James King began his Publix career in 1992 as a front service clerk at #206, Palatka, Florida. He worked at Publix through college, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Central Florida. In addition to serving as an industrial engineer in manufacturing, he’s worked as a senior business consultant, buyer and category manager. He was promoted to his current role in 2018.
Where were you born?
Orange Park, Florida
What brought you to Publix?
I had some friends who worked at our local store while in high school, and they loved it. I was also fond of visiting Publix because, as a child, my mom would get S&H green stamps in the checkout line that we later used to exchange for toys at an S&H store.
What did you want to be when you were little?
I couldn’t decide between a monster truck driver or a fighter pilot.
Who is your role model?
Jacksonville Regional Director Steve Walker. He invested so much time in me when I worked at #206 for three years. We’ve stayed in touch, and I recently got to see him at the Retail Operations Conference. I really appreciate his willingness to develop a 17-year-old kid who was rough around the edges into a Publix associate.
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy 4 a.m. road cycling with Team Dawn Patrol. We have a group that rides 35 to 40 miles on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. At that hour, you can ride roads you would never dream of riding on a bicycle.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy interacting with associates and the opportunity to grow sales and profits in a competitive landscape.
What’s your favorite Publix product?
That’s a tough choice — either Publix Premium Moose Tracks Ice Cream or GreenWise Salted Caramel Ice Cream.
What do you enjoy most about working at Publix?
For me, the best parts are watching associates grow and the promote-from-within culture we have at Publix.
What are your favorite sports teams?
My son’s Little League team. I get more excited than he does on game day. After that, the Green Bay Packers.
What’s your work philosophy?
Be willing to take on new challenges, even if they are uncomfortable. That’s how you grow as an individual and how you help drive improvement and value for Publix.
What are your proudest moments?
Watching my kids being born and meeting my wife on a Publix trip to Deerfield 16 years ago.
What is your favorite movie?
Saving Private Ryan. While tough for some people to watch, it’s a reminder of the sacrifices others have made for our freedom.
What music are you listening to right now?
Classic rock of the ’70s and ’80s with a few newer artists, such as Gary Clark Jr. and Greta Van Fleet, mixed in.
What’s one thing on your bucket list?
To travel as much as possible with my family.
What’s your advice to someone starting out in their Publix career?
Work hard, and be willing to take on new roles and responsibilities. Publix is full of opportunity.