Changing of the guard at County Market
Glen Bersie to retire after 24 years, Dave Mayville retail director of Medford County Market
For the past 24 years, Glen Bersie has been a fixture at the County Market supermarket in Medford leading the store and the Medford Cooperative’s other retail outlets through a period of growth and change while always keeping an eye toward the future.
This week Bersie will remove his headset one last time and hand over his duties to incoming retail director Dave Mayville.
When Bersie came to the area to run the Medford Cooperative’s supermarket in 1996, it was operating under the Marketplace Foods name. They made the switch to join the County Market group and gain new suppliers.
“It has been fun and exciting,” Bersie said of his time in Medford.
Under his leadership, the store underwent remodeling in 1998, 2004 and in 2015 underwent a major remodel and expansion. It is that latest remodeling that included the expansion of the natural foods area.
Previously the store had a natural foods area that was part of an aisle. Prior to the expansion Bersie and others had done their homework visiting stores around the state and seeing what trends were happening. They saw the need for an expanded natural food section and decided to make it, its own department within the store. The department has grown from one full-time employee to two full-time employees giving their expertise to customers. As part of that expansion project County Market added Black River Spirits as a full service liquor department which occupies 6,000 square feet of space.
Throughout his career, Bersie continued to look ahead to keep on top of industry trends and ensure that the Medford store is at the top of the industry when it comes to innovation. The most recent move in that direction has been the addition of online grocery shopping.
“We are always looking to moving the store forward,” Bersie said. Even in the days before his retirement, he was working with the management team to come up with new ideas and ways to expand and improve the online grocery shopping experience.
Bersie noted that nowadays everyone is busy and that they are looking at ways to make more time in their life. In addition, many people are already online doing their shopping for other things and that being able to shop for your groceries and place an order to come pick up when it is convenient is an advantage.
Bersie said there is appeal to all ages with shopping online from families that are too busy with their kids activities to retirees who may not want to leave their home. “They are all different, not one customer is alike,” Bersie said.
Bersie doesn’t see online grocery shopping eliminating traditional stores anytime soon. There are many who enjoy the social activity of grocery shopping. But, he said it is important to stay ahead of trends and to look to the future. “We keep on the forefront,” Bersie said.
He said he enjoys it when visitors to the area from places like Madison and Milwaukee come in and are surprised by what Medford County Market has and say they can’t find stores like that in their own communities. Bersie said he knows where the stores are in those communities, because he has been to them and has looked at what other stores are doing right in order to bring that to Medford.
Just as he has continued to bring success to Medford County Market, Bersie’s talents have also been recognized with increasing responsibility within the Medford Cooperative. In addition to running the supermarket, he was given oversight of the hardware store and then the convenience store operations which includes stores in Medford and Rib Lake.
Bersie is quick to give credit to the quality staff in all the stores and the team of managers he works with. “There is a whole team of management from various departments,” he said. As he did throughout his career, when his retirement was approaching Bersie did his homework and planned ahead. About five years ago Bersie and his wife purchased a home on Lake Helen near Rosholt and has steadily been making improvements to it including doing extensive landscaping. “We have been bringing it from the 1990s to the 2020s,” he said.
To help keep him busy in his retirement, Bersie joined the volunteer board of the lake health and rehabilitation district. The lake district has taxing authority to do improvements and maintain the quality of the lake. He is one of the five commissioners that look out for the future of the lake.
For the past few weeks Bersie has been working with his replacement, Dave Mayville so that he hits the ground running.
Mayville grew up on a farm outside of Bonduel and his grocery career has taken him to stores in Shawano, Clintonville and Green Bay before ending up in Greenwood where he and his wife, Christina, were the owners of the grocery store. They purchased the store and ran it for 11 years. They were hit with sour economic conditions and ended up closing that store three years ago. They moved on to manage the store in Iron Mountain where he has been the past three years.
He said he jumped at the chance to come back to Central Wisconsin noting that this area has always been home to him. A major incentive to move here was to be closer to their children. They have seven children who are all college-age and older.
Mayville said the move to the Medford area has been a positive one for them, noting that people have embraced and welcomed them. He said he has been impressed by how genuine people seem here as well as willing to go out of the way for other people.
When not working, Mayville says he enjoys camping, hunting and fishing and spending time with his children.