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Jesse Shapiro, 25

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Walk into the Mount Kisco Target location and you’d be forgiven for mistaking the store manager, Jesse Shapiro, for a part-time clerk in college, or even high school. But the baby-faced 25-year-old runs the show, supervising 12 salaried executive team leaders, 28 hourly team leaders, and more than 300 team members—in a store that generates more than $70 million in annual sales and maintains inventory in excess of $7 million. Impressed yet?

Shapiro has come a long way from his start at the Mount Kisco Target store: a summer cashier position when he was in high school. He returned as an executive intern in 2009 while attending Penn State (where he earned a BS in Marketing), and surprised himself by finding a passion for retail. “I loved that every day was a new challenge, that I was on my feet and interacting with people instead of sitting in front of a computer,” he says. So the Mount Kisco native donned the red-shirt-and-khakis uniform as a full-time employee at his hometown store after graduating in 2010, and quickly rose through the ranks. 

Today, as store team leader (Target-speak for store manager) Shapiro is charged with overseeing daily operations—no small task considering the 1,000 average guests who shop there each day—as well as driving the location to satisfy or exceed company expectations in a variety of operational measures. “At Target, we measure everything, and my store has exceeded many goals,” he explains proudly.

But Shapiro is quick to point to helping build and develop the store’s team members and leaders as his proudest accomplishment. Despite his young age and youthful looks, he’s earned their respect with a simple formula: “You have to show employees respect and make coming to work something they can enjoy everyday,” he says. 

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