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Hallmark names Google VP to board

BY Dan Berthiaume

Kansas City, Mo. – Hallmark Cards has named Claire Hughes Johnson, VP at Google, to its board of directors. Johnson, who has been with Google since 2004, currently runs its Google Offers mobile-to-store business and also has led global online sales and the new products and solutions teams, as well as teams responsible for Gmail, Google Wallet and Google Apps. Before Google, Johnson’s experience includes serving as a management consultant.

"Claire Hughes Johnson has broad experience in developing innovative new businesses and business models," said Hallmark vice chairman, president and CEO Donald J. Hall Jr. "Her knowledge of the rapidly changing digital space, as well as her experience leading global business and product teams, will help us as we consider new opportunities and develop strategic plans to expand our business."

"No one understands the power of emotional connection like Hallmark does," said Johnson. "We all strive to connect with those around us, and I’m excited to help Hallmark explore ways that technology can complement and enhance those connections."

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Kroger commits to zero waste

BY Dan Berthiaume

Cincinnati – As part of its seventh annual sustainability report, Kroger is committing to moving its stores toward the EPA zero waste threshold of 90%. Currently Kroger diverts 58% of its waste from stores and will increase that figure to 65% by the end of this year and 70% by the end of 2015. The retailer also is committing to sourcing 100% certified sustainable palm oil by the end of 2015.

Other highlights of the report include Kroger’s reduction of its carbon footprint by 4.8%, reducing overall energy consumption in stores by 32.7%, increasing its fleet efficiency by 33.1% since 2008 and staying on track to meet a goal of 40% improved fleet efficiency by 40% by 2014, donating the equivalent of 200 million meals to 80 local food banks in 2012, and providing $49 million to more than 30,000 schools and charitable organizations participating in its Community Rewards program.

"For 130 years, Kroger has aimed to serve each individual customer, every day, and to be good stewards of our communities and the environment," said David Dillon, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. "Our sustainability progress today is part of this proud heritage, thanks to more than 343,000 associates who are helping make each community we serve a better place to live."

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Starbucks shift supervisors, not asst. managers, can share tips

BY Dan Berthiaume

Seattle – The New York Court of Appeals has ruled that Starbucks shift supervisors are eligible to share tips left in plastic containers by cash registers with baristas. However, assistant managers are not entitled to share in the tips.

Current Starbucks policy divides tips among baristas and shift supervisors, and excludes assistant managers and managers. Lawyers representing Starbucks baristas and former assistant managers had presented opposing arguments about whether the policy was legitimate in May. Judge Victoria A. Graffeo ruled that assistant managers at Starbucks are involved in too many managerial duties that do not involve directly serving customers to participate in collecting tips, but shift supervisors should be eligible.

"The [Department of Labor] has consistently and, in our view, reasonably, maintained that employees who regularly provide direct service to patrons remain tip-pool eligible, even if they exercise a limited degree of supervisory responsibility," Graffeo wrote in her ruling.

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