what I do! I am currently getting my bachelor’s degree in marketing and I see myself staying here with H-E-B after I graduate. This company gives so many opportunities to grow, I want to stay for as long as I can!
Amber, Software Developer II
Growing up in a military family, I had the fortune to live all over the United States. It wasn’t until my father retired to San Antonio, that I first learned about H-E-B. I remember thinking that it was pretty cool that they were so customer oriented and tailored to the neighborhoods they were in.
A good friend of mine, and fellow student at the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA), got hired on as a Developer as a part of the SADC program – a learning and development program that puts you on the fast track to Sr. Developer – and encouraged me to apply. I’m so happy I did!
In the SADC program I’m encouraged to learn, to find new ways of doing things – outside the box of how H-E-B has always done them. I’ve toured our Warehousing and Manufacturing facilities. I’ve even had the opportunity to go work in a store so that I can see first-hand and understand the challenges our customers and fellow Partners face on a daily basis.
During my time at H-E-B, I’ve worked on projects for multiple lines of business – for our internal customers (other departments), and external-facing ones, as well. It’s challenging, but that’s part of what keeps it exciting – I’m never bored! It’s truly fascinating how many areas and people it takes to keep a grocery company as large as our operating! Equally as impressive is H-E-B’s investment in technology. Before I came to work here, I had no idea how large the IT department was!
Regardless of our role or department, the one thing that binds all Partners together is passion – passion for the work, and passion for serving our customers. We truly do care about making the lives of Texans better!
I’ve always been a people person, so when I was looking for a change in careers, I thought being a Cashier at H-E-B would be fun. I was right – but I had no idea just how fun it really would be! I have been a cashier with H-E-B for five years now. Cashiers are responsible for scanning items properly and giving excellent customer service. In this job you need to be friendly, easy to talk to, and helpful.
My favorite part of being a Cashier is speaking and engaging with the customer. In fact, I have formed many relationships with the people who come through my aisle. All the new, friendly faces I get to meet every day make this job so much fun.
What has surprised me, is just how much I have learned about the entire store! Cashiers need to know about every item in every department, from PLU’s to location of the products. This role gives a lot of insight in the operations of our stores.
I like being a part of something big, so working at and being a part of the biggest store in Texas is a very special experience for me. I would never have guessed that being a Cashier at H-E-B would end up being the best experience of my professional career! I love my job, I don’t want to be anywhere else, and I hope to retire from H-E-B. It really is more than a store.
Edgar, Graphic Designer
At the age of 18, I moved to Austin to attend Texas State. I first worked for H-E-B as a Bagger, and then worked in a few other departments around the store; the gas station, showtime, and healthy living. It was during my time in healthy living, that a regional leader in Austin approached me about the corporate internship program, after seeing my signage inside the store.
I really loved my internship with the Digital Marketing Team! I got to meet and make relationships with people in all areas of the company. Plus, living here those ten-weeks opened my eyes to all that the city of San Antonio has to offer. It’s a very friendly and walkable city with a strong, prominent Hispanic culture. A week after completing the internship, I had the opportunity join the team. I now live downtown where I walk to work, run on the Riverwalk, enjoy art, and reconnect with my culture!
I have a ton of fun at my job! It really surprised me how involved we are on the whole project and in all communication vehicles, versus just being responsible for one. My role is always evolving to meet different needs, I’m never doing the same things. As a result, I get to do things outside what a designer in a typical agency would do. It’s challenging but it makes my job rewarding. At H-E-B, you really have the support to try things out of the realm of what we’re currently doing. It’s unique to have leaders encourage experimenting like that.
Judi, Director of Advertising, Hispanic Marketing
If there’s one important point I can make about working for H-E-B, it’s that with hard work and faith in oneself, anything is possible. How do I know? As the lead for our Hispanic and Houston marketing efforts, I’m proof.
When I started my career at H-E-B, I was the Executive Administrator to the Chief Marketing Officer. From there I worked my way up to Account Manager, Senior Account Manager, and Account Supervisor before being promoted to my current position as Director of Advertising. While having an understanding of the field of marketing was an essential part of my career, my real-life experience and willingness to work hard played a crucial role in getting me to where I am today.
Along the way, H-E-B has nurtured me, giving me incredible opportunities like the Women in Leadership class where I learned the importance of asking the right questions. For me, that means continually searching for creative ways to reach our customers. I always ask myself and my team how we can have an impact or make something even better. H-E-B is also where I met my husband! He was a Partner, and we were set up on a blind date. Now, we have three beautiful girls.
One of the best parts of my job is working on the Houston Texans and San Antonio Spurs commercials. Ever since I was a little girl, the love of sports was something my father and I shared. Even today we text each other on Sundays to kid about how our favorite football teams are doing. I also love heading up our Hispanic Marketing efforts. This is something that’s very near and dear to my heart because I grew up in Brownsville, so everything has come full circle for me, so to speak.
Looking back, I’m humbled by how far I’ve come…from a little girl playing sports with my father in Brownsville to planning the grand opening of our 92,000 sq.ft. store in Houston’s Heights community. Equally important, I’m thankful to the H-E-B leaders who opened doors for me and feel blessed that I had the conviction to walk thru them.
Ina, Pharmacy Business Development Manager (BDM)
I came to H-E-B 19 years ago as a pharmacy technician after working in the same position at one of our competitors. One of the first things I noticed about H-E-B was how invested they were in making sure that they had the staff to help the customer, and how they went above and beyond to make the customer happy. It was a very different culture from my prior work experience.
After six years in the pharmacy, I came over to the corporate side and I am now over our branded pharmaceuticals and specialty pharmacy. I look for opportunities where we can partner with drug manufacturers to support our customers through educational programs, cost saving programs and more. The most challenging aspect of my job is making sure that manufacturers are aware of our specialty pharmacy. It is just five years old and I work to make sure that the manufacturers of limited distribution specialty drug products understand our culture of customer service and include us in their network. We want to be able to service our patients and customers with whatever prescription they have and at whatever disease state they are in. Getting into the limited distribution networks allows us to do that at 100 percent.
That culture of customer service is so strong that it has made H-E-B more than just a grocery or pharmacy—it is part of the community. From sponsorships of sports teams to helping local charities and non profit organizations, the name H-E-B comes up in conversations a lot—and for so much more than just shopping needs. For example, one of my favorite experiences at H-E-B is participating in the Tournament of Champions where we go out into the community and volunteer by planting trees, painting gymnasiums and more. The people I would with are a big part of my life and I consider them more like family.
I grew up here in San Antonio and I love the fact that it is a large city, but without the hustle and bustle of Houston or Dallas. San Antonio has its own unique culture and history that makes it special, and H-E-B is a larger part of that.
Sydney, Sensory and Customer Research Analyst
At H-E-B we want to make sure that the product we are putting on our shelves is the best product we can put out. As a sensory and consumer research analyst, I get to be part of consumer testing in order to make sure that happens. I help the development team test products with customers and get feedback to make sure we are putting our name on products that our customers will ultimately love.
I grew up in San Antonio, so H-E-B has always felt more like “home” than a grocery store. I knew all the people and products in my neighborhood store, and now being able to help develop those products is like coming full circle. I started my career here as an intern in the customer insight center and after graduating from college I applied for the full time position I have now. And, as much as H-E-B was a part of my life growing up, you don’t really understand the impact the company has until you work here. As an intern, I learned that H-E-B is so much more than a name on a package. This is a company that has its hands in pretty much everything in the community. They bring people together on so many levels; it’s like a big family.
The corporate culture is diverse and exciting. From the cashiers to the Vice Presidents, H-E-B treats its Partners very well, which results in a pride and passion for the work we do. As a Partner, you get excited about coming to work every day.
One of the things that surprised me the most about my job was how long it takes for a product to go from the drawing board to the shelf. We are constantly doing research and updating testing methods in order to get customer results back in the most efficient and quickest way without sacrificing quality.
When I’m not in store testing products, I enjoy taking advantage of all that my hometown has to offer. There is always something new going on and I love exploring and finding things I never knew existed. There are so many fun activities at the Pearl like the summer movie nights on the lawn, and so many wonderful new restaurants popping up. It really is a wonderful and culturally diverse place to live—and H-E-B is at the heart of it.
Elissa, Strategy and Loyalty Product Owner
All those yellow and digital coupons that you use at H-E-B? My team is responsible for those. As the Product Owner for Coupons, it is my job to prioritize the technical enhancements needed to make things better and faster for our customers. Our challenge is to make digital coupons more user friendly—especially to the customer who may not be as “tech savvy.”
We do a lot of things that change the way technology works. One of our biggest wins, for example, is putting a barcode right in the H-E-B App so that customers don’t have to enter their phone number and PIN at the register to activate their digital coupons. The cashier can simply scan the bar code from the APP and all the discounts will apply.
I’ve been with H-E-B for six years and what I’ve noticed during that time is how smart and resourceful our Partners are. They are skilled in finding creative solutions and keeping the focus on the customer.
I graduated from St. Mary’s University with a degree in communications, so if you had told me five years ago that I would be working in a technical capacity, I wouldn’t have believed you. But my job challenges me and I enjoy it in a way I never dreamed possible, primarily because of the H-E-B culture. This is a people centered company. Regardless of where you are in the organization, people are at the front and center of everything H-E-B does. There is a concerted effort to give back to the community and I don’t think that is something you find everywhere.
Sandra, Data Scientist
My most fulfilling work comes from doing something that has an impact on the people around me. My goal was to find a company whose values aligned with mine. H-E-B is that company.
Prior to coming to H-E-B ten months ago, I worked as a Data Analyst in the Oil and Gas industry in Houston where it could take months to see the impact of the research. As a Data Scientist with H-E-B, I can work with customer data, but also see the effects of the work beyond the company in real time. My role is to serve as an internal consultant to our Business Development Managers, and provide them with analysis on a variety of products through data collected when a customer checks out at the register. It’s exciting when I walk into an H-E-B store and see how what I do on a daily basis is reflected in the data.
One of the things that has impressed me the most about H-E-B in the short time I’ve worked here is their commitment. As a Partner, I can see the commitment to the customer reflected in everything we do. As a customer, I know that H-E-B is committed to providing me with the best products possible. And, as a member of the community, I know that H-E-B is committed to helping the communities it serves. Prior to moving here last year, I lived in Houston and saw first hand how H-E-B came to the aid of those in need during Hurricane Harvey. And the company encourages Partners to join in those community efforts by offering volunteer opportunities with several area non-profits. I volunteer with Meals on Wheels through H-E-B, and I am personally involved with the Children’s Hunger Fund. Lack of food is a problem and I feel like it is the one thing everyone should be able to have.
The culture of H-E-B is “my brother’s keeper.” The employees are truly Partners who care about one another and want to see everyone be the best they can be at what they do. It’s a special place to be.
Sydney, Own Brand Package and Design
I may have only been with H-E-B for less than two years, but I’ve been an H-E-B customer since my family moved to San Antonio when I was ten-years-old. I’ve always loved shopping at H-E-B and appreciated the variety of products they offered. So when I had the opportunity to be involved with designing the packaging for some of those products, I knew it was a perfect fit for me.
Own Brand products are products that H-E-B produces and sells like Hill Country Fair, Creamy Creations, Meal Simple, Heritage Ranch pet food, and more. What’s cool about my job is that my team gets to touch these projects from beginning to end. We go out and talk to customers and get their feedback on how they shop a particular category, and what makes them choose a product. Then we figure out how we can communicate that through packaging so that the customer walks away with an H-E-B brand item. The challenge for us is that we have customers of all ages and from all walks of life, and we have to design packaging that speaks to everyone.
We get to think outside the box—sometimes literally. When my team was tasked with designing the packaging for our H-E-B Wicked Thin Cookies, we wanted to print on a certain paper but we couldn’t find it, so we ended up printing on the reverse side of the box to create the look and feel we wanted.
One of my favorite things about working at H-E-B is how invested the company is in Partners (employees). We have great benefits, PartnerShare, and Partner stock options. But more than that, we are given plenty of opportunities for growth and development, and clear career paths. There is so much support and encouragement, as well as synergy between departments to work together to put a product out there that we believe is great.
I also love the location of our offices. We are near the Blue Star Art Complex and the King William neighborhood in the heart of downtown San Antonio. Every First Friday and Second Saturday of the month, there are food trucks, art walks, musicians and more, making it one of the coolest places in the city to hang out.
Andrew, Director of Tax
A love for accounting and tax runs in my family. My dad was an accountant too and I did my first tax return before completing college (even in high school). During college, my Federal Tax professor was in the same building as a Big 4 consulting firm and referred me to them. I ended up getting a full-time position in tax consulting there and that’s what I do today at H-E-B as the Director of Tax.
I first heard about how awesome of a company H-E-B was from an old KPMG colleague I would have lunch with from time to time. Eventually he mentioned that he was taking a new role in the tax department and told me that I should apply. I got the job and have worked here ever since.
With tax, you are always trying to solve for the changing world and the business is evolving faster than it ever has. This challenge is amplified because H-E-B is a business with many forms of businesses. We aren’t just a retailer. We’re a manufacturer, a transportation company, an employer, a multichannel delivery company, and much more.
More than anything, H-E-B is a very good corporate citizen and likes to do what is right. We have Partners who are highly motivated and happy to come to work everyday to create a positive and collaborative experience. Competitors can copy our processes, but not our spirit.
Gia, Human Resource Manager
I love working for H-E-B because when it counts, we get it right.
As an HR Manager in Corporate, it’s my job to be there for our Partners (employees) when and where they need me. There isn’t really a timeline that goes with that. It can be anything from career advice and mentoring to helping a Partner through a crisis by sitting with them at the hospital. That’s what surprised me most about this role – all of the things HR does behind the scenes for Partners that nobody ever knows about. You wouldn’t know it unless you walked through it, and that’s what truly makes working in HR at H-E-B different.
When I moved to San Antonio in 2001, I was working in live television; primarily as a stage manager for NBA games. Television taught me a lot, but it is an environment where you make or break it everyday. There’s no loyalty and no one is trying to develop you into the best version of yourself. I knew that I wanted to go back to school and finish my degree, and I wanted to have a career – someplace with purpose, with work that was important to me. At the time, I had a friend working at H-E-B who suggested that I apply.
When I started at H-E-B, I was an Administrative Assistant in the Advertising Department. Making the switch from live TV to Advertising was easy because they both run at a similar pace. The difference is while I was at H-E-B, I was able to work and go back to school to complete my degree at The University of the Incarnate Word. After a year in Advertising, I moved to compensation where I worked for five years before my move to Corporate HR.
Over the last four years, we’ve added new capabilities to our department in addition to traditional HR work. I have had the opportunity to do a significant amount of project work like organizational reviews and work design. I get to evaluate people, process and technologies and will soon do that for total company.
One of my coolest experiences as a Partner was traveling around Texas with our crew and drivers to host our Feast of Sharing dinners. Not growing up in Texas, it made me wonder what Texas would be if H-E-B never existed.
Jennifer, Corporate Attorney
I come from a retail family. My dad retired from a major retailer and my brother is the Director of Sales for a national footwear brand. So even though I’m a lawyer, I’m not surprised that I ended up working in retail too.
I went to school in the northeast but I came home to Texas for grad school. Eventually, I got a job at a Law Firm in San Antonio and H-E-B was one of my clients. I always enjoyed working with the people from H-E-B and a former colleague, who now works at H-E-B, told me a position was available. When you work for a law firm and you have an in house opportunity for a company you admire end enjoy working with, you jump at it!
Partners at H-E-B are highly competitive and very driven, but we are passionate about the company’s mission and we never lose sight of people. I’ve been service minded all of my life and I feel like that is encouraged here more than at other companies where I’ve worked. I’ve had opportunities to serve with the Symphony Board, Leadership San Antonio Steering Committee (twice), Young Men’s Service League, San Antonio Food Bank, and Haven for Hope.
The biggest difference between working at a firm and working in house is that you only have one client. You have to learn new areas of the business and learn them on the fly. You really have to be a generalist and go where the business takes you. When I started at H-E-B, I was focused on reviewing IT software licensing agreements and customer facing technology policies. Between when I started and now, the needs of IT have changed dramatically and my role has grown to support Benefits, Treasury, HR, Data Science, Digital Marketing, Privacy, and Data Security.
The great thing about having one client is that you have a shared destiny with the people you work with. You get to see the legal work you do play out for the customer in the stores or company expansion. You get to live the journey with the business team, which you don’t get to do when you work for a firm – you move on to the next project. It’s also great to get the unsolicited positive comments from family, friends, or someone you just met when you tell them you work for H-E-B. I worked on the H-E-B 2 U Curbside project and I’ve heard so many times how life-changing the service is to so many Texans. When you get caught up in the day to day of meeting deadlines, it makes me feel like what I’m doing really does make a difference.
I’ve lived in many different states and cities across the US, but Texas and San Antonio always felt like home. There has always been a draw to the city because I have family and friends here and it doesn’t have the crazy traffic I’ve experienced in other cities. There is also an indescribable spirit to the San Antonio community and it’s a great place to raise my son. He is involved in sports so my weekends consist of serving as an Athletics Booster for his school. In addition to high school sports, I enjoy the San Antonio arts scene. The Museum of Art, The Tobin Center, the symphony, and the opera all provide wonderful experiences. There are also great parks like Hardberger and fun day trips to state parks, Austin, Fredericksburg, the Hill Country, and the beach.
Julie, Public Affairs Manager
H-E-B is a company with personality and it’s really a cultural phenomenon. We blend into other parts of people’s lives because of our history, our community involvement, and the things we do that are outside the scope of a retailer. We’re ingrained into the fabric of the state in a way that few other companies are. We are a part of people’s everyday lives and we are also part of a culture that makes people feel good and proud to be a Texan.
The relief we provided during Hurricane Harvey is an excellent example of this, and one of the most humbling things I’ve ever been a part of. I was with the team traveling and sleeping in an 18-wheeler for two weeks and helping people when they needed it most. It isn’t every day that you’re given the opportunity and resources to help volumes of people that quickly.
The best part of my job is managing charitable giving, but it is also the most challenging. When you realize that you are the steward for the company’s hard earned money and responsible for how it is invested back into the community, and then you see how many needs there actually are---it can be pretty overwhelming. You want to make sure that every dollar is used in the most impactful way possible.
The biggest challenge facing my department is how to retain a high level of customer loyalty in an ever-evolving industry. From a public relations perspective, the field is changing every second and you have to stay relevant at a breakneck pace. You have to listen to what customers and Partners think is important and how they want to receive their information. We’re using H-E-B Newsroom to help us tell our story and communicate with these audiences.
Growing up in San Antonio, H-E-B has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. There is a fanatical pride in working for H-E-B, but it’s also paired with a restless dissatisfaction that causes us to continually ask ourselves, “how can we do it better?” I think that’s why we are so successful.
Lisa, Manager Communications and Events
What surprised me most about working at H-E-B is how my role has constantly evolved and I have been able to grow and change my career path without ever leaving the communications department. Today, I am the Manager of Communication and Events. This job didn’t exist nine years ago. It developed over time in conjunction with the needs of the business. My team is responsible for all internal corporate events like total company meetings and the technology that supports communication with our Partners. In addition to this, we are also responsible for recognition initiatives at our corporate office.
The biggest challenge in working in the Communications department at H-E-B is that you have so many audiences you are trying to reach and it’s not a one size fits all where communication is concerned. We have a lot of non-desk Partners in our stores and supply chain areas who don’t sit at computers all day, so finding a way to reach them where they are is important. We’ve added and are improving a lot of our communication vehicles like text messaging and our Partner App to be able to get them the information they need when they need it.
A definite highlight of my career at H-E-B is working on the team that launched our Partner Stock Program in 2015. I was in charge of our first Total Company Meeting in 16 years, so I knew something big was happening. Eventually, I was let in on the secret and I was blown away not only by the generosity of our Leaders, but also by what the stock plan would do for Partners - how it would change their lives. I still remember being in the room when the Stock Plan was announced. Partners cheered and rang their cowbells (yes, we give those out at events). It was great to be part of the planning team and to witness 1,800 of our Leaders hearing about it for the first time.
In addition to H-E-B being a great company to work for, it’s located in San Antonio. I went to college in San Antonio, but I never really left the bubble of my university to explore the city until I moved back many years ago. I love the pace of San Antonio. It’s a big city, but it’s still approachable and great for families, and you don’t have to valet or get dressed up to go to the movies. On top of that, you’re only an hour from the hill country or a couple of hours from the coast. I love spending time exploring the city with my husband and our three kids.
Courtney, Business Development Manager for Ice Cream, Novelties, and Frozen Desserts
One of the greatest things to me about working at H-E-B is the fact that you can explore many different career paths, all within one organization. When I left a job with a Fortune 500 company in Chicago to come to H-E-B 10 years ago, I had already completed two summer internships with the company in the Grocery Procurement division, and I knew that I wanted to be part of this culture. Why? Because H-E-B has soul. It’s more than a company, it is a living, breathing entity with a way of being that’s hard to describe if you haven’t experienced it. It’s something you can feel, and it means something to be a Partner here.
I started my career in the role of an Optimization Analyst. I worked with the Business Development Managers across grocery, general merchandise, and drugstore to create pricing strategies. From there, I worked as a Financial Analyst and Project Manager for the President of the San Antonio Food and Drug Division, then moved to the Advertising department as an Account Manager, before finally returning to Grocery Procurement where I am today.
As the Business Development Manager (BDM) of Ice Cream, Novelties and Frozen Desserts my job is unique in that I get to manage and set the strategies for the next five years on my products. It involves a lot of analysis on where the business is moving and the products that we need to have in place for the future. The challenge is that we always have to make sure we are staying on the cutting edge of trends and satisfying customer demands in our lines of business. Redesigning lines, introducing new lines, and keeping our fingers on the pulse of what’s going on via trade shows, social media and more is imperative.
One example of this that I am most proud of is the relaunch of our H-E-B Creamy Creations brand ice cream. It took a plethora of people, but it is the biggest thing I’ve done in my career. Since the new packaging launch the brand is performing exceptionally well. Part of what made that project so special was getting to know the Partners in our ice cream plant. They are the MVPs at what they do and they put the soul back into the equation.
When I’m not tasting ice cream (a big job perk!), I’m exploring all the other foods our city has to offer. I love checking out new restaurants and getting to know the people who are doing cool and interesting things in San Antonio. I live downtown with my two shih-tzus, and there is always something fun going on including a great art scene.
San Antonio is a big city, but it’s easy to get connected in your community so it has more of a small town feel. I’m extremely passionate about animals and I serve on the board for The Animal Defense League of Texas.
Being able to explore such a diverse career path with H-E-B has been a rewarding experience. It’s a challenge because my job is ever changing and every day there are things I don’t get done. But at the end of the day, when you see the work you’ve done come to life on the shelf, it makes it all worth it.
Jody, Vice President of Sourcing
Fresh out of graduate school at Texas A&M, I turned down a job offer from H-E-B in order to travel to South America and work on a ranch in Paraguay. Undeterred, the Recruiter tracked me down and sent a typewritten letter addressed to the capital of Paraguay offering me a job upon my return to the states. When the letter found its way to me, I was so impressed that I accepted and returned to work for H-E-B one year later. That was 29 years ago.
Over the course of those 29 years I have done everything from driving trucks to working as a Project Manager, and a Store Leader, before landing in my current position as the Director of Sourcing in our Global Sourcing Department where my team and I serve as a modern day Marco Polo. We are food adventurers, traveling the world to find the latest and greatest new global or local food trend and bringing it to the H-E-B customer. We are students of the marketplace, staying relevant by going to farmer’s markets both here and abroad and by reading and watching social media and apps to see what’s trending. Living and working in a global marketplace is challenging because a natural disaster that happens thousands of miles away can affect us locally in terms of supply and we have to be on top of that daily.
One of the most innovative things we do, however, happens locally with our Quest for Texas Best contest. Through this program, we work with many small entrepreneurs including women, minority, and veteran owned businesses to bring their products to the marketplace in a fun, innovative way. As someone who grew up on a ranch in South Texas, I know how life changing this can be for our local friends and neighbors.
Changing lives is something that H-E-B does well, and at many levels. As the Top Store Leader in Eagle Pass, I remember cashing payroll checks and every Partner asked me to put aside a portion of his or her check for Rosie, a Partner who was staying at the Ronald McDonald House while her child was in the hospital. I was so moved by these people who were willing to give their hard earned money to help another Partner in need, and even more impressed when I found out that H-E-B would match their efforts. I think that’s what makes us so different. Our Partners are like-minded with a commitment to help others and do the right thing. In a word, H-E-B is a company with heart, and it translates to everything we do, whether we are offering emergency relief to our communities in times of disaster, or making a difference in the lives of a farmer in Peru. It’s a culture and a way of life that knows no boundaries.
Mark, Senior Civil Engineer
My dad spent his entire career working at H-E-B, so you could say it’s in my blood. I grew up seeing the culture firsthand and how good the company is to its employees. After graduating from Texas A&M with a Master’s in civil/structural engineering, I worked for a local structural engineering firm for 8 years before jumping at the opportunity to be part of the H-E-B team two years ago.
What drew me here was the people. They genuinely care about helping others, and you can see it. If someone doesn’t have the answer to your question, they will find you the person who does. Everyone is willing to help each other out. Nowhere was that more evident than during Hurricane Harvey, when everyone at the corporate level dropped what they were doing and went to work in the stores, bagging groceries, collecting carts, picking up trash--whatever needed to be done, they all pitched in and did it. That’s not something you see everywhere.
My primary role at H-E-B is site planning for new stores and major expansions, ensuring that whatever we are planning fits within the real estate boundaries that we have been provided. Some of our new stores have parking garage structures, and we have created a set of standards that allows customers to feel comfortable navigating and parking in a garage system not normally found in a grocery store setting.
As the only structural engineer on our team, I’ve had some amazing opportunities including designing structural drawings in-house, which is pretty innovative, and keeps us up to speed on codes and standards. I work closely with our Curbside team created a calculator that will help anyone quickly design a Curbside for future stores by simply entering data into a spreadsheet. It’s cool to be part of such a cutting edge area of H-E-B business.
One of my favorite things about working at H-E-B, besides the people, is the location. Our corporate headquarters are situated on the banks of the San Antonio River, and I like taking my lunch outside and enjoying the beauty of the River Walk and downtown San Antonio.
Amadeus, Facility Designer
As the landscape of retail shopping continues to change, my job as a Facility Designer is to design the next generation of stores for the next generation of H-E-B shoppers. I work on remodels, major expansions, new departments, and new stores, keeping in mind that people shop differently now and they want different experiences than what we have designed in the past. We are constantly researching trends and attending design and technology conferences to see what new resources are out there that can help us stay efficient and keep up with the speed of delivery and accuracy of information that is needed to build a store.
Even in my previous design careers with other companies, I’ve always been drawn to retail projects because there is an element of psychology when you are designing a space that is meant to attract people to buy things. It is a fast paced environment—we are always trying to stay one step ahead of the competition. But it’s special because you get to see your design come to life and watch it work in the real world and see how the customers react to it and experience it. I get to collaborate with different Partners and departments to create the best customer experience for the best retail company in the world. I’ve even incorporated real-time walkthroughs of 3D model buildings, along with Virtual Reality experiences of our designs.
I grew up on a ranch in Del Rio, and my parents were both teachers. That’s why I admire the way H-E-B helps our communities through education. I have never seen another company highlight and celebrate our teachers and educators the way H-E-B does. My mom was a recipient of the H-E-B Lifetime Achievement for Excellence in Education Award and I really appreciate that our company puts the spotlight on those who are truly shaping the minds of our future.
Working at H-E-B feels like working for one big family. You feel like you are part of something and that what you are doing matters. And we have fun with Partner activities like the H-E-B Got Talent contest, which I won in 2013 and got to meet Mr. Butt.
As Partners, we are encouraged to be active in the community and I have participated in CANstruction a competition between local design firms where we create structures out of cans to benefit the San Antonio Food Bank. I am an avid gamer and I participate in Extra Life, a program that raises money to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals through marathon gaming.
San Antonio is a big city with a small town feel. It is rich, diverse and full of life, celebrating its heritage through events like Fiesta and the Texas Folklife Festival. The culture is what I like best about the city—and H-E-B is a big part of that.
Peter, Construction Program Leader
I came to the United States from Poland at the age of 21 to find freedom and opportunities—which I did with H-E-B. For the past 11 years I have worked in different positions starting as a Construction Supervisor overseeing a smaller scope of construction projects, Fixture and Equipment Acquisition Team Leader to my current role as Construction Program Leader overseeing construction activities within the Houston Food Drug Division.
When I first arrived in the U.S., I lived in Long Island, New York where I attended community college and took classes on the weekends to learn English. After 9/11, my wife and I came to San Antonio to visit a friend who was stationed here with the military, and we fell in love with the friendly, multicultural city. After I completed my degree, we moved here, and I began working at H-E-B two years later.
What I love about my job is that I get to build state-of-the-art retail facilities, while testing different construction materials, and related technologies such as drones, 360-degree cameras, and 3D modeling. H-E-B allows me to take smart risks and to turn ideas into action while being cutting edge in the industry.
We are also encouraged to do things that are beyond our job descriptions, like community involvement. That is not something that I have found at a lot of other companies. I have been a part of building mortgage free homes for Wounded Warriors, remodeling homes for children with special needs and most recently assisting with home remodeling needs for victims of a mass shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.
H-E-B provides plenty of opportunities to keep learning and growing. Through H-E-B, I sit on the Construction Industry Advisory Council at Texas A&M College Station. In addition, I was able to use an H-E-B scholarship to earn my MBA and am now currently working on my PhD In Leadership Studies. It’s a corporate culture that I’ve never experienced at any other company, and San Antonio is perfect for raising a family. My family and I are glad to call both H-E-B and San Antonio home.
Brenda, Sr. Administrative Assistant
Before I started working at H-E-B in my 20s, I worked for a daycare afterschool program. It wasn’t a bad job, but I knew that I eventually wanted to work at a place where I could grow my career, and there was a brand new H-E-B store opening up down the street from my home. I didn’t know a lot about the company then, but I knew there were locations all over the city and it’s where my family shopped, so H-E-B could provide stability and opportunity for growth.
H-E-B has been my university. They have given me so many opportunities to learn. I’ve gone from Drug Store and Admin roles in stores to a Benefits Representative, back to stores, to our Partner Communications team, to an Admin in Corporate HR. Today, I am a Senior Admin supporting our San Antonio Food/Drug Division.
Admins at H-E-B touch the lives of so many people each and every day. We have so much information and knowledge to share with our Partners, and we are truly the representatives of our Leaders – we have to know everything happening around us. I see it as an opportunity to give back to our Partners, the people out running the business each and every day.
Working here also has its perks. During my time at H-E-B, I have been on our float in the Fiesta Parade and I am part of the H-E-B running team. I am proud to be part of Team H-E-B and to have the opportunity to represent the company at many of our sponsored events. Also, our corporate office backs up to the Riverwalk and it’s exciting to be able to run downtown in the morning – it’s the most peaceful time of day. I run at 7am and no one is downtown. It’s so calm and I’ve taken great pictures.
Ben, Vice President of Real Estate
The path to H-E-B was not necessarily a straight one for me. I am originally from Michigan, attended Boston College, and started my career as an Equity Market Maker on the Chicago Board Options Exchange. Eventually, I burned out on the trading industry and began to explore other opportunities. Around the same time, my father-in-law left a position with a large national retail chain to work at H-E-B. My wife is originally from San Antonio and my father-in-law spoke so highly of H-E-B, so I decided to submit my resume. With a finance background and limited real estate experience, H-E-B took a chance and hired me. Thirteen years later, I am still here.
When I first started my career with H-E-B, I worked in Shopping Center Development, overseeing the leasing and property management of H-E-B-owned shopping centers. After completing my MBA, I began to work in Real Estate, scouting locations for new stores and warehouses. Now, as the Vice President of Real Estate for San Antonio Food Drug, I oversee both Shopping Center Development and Real Estate. Building a successful store, however, is not the result of a single department’s efforts. My job requires a great deal of problem-solving and collaboration with numerous other teams, including Design, Construction, Operations, Real Estate Research, Planning and Analysis, and Public Affairs. Together, we are able to build unique stores that not only meet the needs of the business, but more importantly, meet the needs of the communities where they are located. H-E-B understands how important its stores are to the Texans they serve, and strives to be a good neighbor and responsible corporate citizen every step of the way. This kind of integrity and loyalty makes me proud to be a partner.
One of the things that has surprised me the most about H-E-B is the diversity of opportunities available. Thirteen years ago, I thought H-E-B was just a grocery store. I soon came to understand, however, that it is much more dynamic than that. As a partner, it is a place where you are empowered to grow and evolve your career in any number of ways within the company. And the culture simply cannot be beat. I honestly cannot imagine a better place to work. Plus, it is located in a wonderful city. San Antonio has everything that a big city might offer –great dining, entertainment, and culture –with a friendly small-town feel. As the father of three young children, I believe it is the perfect place to raise a family. And its central location, with the hill country and the beach just a couple of hours in either direction, is also nice. Together, H-E-B and San Antonio make a great pair, and I feel fortunate to be a part of both
Taylor, Associate Executive Recruiter
When I was a Campus Recruiter, my role required me to go on campuses and talk to students, faculty, and staff about our internship program. That’s part of the job was easy for me because I started my career at H-E-B in 2017 as a Human Resource intern.
The internship program at H-E-B is unique in that it exposes you to all different areas of the business. Through weekly “Coffee Chats,” interns have the opportunity to interact with leaders from every area including Global Sourcing, Real Estate, E-Commerce, and more, and learn firsthand about their departments. You get real, hands-on experience that for me included redesigning the corporate HR web page. I had to come up with innovative ways to engage HR Managers and help them understand how the new web page would help them and the rest of our H-E-B Partners.
After graduating from Texas A&M in August of 2017, my Manager asked me to extend my internship until December. It was during that time that Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston and I was sent to the Emergency Operations Center and placed in charge of issuing gift cards and money to Partners who had suffered loss as a result of this natural disaster. The way that H-E-B reacted in this situation meant a lot to me because my father has always instilled in me the importance of giving back to your community and volunteering your time and resources. I always wanted to work for a company that believed in the same things that I did and this experience with H-E-B showed me that our values aligned.
That was part of the reason that when I was offered the opportunity to come on board full-time, I didn’t hesitate. Now, I help recruit talent to the company through our internship program and coordinate things like the “Coffee Chats” that were so useful to me. One of my primary focuses in today’s competitive corporate hiring environment is to keep our branding and messaging at college fair and recruiting events current and cutting edge. Our team has rebranded and redesigned our booth to attract students, and we’ve implanted HireVue, a digital interviewing tool that allows potential candidates to answer screening questions via video.
One of the things we want to get across is the culture of H-E-B. The people I work with care about me personally and professionally. It was something I did not expect in a corporate setting. Every day that I walk into work, I feel like I am walking into my home with my family.
David, Grocery Department Trainer
My first experience with H-E-B was working as a bagger when I was in high school. It was such a great experience that I knew I wanted to work here after graduation. I’ve now been here for five years and in my current role as a trainer in the grocery department, I am responsible for motivating the new guys to be successful and enthusiastic about their jobs. I take pride in my job because I believe that what I do shows on the floor. We are the ones who select the products from the warehouse and get them to the correct stores within a specific amount of time. It is fast paced and you have to have a lot of energy. I see it as a competitive sport—you’re racing to make a percentage.
I enjoy what I do, and I am always looking for ways to go above and beyond. For example, I recently took the initiative to help clean out the aisles of the warehouse. I also did a walk through with my supervisors to show them ways where we could move products around on the aisles for more efficiency and less potential for damage.
H-E-B Partners are always open to ideas and suggestions and they encourage you to grow. I’ve gotten to go to Houston to help train Partners and it was really cool to see how things are done in another city.
I grew up in San Antonio, and I’ve watched the city change over the years. My favorite thing to do in the city is take my camera and go to the Pearl to take pictures. Photography is my hobby, along with boxing. I started boxing about six months ago and I have my first competition coming up.
H-E-B is like family to me. They are loyal to their employees, which is why so many Partners have been here for more than 20 years. It’s a great place to work and I feel lucky to be here.
Danica, Transportation Safety Manager
My first experience with H-E-B came when I was in college at Prairie View A&M University. I was coordinating a back to school drive at a small farmer’s market in East Dallas as part of an internship, and I reached out to H-E-B. The leaders responded immediately, coordinating with the Central Market store in Dallas to provide juice for all the families who attended the event, as well as house shaped tin “piggy banks” filled with cookies. Just one simple call resulted in a huge contribution that made everyone’s day---I knew then that this was an amazing company that I wanted to be a part of.
In 2016 I got my chance when I applied for a safety leader position. During the interview process, I asked the leaders for their H-E-B stories and all of them said the same thing: H-E-B has a heart for people and supports its Partners. That was the first time I had ever heard employees referred to as “Partners” and I realized that H-E-B doesn’t view the people who work for them the same way that other companies do. There is a lot of thought and consideration that goes into how Partners, as well as the community will be affected before big decisions are made. I had not seen that in other large companies.
In my role as a Transportation Safety Manager, my team and I oversee the training and compliance programs for the drivers, and we get the opportunity to work with our risk, human resources, environmental, and corporate safety departments. We focus on the driving force, and our challenge is coming up with creativity and innovative ways to keep up with the growing demand for drivers when there is a current shortage in the industry. One of the most innovative things we’ve done is to create an in house Commercial Driver’s License testing program that is certified by the state of Texas.
The coolest thing I get to be a part of is the Hall of Fame Celebration. This is a driver recognition program where we celebrate milestones and accomplishments. Hearing all the driver’s stories and being part of their H-E-B journey has made me understand that H-E-B is so much more than a place to work—it is an experience, and I am fortunate to be part of it.
Joe, Sr. Shipping Clerk
Everyone sees the products on the H-E-B shelves, but most people don’t realize what it takes to get them there. It’s the result of a lot of work and effort from a lot of good people. As the Senior Shipping Clerk at the Refrigerated Distribution Center, I work with my team behind the scenes to load an average of 150 trailers a night in a 12- hour shift. We have to make sure that all the products fit on 28 pallets, and that they are wrapped and stacked properly so that they arrive to the stores in good shape. In my opinion, what we do is the lifeblood of H-E-B.
I’ve worked for H-E-B for 37 years and these people are like my family. I grew up in Uvalde and always loved going to H-E-B so I feel like it was destiny that I ended up here. I used to drive by the warehouse and wondered what it would be like to work there so when I got my foot in the door I never looked back. I started as a temp in the produce warehouse, and was hired full time after six months. I’ve had the honor of meeting Charles Butt, which was one of the coolest experiences of my career. I also had the opportunity to ride with our senior truck driver to see how our products look when they arrive.
I think H-E-B has the greatest employees in Texas. Everyone here really cares about their jobs. They know they are working for a great company and they want to take care of it.
David, H-E-B Truck Driver
When you are shopping at H-E-B and see all the products, it is easy to forget that they didn’t just magically appear on the shelves. Hundreds of trucks, and drivers like me, deliver them every single day.
When people hear that I drive trucks for H-E-B, they assume my job is easy because they think all I do is drive. But there’s so much more that goes into driving trucks for H-E-B than you realize. Our schedules are tough—we are often driving very early in the morning, or very late at night. And we have to stay healthy. We have to have a physical every year in order to keep our licenses.
But while it is a demanding job, it is also a very rewarding one. Every day is different. I might go down to Laredo on a weekend or to Austin and back several times in one day. I get to see a lot of places that I might not get to see otherwise.
When I started at H-E-B 17 years ago, I was an order selector in our Grocery Warehouse. From there, I moved up to the role of a Trainer, then Warehouse Management, and then finally a driver. I was honestly scared to take on the driving role, but the benefits and the way H-E-B takes care of its Partners make it worth it for my family and me.
In fact, one of my favorite things about working for H-E-B is that it is a company with heart. The Partners I work with really care about each other. I’ve gotten to experience interesting and cool opportunities including meeting Charles Butt, and filming a transportation video for recruiting. It was on social media and everything!
When I am not on the road, my family is my priority. We are usually hanging out at a family barbecue, or going someplace like The Cove where we can get a good meal and the kids can play on the playground.
My job, like any job, can be tough sometimes but I know that there is not a better company to work for.
Ronny, Fleet Maintenance
H-E-B has been a part of my family since I was a little boy—my father retired from the company after 40 years of service. I was able to see first-hand the stability that working for H-E-B provided for my family growing up and, once I had my own family, I knew H-E-B was where I needed to be.
If I had to describe H-E-B in one word, it would be “successful.” The company came from very humble beginnings and has grown into a large and successful company in both Mexico and Texas, and with that growth comes great opportunities.
H-E-B offers management training programs you can join if you want to, and there are training and cross training opportunities if you want to pursue another career within H-E-B. You can move up quickly here - I have only been here a short period of time and I have already received a promotion. Opportunities are available for anyone who is willing to earn it.
Before joining H-E-B, I worked in the parts department at a car dealership. After joining Fleet Maintenance, I was most surprised by the number of parts we have. You have to learn the part numbers for trucks, refrigerator units, tires, tractor trailers, and mules—way more than just one vehicle. I memorized the numbers, but there are computers to help with it as well.
What I love about working at H-E-B is that everyone works as a team. If you need help you can ask another Partner and they genuinely want to help you and they do it right away. I call it PHP ‑ Partners Helping Partners.
One of the best parts of my job is that I get to travel to our different Transportation Terminals to help reorganize the Parts department and train on new computer systems—it’s all about inventory and keeping inventory up to date.
When I’m not at work you can find me riding my bike on the mission trails or riding by the river. I love the view of downtown to the south.
Mari, Administrative Assistant
I’m originally from Chicago but I grew up in Texas and I started working at H-E-B in the summers. I’ve been full time with the company now for three years. I work as a Store Admin and I support our Store Partners all day, which allows me to get to know them on an entirely different level. They tell me what’s going on with their families, what they do for fun---it’s a little more personal.
My typical day is filled with Partner traffic and doing administrative work. It’s my job to stay engaged with them and see what they need in order to do their jobs. I am also in charge of new hires and orientation, which can keep me pretty busy since we are always hiring new Partners.
What’s cool about our Partners, and H-E-B in general, is the diversity. Everyone is so different but we all come together as a whole to make HEB. We may be from different backgrounds or cultures, but at the end of the day we are all here to provide great service to both our customers and our Partners.
H-E-B has become like a second home to me. You build relationships here, and it’s a really unique work environment. Our department is small, there are only a couple of us at every store, so I look forward to our Admin meetings where the other administrative Partners from all the other stores come together. It’s fun to get to know the other Partners and learn what the other stores are doing.
San Antonio is such a fun city with a rich culture. One of my favorite things is Fiesta! I learned so much about the history of the city through Fiesta. It’s so much more than just a party.
When family comes to visit, I take them to H-E-B so they can experience the level of customer service that we offer. You really have to see it to believe it because it is so different from other stores in other cities. We make everyone feel welcome.
Eleanor, Bookkeeping/ Lead Cash Controller
After the company where I had worked for 24 years closed, I attended an H-E-B job fair and was hired on the spot. That was 16 years ago, and since then there has never been a dull moment. My day starts at 5:15 a.m., making sure the previous nights tills are pulled and ready to go, the numbers balance, and the paperwork is ready for the managers to sign. My mornings fly by! The one thing that surprised me about my role is the amount of money that we handle. It looks really easy from the outside, but there are so many things to do, especially when it comes to bill pay and Western Union.
In addition to bookkeeping, I have spent quite a bit of time working on the self-checkout aspect of our business, which is really innovative. From the start I’ve been so impressed with the advanced technology systems H-E-B has in place and the self-checkout, although challenging for us at times, is just one more way we make sure we offer our customers the latest and most convenient options.
That commitment to customers is one of the many things I love about H-E-B. In fact, if I had to describe H-E-B in one word, I would say, “awesome,” because the company has everything you need both as an employee and as a customer. If you are just starting out with the company, there are so many opportunities and so many different paths you can choose. If you are a customer, you can find everything you need all in one place. It’s just so easy!
I’ve had so many great experiences here. I’ve been involved in the grand openings of two of our stores, and had the opportunity to oversee a grand opening of my own, which was very cool! I love the diversity in San Antonio that is reflected in both the stores and the community. Walking along the Riverwalk and playing tourist is one of my favorite things to do. I also enjoy spending time with my church community. I’m involved with a woman’s retreat group as well as our youth group, and I find them both very rewarding.
John, Cooking Connections Manager
During my more than two decades at H-E-B I have graduated from college, gotten married, bought a house, and started a family. And many of my co-workers have done the same—and that’s what’s so cool about being with a company like H-E-B for so long—you are one big family and you get to watch life happen together. There are people that I have worked with for more than 12 years.
Shortly after I started at H-E-B I was working on the Central Market concept up in Austin, and then I helped with the grand opening of the Central Market on Broadway. Today, I work on crafting menus our customers will like and that will get their attention. My day starts with conditioning the department and making sure we have everything we need for sales. Then I turn on the equipment, get the food prepped, make sure I have the recipe cards ready, and then start cooking and calling people over to try the delicious samples. Hopefully, that translates into selling groceries.
We get to be fun and innovative in our approaches. In fact, if I had to describe H-E-B in one word, I would say, “pizzazz.” We do a great job as a company in consistently bringing new items to market and putting fun into something as mundane as grocery shopping. I like to say we bring the fun to the table, and that’s something I don’t see anywhere else. We also bring the fun to our Partners. I once won a sales contest and got to sit in the box at a Spurs game. I also got to be part of the Sean Elliot and Brent Barry sandwich cookoff. We put together and cooked the sandwich, and the whole thing aired on the local news.
Our position here is unique in that we are part of the customer’s family. They are talking about us around the dinner table and sharing our recipes at gatherings and celebration. We have become their go-to resource. A native San Antonian, I know this is a big city with a small town feel, and H-E-B quickly becomes a part of people’s lives and families.
Rosy, Drug Store Lead
One of the greatest things about working at H-E-B is that they appreciate and reward hard work. I’ve received the Partner of the Month award twice, and it was so cool to be recognized for doing a good job.
I grew up in Corpus Christi and started working for H-E-B as a cashier while I was in community college. I moved to Beaumont and transferred to cosmetics and then I became full time after I graduated, working in GM and cosmetics. Two years ago I relocated to San Antonio because I would really like to work in the corporate office one day.
As a Drug Store lead, I usually work the opening shifts and walk the department to check end caps, stock replenishments, and place orders. I also have to know our financials and understand how they compare to where we were last year, and then look at how we can increase our growth and stay in line with our plan. What surprised me the most about my current position is how detail oriented it can be. I have to make sure our stock levels are right, that damages are pulled, and that all our labels are forward. Little things like that make a big difference in how the store looks and how our customers shop.
If I had to describe H-E-B in one word, I would say “stability.” People will always need to eat so there will always be a market for H-E-B and I will always have a job. I think part of the reason for that stability is the way that H-E-B immerses itself in the communities it serves. It is a company with a heart for people, and they show it through things like volunteering with local non-profits, providing disaster relief, and hanging PRIDE posters.
Although I’ve only been in San Antonio for just over two years, I love the city. I recently took my mother to the Pearl and we enjoy eating at the Melting Pot and going up to Poteet for the annual strawberry festival. One of our favorite things to do is thrift shop. There is a great thrift shop on Nacogdoches that we like. I also enjoy walking on the park that is next to my house.
Taylor, Floral Representative
Almost everyone in my family has worked for H-E-B at some point in their lives and I jumped on board right after I graduated from high school. I wanted a job that would allow me to work around my college schedule so I started as a bagger, then worked my way up to cashier, and then I started helping out in other departments including floral. Today, I work primarily in floral and I enjoy myself so much that my 9-hour workday goes by in a blink!
What’s great about H-E-B is the people who work here. The Partners make the workplace. Everyone exudes confidence because they are great at what they do and it makes it fun to work together. Everyone is passionate about what they do and we all strive to make every department the best that it can be.
A typical day for me involves checking in orders, ordering the next days flowers, and creating arrangements. It’s amazing because my job makes people so happy. Sometimes it’s challenging when people give you a basic description over the phone of what they want and you have to bring that vision to life. But it’s so rewarding to see their faces when they pick up their order. One order that really touched me was for a funeral and the customer was so appreciative that she actually cried. I was glad I could help alleviate a little of the stress of the situation by taking care of the flowers.
Besides flowers, horseback riding is my passion. Everyday after work I go out to Selma right behind Retama Race Track and ride. I participate in a three-phase event that includes jumping and flatwork so I’m always practicing. San Antonio is such a fun city and there is always something new to do. I love walking around downtown and trying different restaurants. It’s fun to discover all the things our city has to offer.
John, General Merchandise Lead
For me H-E-B is like one big family. Maybe because I’ve been working for the company since I was a senior in high school. I started as a bagger, and then I worked Curbside while I was attending Texas A&M in Corpus Christi. I started in General Merchandise after I transferred to UTSA and I’ve been here ever since. My team and I are really close and we work really well together. In fact, we get along so well that can often find us going out to lunch together too! We are all committed to customer service and helping people out. We try to always interact with a smile on our faces.
I am in charge of our seasonal items and how we merchandise them—and sometimes we have to get creative. For example, we will sometimes blow up the giant inflatable water slides that we sometimes get in our summer merchandise and put them out where customers can see them. I am also in charge of scheduling my team and making sure they stay on task and that everything gets done. I usually come in around 7 a.m. and do a morning walk to see what we have in stock and see if any product needs to be put out on the floor. I merchandise the shelves, working all the product in the back forward, and if there are any returns, I take them out to their correct location.
What surprised me the most about my role is how fast paced everything is. Our store is very big and our department covers every corner of the store. We have to be really good at time management.
One of my favorite things about my job is how H-E-B encourages you to grow within the company. I started out as part time, then full time, and now I’m a leader. When I finish school I hope to be a store manager for General Merchandise and keep moving up from there.
When I am not working I am usually volunteering at Habitat for Humanity, spending time with my family, or dining out at my favorite restaurants around the Pearl District. The tomahawk ribeyes at Granary are my favorite.
Roxy, Healthy Living Specialist
When I was in high school, we had a program that taught you how to fill out job applications and how to interview. We would go to local businesses, including H-E-B to practice. H-E-B offered me a job helping out in the floral department. Since then I’ve worked in several departments including Bakery and Shelf Edge before landing in Healthy Living.
My day always starts with coffee! Then I check my e-mail, walk my department, see if I have any returns, bring all of the top selling items out, and check the front coolers. But the most fun part of my morning is helping the customers. There is a gym right across the street from my store and customers often come in after a workout looking for supplements, protein drinks and other things to help them meet their goals or fuel their workouts. There’s a lot of detail that goes into my job, and training on the different products we carry, but it’s a fun job, and I’ve gotten to do some really cool things like go to the plant where Omega bars are made. I also got to travel to San Francisco for a Café Ole Field Trip and learn how our coffee is made. I also get a lot of product samples!
When you work at H-E-B, you are part of one big, happy family. Everyone works together to help each other out, and the managers will do anything for you because they really want to see you grow with the company. It’s a very supportive, positive environment and a great place to work.
Carol, In-Store Demo Representative
When I first started as an In Store Demo Rep at H-E-B, I thought I’d just be passing out samples, and asking people if they’d like to try a product. As it turns out, it is so much more—and it’s the perfect fit for me!
Everyone who knows me knows that I am a people person and I love to talk. Prior to coming to H-E-B I worked at a veterinary clinic for 10 years. I love animals, but this job appealed to me because it offered me the opportunity to engage and interact with our customers every day in a unique way. Now, less than a year later, I already have regulars who know my name and who will come give me feedback on the products they’ve purchased. One of the biggest customer favorites is our Meal Simple Simply Heat line. They love how it’s a complete, wholesome meal that can be ready in under two minutes in the microwave.
One of the coolest things about my job (besides that it has greatly improved my cooking skills) is that my manager lets me grow and take on more challenges including being in the Showtime Kitchen. Here I get to do more than just demo foods and offer samples. I get to cook right in the store while explaining to customers over a mic what it is that I’m preparing. It’s so much fun for me because I love meeting and talking to people.
I’ve never been to a grocery store that had in store demos seven days a week. Most places I’ve been to only have them on weekends---if they have them at all. It’s really awesome because so many people tell me that they wouldn’t have purchased or tried a new product if they hadn’t sampled it in store first. I’m the same way. One of my families favorite dishes that I make is street tacos, but if I hadn’t had to learn to make them in the store and tried them myself, I probably wouldn’t have tried them at home on my own.
Another aspect of H-E-B that is different from other companies is the way they are invested in their Partners and treat them all like family. They encourage you to grow, and the culture and values of the company make you want to be a better Partner. For me, it truly is a family company. Both my husband and my daughter are Partners too. In fact, when my daughter suffered a personal loss, the way that the company stepped up, providing food as well as job security after a long leave of absence was like nothing I’d ever seen from a large corporation. Leaders from all departments constantly checked in with our family, offering help and support through a difficult time. I realized then what a special company this is, and it took hold of my heart.
H-E-B is a huge part of the San Antonio community. San Antonio is a great city and there’s always something to do. I was born here, but we moved to Massachusetts when I was little and didn’t come back here until I was 16-years-old. I was excited to come back because there are so many different cultures here and it’s a fun place to be. We enjoy going to the Pearl on Sundays because it’s like everything I love about the city in one place. With so many restaurants, as well as the farmer’s market and retailers, there is something for everyone.
Ahtziri, Mia's Mirror Stylist
You might not expect to see a fashion boutique in the middle of a grocery store, but that’s exactly what Mia’s Mirror is. From the cucumber water we offer our customers, to the fashion forward clothing, accessories and gifts, Mia’s Mirror is a totally different shopping experience within H-E-B.
I started my career with H-E-B as a cashier when I was 16 and moved to Mia’s Mirror two years later. A typical day for me might include checking in new merchandise, pricing new items, and merchandising. The secret to good merchandising is to create something that catches the customer’s eye. We dress the mannequins in trendy, stylish fashions and try to create a fun vibe within the store. We try to carry the latest brands and expand our popular brands to include more products that our customers see online.
The product and displays might get the customer in the store, but it’s the customer service and interaction that keeps them there. We greet all of our customers and offer them a glass of cucumber water to enjoy while they shop. We are there to answer any questions, and to help them find that perfect piece they are looking for. Our challenge is to expand some of our more popular brands so that customers can find everything they want in store.
It all goes back to service. Hospitality and customer service are what set H-E-B apart from the competition. Partners always go above and beyond for our customers, even when it’s not our department we are always ready and willing to help them find what they need. At Mia’s Mirror, we get to connect with our customers in fun ways like our Letters to Santa program. Through that I got to hear a lot of touching stories, like one family’s adoption journey. That was really cool.
San Antonio is a great community and there’s so much to do both in the city and beyond. I enjoy going downtown and taking photos, or in the summer I can be found floating down the river in New Braunfels or San Marcos. There’s always something fun to do here!
Amber, Sanitation/ Maintenance Partner
I grew up in Universal City and H-E-B has always been a part of my life. The Partners are always greeting people and telling you to have a nice day and I’ve known that I wanted to be a part of that friendly culture since I was 16.
My typical day starts at 5 a.m., when I come in and deep clean the bathrooms, take out the trash, clean cases and other things that add to the H-E-B customer experience. I’m known for making the bathrooms really clean. That’s a big deal to me because the bathrooms are one of the things the customers really pay attention to. You want them to be sparkling.
One of the things that surprised me the most about my job is the pay and benefits. We have great benefits and the pay is much higher than what I’ve made anywhere else. H-E-B also really values its Partners and shows them appreciation for a job well done. I have received “Safety Partner of the Month” and “Partner of the Month” awards, which made me feel great.
San Antonio is a great place to live. We have a lot of great restaurants including my favorites, Chesters, and Texas Roadhouse. And, of course we have the San Antonio Spurs! I am a huge fan and still love former Spur David Robinson. H-E-B is a big part of the San Antonio community and I am honored to be a Partner.
Michael, Shelf Edge Specialist
A lot of companies say that you are part of their “team,” but when you are an H-E-B Partner, “team,” is more than just a word—it is the culture of the company. We all really do work together, and everyone seems very happy to be here. The Partners here are great! I had been with the company less than six months when I was in a car accident that required me to stay home for almost a year. I was shocked at the amount of loyalty the company showed me by giving me the time I needed—and my job was waiting for me when I returned.
I started working at H-E-B after working in the oil industry. People were being let go from the company, and I started looking for something with more stability, where I could work and grow. My brother works in the Deli at H-E-B and he helped me apply. Now we work together, although not at the same store.
I work the early morning shift and I make sure that departments get a “facelift” every day. I check pricing and make sure everything is running smoothly before morning rush begins. I work all around the store, not just in one area, and there is a lot of work and attention to detail that falls under my responsibilities.
In addition to being loyal to the Partners, H-E-B is loyal to Texas. When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston a couple of years ago, I was able to volunteer at the San Antonio Food Bank for a couple of hours and I saw first hand how our community rallied to help our fellow Texans.
Community is important to me. All my friends and family are here in San Antonio and I like how much there is to do. One of my favorite things to do is drive to the cliffs at Canyon Lake. It’s never crowded and it’s really fun!
Erik, Business Center Representative
What I love about my job at H-E-B is that every day is different. I deal with customers all day long selling everything from lotto tickets to auto tags and it’s never repetitive.
I started my career at H-E-B when I was 16, working as a lead in Central Checkout before one of our bookkeepers recruited me to this department. What surprised me the most when I took this position was that there were not many customer complaints. I thought I would be dealing with a lot of customer issues, but it turns out that there are far more compliments. I think that’s because H-E-B is so focused on hospitality and putting the customer first. It’s challenging sometimes to come up with answers for everything, but I hate having to tell people “no,” so I will always try to figure out ways to work around any issues and get their transactions completed. We have amazing leaders who are very helpful and knowledgeable and willing to assist both Partners and customers to get the job done.
The coolest thing about my job is that there are so many opportunities to find your niche. My goal is to move up to the Corporate area and I am currently studying business and administration at San Antonio College to make that happen.
When I’m not working or studying, I enjoy doing ‘artsy’ stuff like going to the McNay to view the beautiful exhibits, and I like to paint in my free time too. There’s something about putting on some good music and splattering paint to help you unwind.
Russell, Texas Backyard Customer Service Representative
I love gardening, I enjoy talking to people, and I am pretty knowledgeable about plants, so my job in the Texas Backyard and Garden Center is a great fit for me. I didn’t start off here, however. I began my H-E-B career 31 years ago as a bagger, then moved up to a general merchandiser, and then moved into the photo department where I worked for 15 years. After that, I moved to my current position.
Gardening and photography are my passions and I am able to mix them together at work. I love landscaping and putting colors and designs together. Many of our customers are surprised to learn that most of our plants are locally grown. My personal favorite is the vinca. It’s an easy-going, colorful plant that can handle the Texas sun.
My biggest challenge is trying to educate and encourage the customer that doesn’t have a green thumb. I try to help them grow a plant and get excited about helping it thrive. I love explaining the plant to them, and telling them how to care for and water it. It’s really rewarding to me when customers come back and tell me that the plant I recommended worked out perfectly for them.
My day starts off with checking on all the plants and making sure they are all watered and that the displays are taken care of. I enjoy my job, and H-E-B is such a wonderful corporation to work for—in fact, there is not one bad thing I can say about it. Partners are well taken care of, and we are informed about the company and what it is doing. It’s like a big family and we all stick together.
As a plant enthusiast, I enjoy spending my days off visiting the Botanical Gardens. I’m very interested in the history of the city and the plants that grow here. The local restaurant scene is great too!
Andres, Loss Prevention Lead
If I had to describe H-E-B in one word, I would say, “wonderful.” It is a wonderful place to work and a wonderful place to shop. The focus is on hospitality and helping each and every customer find what they need, regardless of whether or not it falls under your department. That willingness to help and respect our customers even extends to loss prevention where dealing with shoplifters is a part of my job. We treat offenders with the same dignity and respect that we treat everyone who walks through the doors. It can be challenging because when shoplifters are confronted they may be rude or use foul language, and it is important to stay calm and be kind.
As a leader in Loss Prevention, another challenge I face is scheduling. I have to understand what my Partners lives are like outside of work and try to accommodate schedule changes and requests to make it work for all of us.
What I love about my job is that every day is different. You don’t know what you will be dealing with or what situations will arise and it’s never dull. In addition to dealing with shoplifters, I have to make sure all of our data is entered properly, and assign my team into various departments to handle product protection.
H-E-B Partners are supportive of one another and work together to achieve their goals. I am currently working on getting my bachelor’s degree from Texas A& M San Antonio and I hope to grow with H-E-B. I have two kids and they helped me to make the transition to going back to school because there is always something to learn every day. I am from San Antonio and very family oriented. We go to the movies together a lot and we love tacos! Our favorite place? Appetitos!
Roland, Facility Maintenance
You can’t grow up in San Antonio and not know what H-E-B does for the community. But what you might not realize is what it does for its Partners.
I came to H-E-B after working as a maintenance supervisor for a local printing company for more than 20 years. When the company decided to move the plant to Minnesota, my wife was pregnant with our second child, and I did not want to relocate. I applied to H-E-B instead, and not only did they offer me a position, they held the job for me until after my wife gave birth.
If I had to describe H-E-B in one word, I would say opportunity. There is so much opportunity for growth within the company and the Partners are encouraged to pursue their passions and interests. When I first started in my department, I was repairing different building components like doors, ramps, plumbing and more in the retail support center. Then I moved up to taking care of fire protection systems including the fire alarm panels, the compressors in the sprinkler systems, and the testing and maintenance. It’s rewarding because I feel like I’m contributing to the safety and well-being of our Partners as well as our warehouse.
One of the coolest things I’ve gotten to do was go to the super regional warehouse building while it is still under construction to inspect and offer some input on the fire system construction. That is awesome.
When I’m not working, my wife and our three kids like to go anywhere there is water—lakes, rivers, or the coast. We like finding new places to go where we can relax and have a good meal and the kids can play. Fortunately, San Antonio is a very family friendly city and those places aren’t hard to find.
Josiah, Integration Competency Center Developer
I grew up near Ft. Hood, Texas and I always heard about what a great company H-E-B was. Every time we shopped there, the Partners were so friendly and they would always talk about how well the company took care of them. That’s what drew me to H-E-B.
I first worked in Stores as a Bagger, a Cashier, and then an Assistant Manager. I completed the internship program in the summer of 2017 and began working in my current role as a Developer in the Integration Competency Center about six months later.
H-E-B was my first real job after graduating from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and it is just what I had always heard it would be. It’s like one big, huge family. Everyone is happy, cheerful, and ready to work together, sharing great ideas to accomplish one goal.
In my department, that goal is to get people the data they need to put together applications. We are the middle-man, working with multiple teams across the company to get data from one area to another. It’s like putting together a puzzle. Our customers are internal Partners who call us to request data such as pricing information, product information, warehouse information, and more. For example, when a team needs to know what items are at which warehouse and the current average cost and status of the product, we are the ones who get that info to them. When Curbside wants to know what products they can sell on their site, we give them the information they need including the pricing.
My degree is in computer science, so I enjoy finding ways to keep my team cutting edge by upgrading to newer tools for us to play with and finding new plug-ins for existing tools that allow us to do our jobs in a more efficient way. We are always looking for innovative ways to get data to our customers more quickly, like in milliseconds. One way we have accomplished that is by moving some of our projects to the Cloud. Another way is by using Elastic search data storage tool. Most services use Oracle storage so this is a different and more modern approach.
Computer programming aside, what I love most about my job is the heart of H-E-B. This is a company that takes care of not only its Partners, but also the community at large. They are one of the first responders in a disaster, and they do things like build homes for disabled veterans because these are the right things to do, not because they want any recognition. That heart spills over to the Partners who are always ready to help and solve issues. My team has such diverse backgrounds and it gives each of us a unique perspective to bring to a problem.
When I’m not on computers at work, I’m on computers at home. I enjoy playing video games, hanging out with my friends and my dogs, and listening to music. I also like to go the Riverwalk late at night when the lights are on. There are so many cultures in one area in San Antonio, and there is always something fun to do.
Jose, Gas Station Attendant
Working at H-E-B is rewarding. We have things like Partner Appreciation Month and our Leaders always ask us how we are doing and if there is anything they can do to help—and I know they mean it. Prior to working for H-E-B I never felt appreciated at work and a friend, who worked here, told me I should apply because H-E-B pays better and they will treat me right. I wish he had told me that sooner because I’d have more years on my badge!
More than any other company, H-E-B is loyal to its Partners. Even though I haven’t been here long, it’s evident in the number of years people stay with the company. We have Partners that have worked here for over 30 years. You don’t stay somewhere that long unless you are treated well. Plus, we have programs like the Partner Stock Plan that rewards Partners for our contributions.
A special part about working at H-E-B is that I get to work with my brother. We carpool to work, and when he started, I was able to show him the ropes and coach him through the transition because I had been through everything before.
The coolest part of my job is that I get to go around the city to all kinds of events as H-E-Buddy - you have kids coming for pictures, high fives, and of course the toys you hand out. I’ve had the opportunity to meet and develop relationships with tons of people in the community through my work as H-E-Buddy. One of the many special moments came when a 4-year-old H-E-B Super Fan had his birthday photos taken in my store. I put on the costume, snuck up behind him, and surprised him for his pictures. It’s moments like these I will always remember.
Rob, Convenience Store Lead
Prior to joining the company, I handled merchandising for one of H-E-B’s vendors. I worked with the stores regularly, and I had a friend that worked in one of the stores I would visit. I always enjoyed the Partners I interacted with and one day my friend asked if I’d ever thought about applying to work here. Two to three weeks later, I was working part-time in the Shelf Edge department, which was a great initial fit for me.
I’ve had the opportunity to work in several departments in the store prior to landing as the Convenience Store Lead. I was excited about this role because it gave me an opportunity to move back into a leadership position and to coach and mentor Partners every day. There’s so much passion across all of our Managers and Leaders—passion for the results, the brand, and Partners. On top of having the privilege of leading a great group of Partners, the convenience store is beautifully designed and sits on a great piece of real estate.
In our store, we get to do a everything you would do in the big store like ordering products, stocking, and receiving, but we also have some fun things that the main store doesn’t— like the best tacos and pizza! We are a one-stop shop with an enthusiastic atmosphere.
The biggest difference between working in the main store and the convenience store is that customers want to get in and out pretty quick. Customers are often surprised to know that we have a lot of the product that they carry in the main store and that if we don’t have it they can make requests.
I grew up in Laredo, Texas, and like a lot of people in San Antonio, my father was in the military and that’s what brought my family here. Once here I started my own family with my great wife of 30 years, Margo, our two boys, two girls, my grandson, granddaughter, and puppy Lyla.
Max, Curbside In-Store Shopper
Growing up in Shiner, Texas I worked at a small, family-run grocery store. When I moved to Boerne, I started working at H-E-B while I was going to school at UTSA. I loved the company and wanted to stay. I’ve been here for almost six years now. I’ve worked in a variety of departments from central checkout to self-checkout before moving to Curbside where I retrieve the orders customers place online and take them out to their cars.
People think my job is monotonous, but it’s far from it! I have to do a lot of problem solving, which makes it interesting and exciting for me. It’s challenging to keep our customers informed because even though our website is user-friendly, there are still customers who have difficulty with technology and you have to help them with their orders. Then there is the challenge of maintaining quality when you have 300+ orders on a weekend. While I’m on the floor shopping for those orders, I still help customers if they need it, say hello to everyone and maintain my efficiency at picking products. And, if we are out of a product, I need to try to find backstock or a customer approved substitution. There are a lot of little issues I deal with daily in order to make things run smoothly in the big picture.
I think that commitment to quality and doing our job well is instilled in us as Partners because H-E-B is a company with heart. They recruit the best candidates for the job and hire likeminded people who have heart for the job, and the customer.
San Antonio is a great place to live. I like to take advantage of the many biking trails, and I take my dog, Bailey, to the dog park on my days off.
Rolegio, Grocery Overnight Stocker
Prior to joining H-E-B, I worked at another grocery chain for many years. A friend made the move to H-E-B first and told me that I should join. Once I learned about the benefits and opportunities at H-E-B, I made the move to provide a better life for my family. I’ve also convinced a friend to join the company because they treat us so well and provide great insurance and 401(k) plans.
During my time at H-E-B, I’ve opened up two stores in Laredo as an order writer and night stocker. The biggest difference between working at H-E-B and another grocery store is the great communication with Leadership and there are a lot more customers.
As an Overnight Stocker for H-E-B, it’s my job to make sure that all the products get stocked, and placed properly in all the aisles. Most people don’t know the speed at which we have to work throughout the night. People might think overnight stocking is a slow-paced environment, but this job is all about speed, moving quickly, being efficient with your movements, and making sure the job is done right every single time. To be successful at this job, you need to have the desire to learn the store. You must be able to stock any aisle no matter what night it is, so you are constantly learning product placement. Overnight stocking gives you the ability to learn the entire store, not just the grocery department.
That’s what I love most bout the job. I am never in one place. I am constantly moving and constantly walking around the store. If I’m not stocking, I’m moving displays and other things.
San Antonio is a great city. I love going to museums and going to the zoo with my family. My family is my place, my home.
Renauld, True Texas BBQ Food Specialist
I’ve been in the restaurant business since 1991. I’ve been a GM at several well-known restaurant chains in San Antonio and I even had my own restaurant in Pearland, Texas at one point. The biggest difference in working at H-E-B versus a restaurant is that in most restaurants you are just an employee, but at H-E-B people really matter. All of the managers care about you and ask how your day is going, which I wasn’t used to.
During my time at H-E-B, I have had the opportunity to open up some of our convenience stores, True Texas Taco stores, and a SoFlo Pizza. Now, I’m a Specialist at True Texas BBQ. A typical day for me starts around 8am by getting an overview of the day’s production schedule. I prepare all of the sides for the day and put them in the oven, then I get the line ready for the meats. I maintain production throughout the day, and my past experience as a restaurant manager really helps me manage the ebb and flow.
The coolest experience I’ve had with H-E-B so far was training to assist our Pit Master. When he went on vacation, I got to sub for him for two days all by myself. My meat came out looking just like the Pit Mater’s himself and I didn’t have any downtime. I was pretty proud of that!
I love working at True Texas BBQ. I even wear my t-shirt and hat when I am not at the restaurant. When I walk around town, people will often stop me and ask about the restaurant – I’ll invite anyone to stop on by!
Glen, Senior Food Safety Manager
After getting my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in food science, I worked four years in South Carolina. However, I wanted to get back to Texas. I’m from San Antonio and have always had an interest in working for H-E-B so when I had the chance, I jumped at the opportunity to work here! Now I’ve been with H-E-B for 19 years. I came back full-circle!
As a retail Food Safety Manager,I really love the variety of work!We cover a wide range of roles, so every day is different. We do food safety programs, we work closely with merchants supplying products, we cover requirement programs for stores, and we work with the state health department before the opening of all new H-E-B stores. This is not the kind of job where you go in and do the same thing,day after day!
The company has always been a good corporate citizen, and H-E-B cares deeply about providing the best products at the best prices for our customers. It’s a great feeling to work for a company that really takes food safety seriously. We expect excellence at H-E-B.There’s nothing more rewarding than making sure we put out safe products for our community.
I am proud to work for H-E-B
Zach, Pharmacy Warehouse Team Leader
I interned at H-E-B in the summer of 2015 and I was hooked on the company right off the bat. It was the culture and how much the company truly values people that really sold me. I studied Supply Chain Management at Texas A&M, so my corporate internship was in the Planning & Analysis department. It was great to see what happens behind the scenes and how decisions are made from an analyst perspective, but throughout my internship, my interest was really piqued by the Manufacturing, Warehouse, & Transportation (MWT) lines of business.
After my internship ended, I reached out to a few MWT Leaders and expressed my interest in their area of the business and my desire to learn more. Over Christmas break, they gave me a tour of some of the facilities and I learned of the Associate Team Leader (ATL) Program—their leadership development program— and I knew this is where I needed to be and what I wanted to do. It sounded like a great opportunity for me because it combined strategy with hands on operations, which is the combination I was looking for.
I started my full-time position in 2016 and it took me about 9 months to complete the ATL program. Since starting at H-E-B I’ve worked in our Perishables Distribution Center in San Antonio, followed by our San Marco General Merchandise warehouse—which is the largest warehouse we have—and now I am at the Pharmacy warehouse.
More than anything, H-E-B has a heart for people. I know it’s one of our leadership values, but it’s truly something we live each and every day. H-E-B’s values are very similar to how I grew up and what we are taught at Texas A&M, which made my transition from student to employee really easy. The company also loves its history and there’s a lot of tradition here, and who loves tradition more than Aggies, right!
One of the best parts of my job is getting to go back to campus and participate in recruiting events. I love engaging with the up and coming Aggies and telling them about all of the awesome opportunities waiting for them at H-E-B. It’s great to see their eyes light up at the possibilities.
Michelle, Associate Inbound Planner
After graduating high school, I was a Tour Manager for a band for about three years. We traveled the country as well as Mexico and Canada and I loved it. But after three years on the road—often gone for 10 months at a time—it was time to settle down and move back home. My first job was as a dispatcher at another company. A few of the drivers I worked with left that company, moved to H-E-B, and told me I should apply.
I started my H-E-B Career working dispatch for our Drivers and then moved on to recruiting. I was responsible for orientation and Driver Fairs. I loved it but I wanted to move to a different side of the business where I could continue to grow my career. I joined transportation working on the E-Commerce delivery team and then took a position on the inbound team where I am today.
I love logistics. I am responsible for getting all of the products we need from our suppliers to our warehouses so our Drivers can get them to our stores. It’s so important that our stores are stocked with the products our customers need and my team makes that happen every day. There’s a lot of moving parts and communication with our vendors and drivers is critical to making it all happen, but that’s what I love most about the job.
There’s a great sense of family in Transportation. When you walk in the door, everyone greets you with a smile or a “Hello, Partner.” Oh, and we love to celebrate! The company really celebrates the holidays, including my favorite holiday, Halloween. I like to go all out and I usually place, or win the costume contests I enter. One really cool event we have every year is Family Fun Day. It’s like going to a family reunion or picnic. You can bring your family and they get a chance to meet your fellow Partners and their families. It creates an awesome sense of togetherness.
As I mentioned earlier, I traveled a lot before I moved back to San Antonio and I can honestly say that he people here are special. They are friendly and caring. It’s just their nature. There’s no place like it!
Samantha, Mail Services
I grew up in San Antonio and H-E-B has always been a part of my life. But it wasn’t until my husband began working for H-E-B in the Transportation department eight years ago that I got to see first hand the generosity and love this company has for the community and the Partners. They offer great benefits and the culture is very family oriented—which is important when you have 5 kids!
I started my career with H-E-B five years ago in the Ice Cream Plant. After three years, I left to work for the U.S. Postal Service and discovered that leaving H-E-B was the biggest mistake of my life. I couldn’t get back fast enough, and I came back to the H-E-B family where I’ve been for the past two years. Ironically, my experience with the Postal Service led me to my current position with the Mail Services team at the Print Plant. I pitch and deliver the internal mail, and meter the U.S. Mail.
One of the most unexpected aspects of my job is that I am able to help out in other departments. I thought I’d spend all my time delivering mail, but it’s so much more than that. I help out in the mailroom with e-mails, payroll, labeling, fielding phone calls and more. My job is never boring or repetitive.
The people I work with at H-E-B are my family. Partners are happy, smiling, and cheerful. We have each other’s backs and are always willing to help one another out, and pick up the slack when needed. I think that attitude is a direct result of the generosity and love that H-E-B shows its Partners and the communities. They reach out and contribute to every aspect of the communities they serve, going the extra mile when necessary as in the event of Hurricane Harvey. Their spirit is gorgeous—and their energy is beautiful.
Working for a company that puts its people first allows me to put my family first. When I’m not working I’m spending time with our five kids, exploring the zoo, the Alamo, or heading to Six Flags Fiesta Texas in the summer. San Antonio is a great place to raise a family and there is always something fun to do. And at the heart of it all is this amazing corporation—H-E-B.
Leo, Seafood Specialist
Working in Seafood, you probably wouldn’t guess it, but I love to go fishing. Cibolo Creek is one of my favorite places to go, and I will often take some of our Seafood Partners to go with me. It’s a fun bonding experience and it reminds them of when they used to fish with their grandfathers.
I’m original from Boston, but I’ve lived everywhere. Like a lot of people in San Antonio, my parents were in the military and that’s how I found my way to Texas. I previously worked for the government, but I wanted something that was a little more performance-based evaluation. My roommate worked at H-E-B and told me how great the company was and encouraged me to apply. Based on my own experience, I already knew H-E-B had the best produce around and there was a lot of growth in the company.
On top of that, the company really takes care of the community. You could see it in how we showed up for the community during Hurricane Harvey. There is also a great community within the store. Our leaders have done so much to help Partners in their personal lives and I think that speaks a lot about the kind of company we are.
Our leaders are great at finding ways to keep us engaged. Partners are encouraged to act like owners and make decisions that positively affect the business. Recently, my Food Leader gave me the opportunity to take over our Meal Simple Production Pilot. Leading this effort gave me the opportunity to growing in my understanding of how to drive sales and it gave me a leadership opportunity on my team. I plan to apply some of those skills to merchandising our upcoming Own Brand sales event.
The seafood department is fast paced and I work in a very busy store, so it’s a group effort to keep the products stocked and the department looking good. I am an opener so I typically come in around 7amn setup the casen and place product. Then we pick up our fresh and frozen truck and organize and rotate product. We make sure all of our signs and tags are clean and up to A+ standards. We never know what’s going to happen from day to do day so adapting is most important.
Brooke, Store Operations Leader
When I think about it, people who love A&M really love A&M, and people who love H-E-B really love H-E-B. I went from one family to another. I went from maroon to red.
I grew up in Boerne and H-E-B is the only grocery store my family has ever really shopped. I was an Agricultural Economics major at A&M, so though I loved H-E-B, it wasn’t really on my radar until Partners from the Recruiting department came to speak during career day. Once I learned more about the company and what they stood for, I knew I wanted to do something there.
I applied and was selected for the Summer Internship Program. When they asked if I wanted a Corporate or Store Internship, I didn’t want to disqualify either, so in a way it was chosen for me. I interned for the Stores twice, including once after graduation.
The part I loved most about my internship was that the store has an energy about it – you’re experiencing everything as it happens versus hearing about it after the fact. You are around Store Leaders, Department Managers, and customers everyday. It’s fast-paced, exciting, and leadership is willing to take the time to train you. Plus, you get to hear first hand from customers about what they want to see at H-E-B.
Soon after my internship, I interviewed to join our School of Retail Leadership (SORL) program (our Store Leader Development Program) and I started two weeks after Thanksgiving. Now, I’m a Store Operations Leader.
I thought that a lot of working in the stores would be numbers focused, but it’s way more people oriented. Whether it’s Partners or customers, you are a very active part of their lives. We are looking to not just grow sales, but to also grow our impact. Everything is done on purpose and with intention.