The Store Manager of the Year for 2021 is Christine King, store manager at East Central University Campus Store (ECU) in Ada, Oklahoma. Congratulations Christine! Presenting the award in this year’s retail division virtual annual meeting, Darren Croom, TBC president, proudly commended Christine for her extraordinary accomplishments in “building business and relationships.” Croom went on to say, “Christine’s track record of success is another building block on last year’s recognition as Most Improved Store Performance, Most Improved Gross Margin, and Most Improved Net Profit.”
Christine was recruited by Jessica (JB) Bright for the Concordia University campus store in September 2012. In 2018 she assumed the management position at ECU. Christine has been a top performer since joining TBC, and the challenges brought on by the pandemic in 2020 were fuel for her burning desire to surpass her goals. She was not going to let a pandemic get between her and greatness. Needless to say, she did what she set out to do, and more.
Christine led the ECU team to exceed budgeted sales goals by 1.2%. She blew the doors off her net profit goal with a remarkable 467% increase over budget. ECU contributed a significant portion of the division’s and the company’s overall financial results. ECU’s gross margin was 11.12% over budget, resulting in a year-end margin of 43.98%. ECU’s gross margin improvement ranked in the top three for the last two years. If all that is not impressive enough, Christine delivered those results with payroll costs 1.8% under budget. When Dana Poag, TBC vice president, was asked what makes Christine successful year after year, she was quick to point out, “Discipline! Christine has discipline, and models a strong work ethic for her team and her peers. Store manager of the year was an obvious choice.”
Christine’s leadership style is a combination of a good example, hard work, and compassion. She is highly regarded by her employees and peers. She has a huge heart, and constantly goes above and beyond what is expected to care for her employees and customers. Students know Christine’s generosity, as she has been known to purchase gear for those with financial challenges. She has built strong relationships on the ECU campus because of her genuine desire to help students, faculty, and the entire academic community.
Christine and her husband of 13 years, Kevin, have a 10-year-old son, Rowan. She also is mother to two adult stepchildren, Cynthia and Dylan, whom she “loves as (her) own, along with their babies.”
Christine loves to read and spend time outdoors. She is the quintessential Harry Potter nerd. She loves animals and must resist adopting every stray that crosses her path. Christine is a self-proclaimed extrovert and loves meeting new people and hearing their stories. Christine describes her life philosophy like this, “Life to me is meant to be spent with others, so developing relationships and having thoughtful, spiritual, intellectual, and fun conversations is my passion.”
Established in 1975, Texas Book Company is one of the largest academic retail companies in the U.S. serving the higher education industry. Texas Book Company's Retail, Military and OnCourse divisions provides customized management on on-campus and virtual bookstores for college and dual-credit institutions. The Company’s OnCourse platform provides 100% uptime during peak seasons and fail-safe procedures that further guarantee the security of valuable sales, ordering, inventory, and operations information.