"Change is the third certainty in life, and our success depends on the degree to which we embrace it."
This was the message of Kroger's Chief Diversity Officer Carver Johnson in his keynote address to Ohio University students, faculty and staff Jan. 13, during the university's annual Kroger Day. The daylong event offered students an in-depth look at the business design of The Kroger Co. and bridged connections between the material students learn at Ohio University and daily business operations.
Over the course of the day, Kroger executives met with seven classes in the College of Business and the College of Health and Human Services, offering students a comprehensive look at the industry and giving practical advice about life after graduation.
"You can excel in a changing world by making a personal commitment to higher education, excellence and lifelong learning," Johnson went on to explain.
Many of the day's speakers echoed issues of the changing times --- globalism, technology, sustainability and new forms of communication.
In his address to health and human services students, Kroger Director of Shrink Management Ed Taylor emphasized The Kroger Co.'s organizational structure, staffing, cost control and the need for human relations skills, as it relates to food service and retail cost control.
Giving back to the community was another key component of many of the executives' addresses.
Kroger, Johnson said, is determined to fulfill the company's commitment and live its values by "seeking to excel in a changing world with any individual who wants to make a difference."
In addition to business and HHS students, Kroger Day events were also attended by Ohio University's Urban Scholars and Appalachian Scholars, a program founded in part by Kroger Senior Vice President Marnette Perry, who also serves on the university's board of trustees. The scholars' presence recognized The Kroger Co.'s ties to Ohio University and the support that the firm and its leadership have invested in university programs during the past decade.
According to Johnson, the relationship between Ohio University and The Kroger Co. is mutually beneficial.
"We are benefiting greatly from spending time in the classrooms, getting to know students and faculty and giving them a preview of the exciting career options within Kroger, as well as some of the innovations and technologies we use," he said.