SEBRING — Julie Hollingsworth, store manager at Lowe’s, started working at the hardware store 13 years ago as a part-time cashier. With her hard work and determination, she was promoted to head cashier, but that was not enough to satisfy her drive for success.
Hollingsworth worked to learn everything she could and was promoted to department manager of the front end, Donald Davies, administrative support manager for the front end, said. Her drive, love for helping people and hard work earned her the promotion of assistant store manager at the Sebring store, Davies said.
“This is where she excelled,” Davies said. “Her diligence and work ethic got her noticed by the Market Team management.”
She was invited to attend the store manager training program, and this is something that had never happened before. Due to her excellent customer service skills and her ability to work hard and learn quickly, Hollingsworth was promoted to store manager. She worked up through the ranks and has remained at her own store.
“Julie has led several Lowe’s Heroes projects for various organizations in the community throughout her career at Lowe’s,” Davies said.
Lowe’s Heroes “encourages employees to team together, adopt a volunteer project with a local nonprofit organization or public school and make a difference,” according to the company’s website.
“I met Julie through our Education Coordinator, Cindy, who frequents the Lowe’s in Sebring. Cindy insisted that I meet Julie and Don, and needless to say, it was history after that!” Aletta Stroder, program operations director for the Frostproof Child Development Center, said.
Hollingsworth chose Frostproof Child Development Center as one of her Lowe’s Heroes projects, and she, along with members of her store, volunteered at the child center.
“They rounded up volunteers to paint our classrooms,” Stroder said. “They did the floors in two of our largest classrooms, painted sidewalks and re-did our teachers bathroom this summer.
“We are forever grateful to Julie for her selfless, hard-work, and compassion to serve the community,” Stroder said.
“Her community outreach has touched the lives of countless people, young and old,” Davies said. Some of the organizations she has helped include Big Brothers Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, Boys & Girls Club, Champion for Children’s Foundation along with the Frostproof Child Development Center.
During Hurricane Irma, Hollingsworth organized the relief program that subsequently fed over 1,500 people with hot meals from the parking lot of Lowe’s. She also organized and assisted the store associates by providing free gas and food assistance to associates and their families who were in need.
Lowe’s employee Antonio Ramirez said, “For the past nine years that I’ve worked at Lowe’s, I have seen Hollingsworth excel at the store. Her soft approach has made a huge improvement in the store morale.
“She has become our seventh store manager, and the one that I believe will make a difference,” he continued. “I feel that a good leader will help the Lowe’s brand.
“With this being said, I am sure she will always be up for the challenge, and with the support her team, she will always be able to exceed all that is expected of her,” Ramirez said.
According to Davies, Hollingsworth puts the needs of others before her own needs. “Julie does all this, not for the attention or fame, but because she is undoubtedly a true example of a servant leader,” Davies said.
Hollingsworth is a pillar in the eyes, minds and hearts of anyone and everyone she comes in contact with, he said.