“Mark is another veteran Store Director and an associate of 37 years. Mark has proven himself to be a leader, not only in this fight but within our company and his store. His customer service is second to none and he is a proven people manager having been responsible for having several of his managers promoted from his store. Thank you Mark for your voice and leadership.”
My name is Mark Lemieux. I am the Store Director in Londonderry, NH. In eleven days I begin my 37th year with this great company and 19th as Store Director. My father worked for a food service company, mom took care of the five kids. We didn’t have much, I remember the government cheese, powdered milk and powdered eggs. My dad used to take me on service calls with him to spend time with him, time well spent. He always told me that when I turned 16 he would take me to meet his cousin Normand (Daigle, retired and great Store Manager) to see if he would hire me at Demoulas. I got the job, thanks Dad. It is the best advice I ever got.
Fast forward to October 25,1995. Grand opening day Milford, NH store 57. My first day on the job as Store Director, being promoted up from Assistant Manager in Tewksbury 8 under Tom Trainor. Tom was tough but fair and we had a lot of fun. Tom didn’t tell me this until years later but he was taking a two week summer vacation while I was his Assistant. He had such faith in me that year he challenged TA Demoulas, Arthur T’s dad to visit his store and it would look like he never left. Needless to say I saw Mr. D a lot during that two week summer vacation. I must have done something right because two months later here I am ready to open one of his new stores. Well here comes TA into the store. I straighten my tie, button my jacket and approach him. I tell him I appreciate his trust in my abilities and thank him for letting me run one of his stores. Mr. TA Demoulas immediately puts his hand on my shoulder and corrects me saying, “Mark, this is our store, this is our company”and then he congratulates me.
I am a private person but that story had to be told. Like many of you I come from humble beginnings and have a high school education. Arthur T Demoulas continues the philosophy of ” Our Store, Our Company” but that could all change at one Board meeting. All I see on the board website is “shareholders” and it makes me cringe. I was at the Prudential Building that morning for the Board meeting. We were very respectful and they looked right through us. They could care less and sent Mall Cop after us to shoo us away. I didn’t like what I saw.
We will get through the Holidays and inventory and stay focused. But then what? Do we go from Board meeting to Board meeting waiting to see the outcome forever? That my friends, stinks. This can not go on much longer. I like developing people and one of my best clerks is thinking of leaving because he sees us stagnated. I had my boss talk to him today. I ask the Board, Why would you bench your star quarterback? Give Arthur T the ball back and let him run with it. Let him call the plays and let us try to keep up with him again!
I also ask everyone affected by this turmoil to speak up. Remember how strongly you felt collecting petitions, writing letters, speaking on television, or at that unforgettable rally. We helped save Arthur T in July. Now let us start to save “Our Store, Our Company”.
Londonderry, NH Store 42
Humble, proud 37 year employee