Moving up the Publix corporate ladder

Meriann Metz, a longtime in-house lawyer for Publix, was promoted to vice president, general counsel and secretary in 2019.

She says that one of the perks to her new role is working directly with the Publix leadership team, and retail associates alike.

“The more time I spend with both groups the more excited I am for the future of our company,” Metz says.

Born and raised in the Tampa Bay area, Metz attended the University of South Florida and Stetson University’s College of Law. She still lives in Tampa.

Like many other Florida natives she has fond memories of Publix from childhood.

“One of my favorite childhood memories is going to our local Publix on Saturday mornings with my dad and brother to pick out doughnuts from the bakery,” she says.

Metz was drawn to the legal field to be intellectually challenged, but also to help people.

“Excellent lawyers should always be thinking about how they can serve their clients’ legal needs while providing value to their businesses,” she says. “And the challenges we face in practice are as varied as the clients themselves.”

Before joining the Publix in-house legal team in 2006, Metz was an attorney with the Lowndes Drosdick law firm in Orlando.

“From my first day with Publix it was evident that our in-house legal department was a true business partner, designed to serve and protect the company,” she says. “In that sense, going from a law firm to the Publix legal team felt like a natural transition for me.”

After being with the company for 13 years, she says she still arrives at work each day feeling a sense of pride and excitement.

“One of the things I love about Publix is that you don’t have to look hard to find decades-long loyalty from both its associates and its customers,” she says. “Every day is so different. Some days, I might spend the bulk of my time with the legal department team members. Other days, it’s spent with Publix leadership. Then other days, I might be working directly with team members from departments as varied as food safety, pharmacy, manufacturing and grocery.”

While she emphasizes she loves working with all the varied groups, there’s one she loves just a smidge more.

“Any department where an ice cream tasting might be involved is always going to be a favorite,” she says.

From a legal perspective, the job stays interesting because of the variety of issues the legal team gets to work on.

“The most interesting thing about Publix though, is our employee ownership. I think that is one of the secrets to our success,” Metz says. ♦

Meriann Metz’s ‘Pub Sub’ order

Turkey and cheddar on white bread. “Especially with some cranberry sauce during the holidays.”

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