President, Pride Stations and Stores, LLC; Age 39Marsha Del Monte was hired by Pride Stations and Stores roughly 13 years ago to be office manager. But she didn’t actually make it all the way through the month-long training regimen for that position.
Instead, she moved onto what would become a rather fast track to the presidency of this company, which now includes 25 locations across Western Mass. and Northern Conn.
“There was a woman here, whom I would consider my mentor early on, who said, ‘you’re going to be bored in this job, I can tell; we’re going to put you in a position where you can interact with more people and be more creative,’” said Del Monte, relating how her first real job with the company was as director of training.
She was in it only about a year before she went to then-president Bob Bolduc and said she was getting bored with that assignment. He promoted her to director of operations, with a mindset that she would eventually succeed him as president — and that script has certainly been followed.
Indeed, as Bolduc, the company’s founder, has transitioned into more of an advisory role, while also keeping firm control over new-development initiatives, Del Monte now oversees most of the day-to-day operations. These range from marketing to operations; from human resources to loss prevention; from managing the company’s ever-expanding food-service operations to setting the prices one sees posted above the gas pumps.
It’s certainly a big job, but one that Del Monte covets both for the wide variety of work and the many challenges involved.
“Every day is different, but I can say that mostly it comes down to managing projects and pushing people to improve what we’re doing out there,” she told BusinessWest. “It’s a lot of pushing and helping our people do their jobs better.”
As she carries out all of her various assignments, Del Monte serves, in many ways, as the face of Pride Stations and Stores within the community, acting as liaison to Link to Libraries, Springfield School Volunteers, and other groups with which the company is involved, and also working with many trade associations that comprise an alphabet soup of acronyms. There’s the NACS (National Assoc. of Convenience Stores), NATSO (National Assoc. of Truck Stop Operators), and IOMA (Independent Oil Marketers Assoc.), among others.
There’s a lot to do, but Del Monte excels in this multi-faceted role because she takes pride in her work — literally and figuratively.
— George O’Brien