“This guest post is from our newest Store Director, Cindy Whelan. Cindy may be a rookie Store Director but she has over 25 years of service and has worked every management position coming up through the ranks. Cindy has been a very outspoken advocate for our cause since day one and she has attended every rally and co-organized the Waltham rally. Thank you Cindy for all you have done.”
My name is Cindy Whelan, I have been with Market Basket for over 25 years, my entire adult life and then some. I had the very fortunate privilege of working for Mr. Clancy, may he forever rest in peace, who took me under his wings at a young age and taught me that hard work and dedication has it’s rewards. I am the Store Director of the Epping, NH Market Basket, and I honestly couldn’t be prouder. I was promoted on June 12th of this past year, and there wasn’t anyone who could wipe the smile from my face. Exactly one month later, Arthur T. Demoulas did just that at the fateful meeting on July 11th. He broke the news of what was supposed to happen on July 18th, his removal as CEO. It was just my luck I thought, getting the promotion I have been waiting for just to have it removed from some unforeseen circumstance. I was devastated, numb, and angry. I think it was roughly 24 hours when social media kicked in, and we were given a tool to help fight the battle that followed, saving our beloved CEO. There is not a doubt in my mind that if it wasn’t for the FB page, we would of lost ATD, and our company would of no longer of been ours. So a heartfelt thank you to the administrator and/ or administrators of this page and now the website, for keeping this battle alive.
We all have our stories of the greatness of this company; the mentorships, legacies, philosophies, and the personal, sometimes very personal times when this company has come together and stand united as one. I have my own, but they seem so minuscule in comparison to what I have seen and heard. Those who know me well, know that I am a “fly under the radar” type of person, part of a team, not a stand up and shout kind of person. I felt compelled after July 18th to come out of my comfort zone, and stand up and shout. The fact that I was uncomfortable became secondary, my heart and gut told me that I had to fight. I found a voice and a strength I didn’t know I possessed, and I have no regrets.
It was a relief to me that the big guns of this company started coming forward, and forgive me if I screw up the order. Mr. Owens, Mr. Trainor, Mr. Gordon, Mr. McCarthy, Mr Maguire, and Mr. Gulezian, I was beside myself with gratitude and relief. To further my point, Caleb Owens, Josh Higgins, Scott Patenaude, Robin Jarvis, were all putting there names out there, if they weren’t already. In addition, so many others, Sandy Chaisson, Chris Tarr, Jason McCarty, Rosie Hagopian, Vincent Kanhai- Singh, Joe Garon, Tom Sinatra, Brooke Marsden, just to name a few. Then the grocery buyers post, Gordon Pike, Mr. Feole and Mr. Jussaume, as well as comments by John Gordon, countless other dedicated and loyal associates, customers and liaisons. Forgive me, I can not list them all, but I love them all. Being in this company for as long as I have, I feel there are many names missing.
This fight as taught me many lessons. The one that I am most proud of is when our backs are against the wall, we unite and we fight. ATD could walk away tomorrow, and not have a care in the world, but he doesn’t. This man cares about us and our Market Basket family. He has integrity, loyalty, philanthropy, and intelligence second to none. ATD is Market Basket, he mentors, drives, and educates us. As John Gordon said, “this is not your average CEO”. To further that point, we are not your average anything. We must do what needs to be done, fight for ATD, ourselves, our associates, our customers, and everyone affiliated with us. United we stand, divided we fall.
I realize I am the least tenured Store Director, but I am asking all of you to speak up, be heard, take a stand, fight for the man that fights for us. It is what I was taught, and I feel I was taught by the best.
25 grateful years