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Jared Castleton

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District Manager

My mindset has always been not to meet expectations, but to exceed them.

Key Info

  • Job Title
    District Manager
  • Top 3 Skills
    Process Improvement, Dealing with Ambiguity, Interpersonal Savvy
  • Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Will relocate?
  • Languages Spoken

Key Skills + Experience

District Manager                                                                                                 Grand Rapids, MI November 20-August 21

  • Overseeing 9 retail locations with a combined revenue of $60 million annually
  • Launched the delivery platform for the district resulting in 10-15% revenue increase within 3-4 months of launch
  • Project managing and launching the opening of three new store locations
  • Maintaining 100% leadership team retention
  • Initiated “Cannabis & Community” program, partnering, and positioning each store locally within their community
  • Transitioned POS platforms in order to expedite guest transactions.  Average transaction time decreased by 60-90 seconds within the first 4 weeks of implementation
  • Promoted 4 internal team members to Store Manager and 5 to Assistant Manager through proper coaching and individual development plans
  • Performing regular store walk throughs & auditing to ensure that all dispensary team members maintain proper compliance protocol directed by METRC and the MRA.  Average compliance score increased 10% on average within the first 6 months
  • Implemented and revised current SOP’s including cash handling, product rotation and inventory, and team member deployment within retail stores
  • Decreased labor % to sales from 18-23% to 10% or below within the first four months of employment
  • Selecting and editing third party edible purchase leading to 25% increase in sales within category within first 3 months
  • Developed monthly “upsell” incentive programs leading to consistent MOM average transaction increase of 5-10% from Dec ’20-September ‘21
  • Developed a bonus incentive for retail leaders in order to maintain retention and remain competitive within the industry
  • Launched companywide training initiative for ongoing cannabis education where deficiencies were identified
  • Implemented a “snapshot” platform where criteria were graded/measured revolving solely around the guest experience
  • Partnering with the NSO and design team for consistent process improvement and elevated guest experience
  • Interfacing with department heads to analyze inventory needs, policy and security updates other dispensary needs
  • Conducting ongoing competitor analysis and strategizing
  • Providing cultivation and processing teams with feedback on inventory levels and sales trends
  • Utilization of KPI/metrics, tools, reports, and review cadence to ensure optimal efficiency
  • Partnering with HR to revise the onboarding process, including an LMS platform
  • Recruiting, interviewing, and hiring all dispensary managers and leadership team members
  • Performing dispensary managers reviews on an annual basis
  • Analyzing business performance, developing weekly & quarterly action plans
  • Consistently identifying trends in competitor sales/discounts/promotions to remain competitive
  • Consistently working on product evolution and improvement with the solicitation of team member and guest feedback
  • Implemented third party platform to increase Google reviews.  All stores saw review scores 90% or higher within the district within 30 days of implementation.  Team members were monetarily rewarded for personalized reviews
  • Maintaining accountability of all team members

Retail Director of Operations                                                                           Chicago, IL    Oct ‘11 – November 20

  • Maintaining full P&L ownership
  • Rebranded/remodeled/realigned company operated stores resulting in 20% increased sales 2017-2020
  • Implemented scheduling platform which led to increased productivity and consistent labor costs of 10% or below
  • Maintained full store manager retention reducing training and hiring cost
  • Responsible for obtaining all store licensing and renewal
  • Partnered with marketing and social media departments, developing digital marketing content for increased store and company exposure
  • Responsible for COG reduction by 10-15% in all company operated stores within the first 12 months in role
  • Introducing digital menus in company operated stores, increasing sales 10-15% YOY for first three years
  • Responsible for developing and distributing the top selling SKU within the company from 2017-2019
  • Decreased store buildout costs by 18% through contractor selection and material purchases
  • Recruiting top retail management talent, overseeing performance and succession planning
  • Developing, executing, and initiating new sales goal strategies
  • Driving the retail management team for comprehensive company success
  • Maintaining and developing SOP’s and KPI’s
  • Managing mid-west division licensed store openings
  • Creating and maintaining best practices, ensuring a superior guest experience
  • Developing training models and curriculum, testing, and implementing in retail store locations
  • Tracking and reporting store performance metrics, identifying areas of opportunity and growth
  • Leading marketing initiatives & strategy for new product development and customer engagement
  • Representing Lifeway at nationwide tradeshows and marketing events
  • Dealing with ambiguity and problem solving on a daily basis
  • Conducting quality assurance audits for retail outlets, adhering to IDOPH code and standards
  • Creating an innovative product lineup to ensure guest satisfaction and sustained sales growth
  • Managing social media outlets, responding to customer inquiries, and resolving all service issues

District Manager                                                                                                 Chicago, IL    Aug ’09 – Oct ‘11

  • Managed the portfolio of all retail stores, including 60 licensed concept store locations and mobile food truck
  • Responsible for P&L management, forecasting and meeting sales goals
  • Exceeded sales goal targets by 10% for both years in position
  • Project managed 3 new store openings from vendor selection to store opening
  • Set sales targets and developed strategy for achieving sales goals
  • Determined the vision and strategy for new store openings and site selection of the stores
  • Developed job descriptions, employee reviews, bonus structure and training programs
  • Created retail policies for all products, ensuring compliance with the COC and IDOPH
  • Opened new retail locations with a “start-up” mentality for sustained growth
  • Hired top talent to ensure a superior guest service experience
  • Managed product inventory and production
  • Managed an annual showcase event schedule countrywide, ranging from Lollapalooza, Taste of Chicago, and Expo West volumes
  • Established relationships with the City of Chicago including the SBA, Chamber of Commerce and local aldermen for eased licensing and community involvement

Project Manager                                                                                                  Chicago, IL    Nov ’08 – May ‘09

  • Defined and managed interactive advertising and marketing campaigns
  • Managed up to 20 different projects at any given time
  • Maintained a detailed, structured calendar to deliver project completion, meeting all deadlines
  • Enabled cross-functional project teams to deliver targeted results, meeting client needs
  • Drove product implementation, testing, launching and process improvement

Training and Development Manager                                                             Chicago, IL    Sept ’07 - Nov ‘08

  • Conducted, facilitated, and implemented 4 training programs to existing and new partners.  These included Customer Care, Servant Leadership, Supervisory Skills and 360 Degree Leadership
  • Developed new curriculum and instructional materials for company operated stores
  • Facilitated workshops/seminars required for executive leader training
  • Measured effectiveness of training programs and materials
  • Developed and implemented the “head-set” deployment training program nationwide
  • Consulted with district managers to identify training needs and how to implement new materials

Operations Project Manager                                                                             Chicago, IL    Sept ‘05 – Sept ‘07

  • Opened 60+ new store locations in existing food and restaurant service concepts
  • Implemented process improvement SOP’s for expedited and leaned openings revolving around product receiving, inventory and the buildout punch list completion process
  • Exemplified and facilitated Servant Leadership model behaviors to instill the culture in licensed customer locations
  • Coordinated and facilitated store operations training and support for new stores
  • Proudly recognized as Midwest 2006 Manager of the Year
  • Engaged in reviews and testing of pilot training materials
  • Built the internal and external relationships required for new store openings
  • Analyzed progress of training materials to improve efficiency and process improvement 

Retail Store Manager                                                                                         Chicago, IL    Sept ‘02- Sept ‘05


Class of 2000 – Bachelor of Applied Arts in Business Management 3.7 GPA

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