Alesha McDaniel

Alesha McDaniel

On Thursday, The Chronicle published its "20 Under 40" special section to recognize some of our area's top young professionals.

The section was produced through a partnership with Young Professionals of Lewis County.

We'll highlight each of our honorees with personal profiles beginning today.

Pick up a copy of Thursday's edition of The Chronicle for the full special section.

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Name: Alesha McDaniel

Age: 35

Town of Residence: Chehalis

Employer: D&S Enterprise’s dba Centralia Shop’n Kart and Westport Shop’n Kart

Title: CEO, President, Chief Financial Officer

Community involvement:

Donating to local food banks, cakes and gift cards to all local schools for homework hero and super reader, local sports teams, open arms, local law enforcements and first responder’s numerous local fundraisers and activates. Won best young professional, grocery store, bakery, donuts, best place to work and customer service 2019.


Darris McDaniel (Grandfather), Garet Russo (spouse), Lilly Russo (Daughter).

What do you appreciate most about our community?

One of the most important things that I love about our community is that it is a big enough city to offer a wide variety of activities and opportunities, yet small enough that everyone knows each other. It is a true family community that is safe and welcoming and one that I am proud to call home. I appreciate that people can count on each other to help in times of need, that friends and families can come together to celebrate special occasions, and that we appreciate the diversity and backgrounds that we all bring together. Growing up in this community has led me to life-long friends, a connection to our businesses and schools, and a feeling of accomplishment in that I can give back to this community that I love through my work.

Who is your mentor and what is one lesson you have learned from that person?

I have been fortunate that I have had some very special people in my life that have guided me and have been there for me as I have learned and grown. But the one person that I look to as a true mentor has been my grandfather, Darris McDaniel. My grandfather taught me two very important lessons that have contributed to my own success. The first, is to recognize and treasure the importance of our valued employees and our customers. My grandfather modeled for me, since I was a very young girl, that it matters each and every day, how we treat other people. I try to live out his lesson and make sure that our employees know how much they are appreciated, and that our customers know how important they are to us.

The second lesson I learned from my grandfather is to always work hard and never give up. He wrote a book called “Dare to Dream” which outlined his own challenges in life and how he overcame difficulties and obstacles by never giving up. Success doesn’t come by just sitting back and hoping things will go well. It requires a goal, a plan and the dedication to reach those goals. I am proud of what he taught me and proud to carry on his legacy.

Tell us one hobby or fact that people would find interesting about you.

I love to fish! I have been very blessed to take many fishing trips in Canada. These trips have been a way for our family to be together, appreciate the amazing beauty that is in the great Pacific Northwest, and to catch some spectacular fish. I am teaching my own daughter to carry on this tradition.

Describe a defining moment in your career.

As I shared previously, my mentor, and indeed the person that has had the greatest impact on my life, is my grandfather, who started Shop’n Kart in 1972. Fourty-eight years later, he has just appointed me as the CEO of our wonderful company, to carry on the lessons and legacy that he began. This defining moment means everything to me. I only hope that I can live up to the trust he has placed in me and that I can continue to.

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