July 22, 2021
By Julie Murphy, Chief People Officer, Walmart U.S.
Walmart is thrilled to announce “Every Day Heroes,” a joint recognition effort with PepsiCo to celebrate associates nationwide who make a difference for their teams, their customers and their communities. Beginning July 22, select Frito-Lay products in Walmart stores will be specially packaged to recognize and celebrate these associates. Each product will feature a QR code linking to a site where customers can learn firsthand how these Every Day Heroes make an impact through their work.
When we talk about heroism, we often think of the spectacular, but simple acts of service, kindness and enthusiasm that make all the difference, especially during challenging times. The Every Day Heroes listed below have gone to remarkable lengths to serve others, and so many of us are inspired by how they live our Walmart values. We’re thankful not only for the work these associates have done but also for who they are as people.
- NaToya Champion – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – During the pandemic, NaToya asked her team to wear yellow for Senior Shopping Hour to signify optimism and positivity, so customers would feel hopeful and happy. The idea was a hit, and her team has now worn yellow every Tuesday for a whole year.
- April Coolidge – Pageland, South Carolina - A cheerful, energetic person by nature and a member of the elite Road Team Member Group of the American Road Team Association, April helps bring joy to her peers by spreading positivity and kindness. She takes pride representing women in trucking, and in her nearly-three years driving with Walmart, has worked to reinforce the industry’s commitment to safety, sustainability and professionalism. Talk about everyday heroism.
- Frederick James Efu-Awich – Tucson, Arizona - A 15-year Walmart associate, Efu helps uplift spirits through regular participation in Days of Giving, where store teams contribute to community organizations in need of support. Efu says that every day brings something new to embrace and cherish.
- Kevin Gaines – Gulfport, Mississippi – Kevin spreads joy to his team through “Thank You Thursdays,” celebrations recognizing team contributions via social posts and thank you notes. When he’s not actively thanking his associates for their hard work, he’s trying to help them become better – creating a culture of positivity and improvement that helps associates at Store 6323 continue growing.
- Toshua Harrell – Corbin, Kentucky – Toshua helps spread joy among her associates by gifting them with Easter treat bags, hero pins and even personal pizzas to keep their spirits high. In her 21 years with Walmart, Toshua has learned that giving back to her associates, and her community, is one way to make a difference that everyone will feel.
- Candace Vandervaart – Las Vegas, Nevada – Candace is a 20-year associate who helps to spread joy and uplift spirits by creating “locker treats” for team members that include fun and encouraging messages to brighten their day. She’s big on engagement, and looks for every chance to help her fellow associates have their best day at work.
Considering what a unique year it’s been for our business – both in its obstacles and in the incredible ways our associates have overcome them – we see this program as an equally unique way of recognizing the people at the center of all we do. We hope that our associates seeing themselves and their coworkers recognized in this forum will elevate their sense of professional pride and inspire others to follow their example.
To quote Efu, “No matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish. There is something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we see and appreciate it.”
The associates we’re recognizing each embody that quote, and we're excited to celebrate them publicly in this way.