WOMAN OF THE YEAR: Jenny Bullard
WAYCROSS, Ga. — Jenny Bullard started working for The Jones Co. right out of high school in the accounting department. When the company started expanding into new technology, she became more involved in this side of the business, bringing her background in computer programming into the mix.
Today, she is chief information officer of The Jones Co., holding company for Flash Foods Inc., a chain of 171 convenience stores in Georgia and north Florida.
On a daily basis, Bullard works with the executive team on all software development, purchases, system networking, disaster recovery and more, and is also very involved in convenience store industry associations. She served as chair for the National Association of Convenience Stores’ (NACS) technology conference from 2008 to 2010, and is currently a member of the Conexxus Tech Council Committee.
“Being involved in the industry keeps our company at the forefront of technology,” Bullard said. “NACS and Conexxus allow me to work not only with peers, but also with solution providers looking to partner with retailers on new technology.”
Bullard was the recipient of the 2004 Convenience Store News Technology Executive of the Year award and the 2005 Pinnacle Hall of Fame Award, and she was inducted into the Conexxus Hall of Fame in 2014.
She’s spearheaded many successful technology implementations for Flash Foods, including the chain’s recent GoBlue mobile payment application.
“We are working on the second generation of our mobile app with new functionality right now,” said Bullard. “We are working with some of our suppliers to offer mobile coupon redemption.”
Having been in the c-store industry for more than 40 years, the role of women and the number of women in leadership roles has changed a lot, she explained. In the past, when attending a conference, the room would be 90 percent men. But this is shifting.
“There are more women in the industry and more in our company. I think it’s a combination of more opportunities and that women feel more comfortable being in the industry and being a leader in the industry,” she noted.
Looking back over her career, receiving the recognition by Convenience Store News in 2004 with the Technology Executive of the Year award stands out as the accomplishment she is most proud of so far.
“That meant a lot to me personally; not just being the first to get this award, but to be recognized for this award and being a woman in the industry in technology,” she said, adding that the greatest achievement within her own company is having the owners trust her to represent Flash Foods in the industry.
“I would not be recognized in the industry without the backing of The Jones Co. having the confidence in me to let me lead the company in technology and giving me the reins to go out in the industry and make Flash Foods a better company today,” Bullard said.