Anna Iosefo 1

MD SVP Anna Iosefo Retires After 31 Years of Service

From the Burger King at Fort Hood to senior leadership at headquarters, Senior Vice President of Merchandising Anna Iosefo has served those who serve at every level of the Exchange.

Now, after 31 years, Iosefo is readying for retirement.

“My dream was always to be a general manager,” Iosefo said. “I always thought that there was a secret sauce that someone possessed in order to accomplish a position like that, to truly make a difference to our service members and families, the Exchange, and the direction of the business. Everything else beyond that has just been an incredible journey.”

Growing up in an Army household with a mother who served with the Exchange for nearly 20 years, Iosefo’s distinguished career began at the Fort Hood Burger King in 1989. Working part-time while attending college, she later transferred to the food court’s Baskin-Robbins and then the main store electronics section. About six months before graduating, she was approached by the store manager about potential next steps.

“I had no idea he even knew I was going to school or that he saw anything in me,” Iosefo said. “I thought that was pretty fantastic of him, because I didn’t even know there was anything to do at the Exchange beyond what I was doing at Fort Hood, so I hadn’t considered it as a career yet.”

After graduating, Iosefo was selected for the college trainee program, transferring to the Fort Polk Exchange in Louisiana. From there, she moved to multiple positions in Guam, Korea and Japan. In 2007, she achieved her dream of becoming a general manager, at the Misawa Exchange.

“My favorite and probably most impactful memories of the Exchange are of my time in the Pacific Region,” she said. “You’re essentially an ambassador when you’re in these positions, and it’s very important that you understand the overall picture of what you’re doing to fulfill your mission for the Exchange, so when service members and their families return home they remember how we took care of them overseas. It’s truly family serving family in that environment.”

Iosefo returned to the states in 2009, becoming the general manager at Fort Gordon. Four years later, she became an area manager for Eastern Region. In 2017, she became a vice president in the Merchandising directorate, being promoted to senior vice president of Central Region that same year. In 2018, she assumed the role of Merchandising SVP.

“Whenever I got into a leadership role, I’d introduce myself by saying, ‘I’m Anna Iosefo: This is my role, and I’m a fierce protector of this benefit. It’s my dad’s benefit, and it’s my father-in-law’s benefit. I hold that very dear, and my teammates feel the same way.”

Despite her remarkable career and professional accomplishments, Iosefo sees the support she’s given her team as her biggest accomplishment.

“I always thought it was very important to be very transparent to my team,” she said. “They could come and ask me any question that they had if they were unsure of what their path might be, or if they needed help in understanding how to reach a certain level in their career, or accomplishing a project or an event. … Any success I had can only attributed to their success. They made it happen.”

Looking back on her time with the Exchange, Iosefo says she hopes she made a difference for her teams, her peers and her leadership—and that she gave everything she had to fulfill the Exchange’s promise of family serving family.

“Wherever you are assigned in the world and whether or not it’s the assignment you wanted, be involved. Your job is what you make of it, and you have to fulfill your promise to our service members, their families and our team. Be involved, and use your resources at headquarters. There are so many wonderful people who work in the directorates who can help you with moving what we do forward. You can definitely make a difference.”

Anna Iosefo retires

Senior Vice President of Merchandising Anna Iosefo, then serving as general manager of the Misawa Air Base Exchange, celebrates the 2009 grand opening of the base’s Express, Popeyes and dry cleaners.

 

Anna Iosefo retires

Senior Vice President of Merchandising Anna Iosefo gives Soldiers a welcome briefing while serving as general manager of the Fort Gordon Exchange in 2011.

 

Anna Iosefo retires

Senior Vice President of Merchandising Anna Iosefo (middle row, eighth from right), then serving as general manager of the Fort Bragg Exchange, joins her team for the Fort Bragg Veteran’s Day Parade in 2013.

 

Anna Iosefo retires

Senior Vice President of Merchandising Anna Iosefo, then serving as Central Region Vice President, wishes Airman Basic Zachary Hehman happy holidays after wrapping gifts for him to send to his parents and girlfriend in Cincinnati on Dec. 2, 2017, at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Air Force Base. About 3,800 Basic Military Training recruits were treated to a morning of Exchange holiday shopping as a brief respite from their rigorous training.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

21 Comments

  1. Robert Suesserman on December 18, 2020 at 11:15 am

    Congratulations, wish you many blessing on your journey…

    • Lisa Ferguson on December 18, 2020 at 1:03 pm

      Thank you, Robert, for the well wishes.

  2. Mario P. Mejia on December 18, 2020 at 11:20 am

    Go Crusaders, good luck enjoy your retirement, wish you all the best

    • Lisa Ferguson on December 18, 2020 at 1:04 pm

      Mario,
      Thank for sharing best wishes for Anna.

  3. Esther Bradley on December 18, 2020 at 11:20 am

    I had the honor of working with her in Ft. Gordon. She definitely showed me a lot and was always there whenever I needed help. AAFES is loosing one of the good ones. Enjoy your retirement, well deserved.

    • Lisa Ferguson on December 18, 2020 at 1:06 pm

      Esther,
      Thank you for sharing about your experiences with Anna at Fort Gordon. We’re also wishing her well during her next chapter.

  4. Laura Leak on December 18, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Congratulations! You will be dearly missed! I wish you the best of luck on your next journey! I have had the honor to have visited with you a few times during store visits and the Express Seminar.

    • Lisa Ferguson on December 18, 2020 at 1:08 pm

      Thank you, Laura.

  5. Russell Westfall on December 18, 2020 at 11:33 am

    I worked with Anna in Misawa. and it was a great time in my life working for her. She worked long and hard and made you work long and hard. If you did not know something she made you learn and just not learn it but know it and own it. With that hard work always came appreciation and you were rewarded for your work. If you worked directly under Anna you became a better manager for it. You next assignment was easier because of what you learned from working with Anna. That being said I wish her and her husband all the happiness in her retirement. Anna I thank you.

    • Lisa Ferguson on December 18, 2020 at 1:10 pm

      Thank you, Russell, for sharing about your experience working with Anna.

  6. Charles Watkins on December 18, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    Good luck in your retirement Anna! You are definitely an asset to the Xchange! You made our Exchange at Ft Gordon a great place to work and serve the best customers in the world! You always made me feel like I could lift a mountain!
    Thanks

  7. Rich Pickering on December 19, 2020 at 12:08 am

    Congrats on a terrific career. All the best….Rich

    • Lisa Ferguson on December 21, 2020 at 8:06 am

      Thank you, Rich.

  8. Trish Sablan on December 19, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    Wishing the best of luck to Anna in her new chapter of life. I had the privilege to work with Anna while she was stationed here in Guam.
    She was a great mentor and made sure you knew your job well. Anna made working for the Exchange fun, the passion she displayed was remarkable. The shoe print she left behind were hard to fill. Again, good luck in all your future endeavors Anna.

    • Lisa Ferguson on December 21, 2020 at 8:05 am

      Thank you, Trish, for sharing your memories of working with Anna.

  9. Hoshino Elvira on December 29, 2020 at 3:21 am

    Happy retirement. I had a chance working under her wings here in Yokota Main Store. Hard working manager and does not settle for a “NO” answered, energetic and a great role model. Great leader. Good luck to you new endeavor.

    • Lisa Ferguson on December 29, 2020 at 10:55 am

      Thank you for sharing your well wishes and memories of working alongside Anna.

  10. Teri P Wright on December 30, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    Congratulations Ms. Iosefo. I have never worked with you but have seen and met you multiple times on your visits to the Great Fort Hood, not to mention, my admin office coworker/work BFF, Crystal Houston….. OMG, she talks about you ALL THE TIME, almost daily. How you were an amazing coworker with her, how sweet and nice and caring you are. She thinks very highly of you. Also, We LOVE your sister-in-law Lena, that’s our girl. I wish you all the best in your retirement and enjoy!

    • Lisa Ferguson on December 31, 2020 at 7:32 am

      Thank you very much, Teri.

  11. Ricky Cabral on January 5, 2021 at 11:13 pm

    Ms. Anna,
    Congratulations on your retirement! The impact you have made through the Exchange still ripples through the Pacific Region! There’s not a day I don’t think about your time on this side of the international dateline! Thank you for your contagious drive, support and leadership, and I wish you nothing but the best as you continue on to your next journey.

    • Lisa Ferguson on January 6, 2021 at 7:59 am

      Ricky,
      Thank you very much for wishing Anna well.

Leave a Comment





This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.