Kathy Russello, EVP, people systems and services of Retail Businesses Services (RBS), the services company of Ahold Delhaize USA, is the 2018 Top Women in Grocery Trailblazer from Progressive Grocer and the Chicago-based Network of Executive Women (NEW).
Russello will be recognized at the upcoming Top Women in Grocery gala celebration on Nov. 8 at the Palmer House Hilton, in Chicago.
“In honor of Kathy’s tireless involvement in community engagement and working to create diversity and inclusion in her role at Ahold Delhaize USA, we are extremely proud to honor her as our 2018 Top Woman in Grocery Trailblazer,” said Kat Martin, senior editor of PG.
As the pinnacle award in PG’s Top Women in Grocery awards program, the Trailblazer is bestowed upon an individual who leads by example and has demonstrated a commitment to building up the next generation of female leaders in the grocery retail industry.
“Given her exemplary career as a human resources professional, we can clearly see the impact Kathy has made on supporting representative leadership," added Martin. Kathy not only lifts up, she also gives back."
“Throughout her career, Kathy has been a strong advocate for the development of women in the supermarket business,” said NEW President and CEO Sarah Alter. “With an unwavering commitment to creating a workplace where everyone can succeed, she’s an example of how one individual can spark real change.”
In her current role, Russello is responsible for providing people, systems and services for Ahold Delhaize USA’s local brands’ human resources teams, such as benefits administration and systems support. In addition, her team is responsible for such human resources functions for RBS as talent planning, learning and development, associate relations, and diversity and inclusion.
Prior to taking on her current role, Russello played an integral role in the U.S. merger between Ahold USA and Delhaize America, working to ensure that more than 200,000 associates across multiple companies were prioritized, as the Ahold Delhaize USA customer-centric portfolio of companies was created.
With more than 30 years of human resources and grocery retail experience, Russello began her career in store operations with Mayfair Supermarkets, in Elizabeth, N.J. In 1995, she joined Ahold USA and provided human resources support for the New York area for Edwards and Stop & Shop. Throughout her career, she has continued to take on progressively challenging leadership positions within human resources and labor relations.
Russello is passionate about the grocery retail business and a strong advocate for people, whom she believes are the heart of the business, and their ongoing development. Additionally, she's a longtime champion of community engagement. Russello is currently president of the Ahold Delhaize USA Family Foundation and previously served as a volunteer for the New Jersey Food Bank.