Class of 2022
Jennifer Dilts has been working in the confectionery industry for the past 11 years and consider herself not just a buyer, but an innovator.
She Born in West Union, OH, on December 3, 1971, to Carolyn and James Fristoe. She graduated from Cookeville High School in Cookeville, TN, in 1989 and went on to attend Eastern Kentucky University for one semester.
She met her husband Dave during a fourth of July houseboat trip to Center Hill Lake and they married in 1999. Together they have two sons: Christian and Wesley, and one granddaughter.
She started her confectionery career with Dollar General Corp. as a candy and snack buyer in 2010, having joined the company in 1999. She was given the opportunity to assist the associate buyer at the time and enjoyed the experience so much she knew she wanted to be involved in the category full-time.
Not long into the position, she was promoted to senior buyer of candy/snacks and started managing not only candy but bread, sweet goods, regional salty snacks and Little Debbie. Her category responsibilities have changed over the years but she has consistently managed candy. Most recently she has taken on the seasonal candy category and was recently named Senior Director of Merchandising.
During her tenure as candy buyer, Jennifer has secured four additional linear feet for the category, added five permanent side wings of candy for impulse purchasing throughout the store and reinvented Dollar General front ends. She has also been successful with expanding the reach of the category, implementing a National Candy Month program in June 2021.
Jennifer says that what initially attracted her to the business was the innovation. She adds that because there are so many dynamics from everyday, seasonal and impulse front- end candy, that there is never a dull moment. She has stayed in this category because of the incredible people, innovation and the love of the industry.
Having been a NCA Women’s Leadership Group member since 2017, she has participated in many of the group’s events and panels. She was awarded the NCA Confectionery Leadership Award in 2016, and in 2018, 2019 and 2021 she received a Bronze Reggie Award, which recognizes brand activation marketing campaigns. She was also called out for her exceptional partnership marketing with the “Trident Gives Back at Dollar General” campaign from Mondelez International and Phoenix Creative Co.
Jennifer notes that none of these milestones or awards would have been possible without the partnerships she has established with both manufacturers and brokers.
Within the Dollar General, Jennifer’s achievements have also been noticed. She earned the Dollar General Extra Mile Award in 2013 and the company’s CMO Peer Award in 2018.
Jennifer lists the support Dollar General leadership, her customers and her family as contributing to her career success.
She says she tends to learn different aspects of the business from each person she deals with. She believes that managing candy goes beyond the day- to-day job, and says that learning about the industry and staying involved is extremely important.
She hopes that she is remembered for being a great mom, someone who put family first and the one who worked hard, but never missed any event her sons were involved in.