CA Grocers Assn. Ed. Foundation Names New Chair of Board of Trustees

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CA Grocers Assn. Ed. Foundation Names New Chair of Board of Trustees


Jim Van Gorkom, VP, sales and marketing, NuCal Foods, Ripon, Calif., has been named chairman of the Sacramento, Calif.-based California Grocers Association Educational Foundation Board of Trustees.

In addition to Van Gorkom, Joe Falvey, Unified Grocers, Inc. has been namd Vice Chair; John J. Nieman III, Supervalu, Inc., Treasurer; and Brad Askeland, North State Grocery, Secretary.

“We look forward to working closely with our new leadership as we strive to advance the goals of the Foundation,” said CGA Educational Foundation president Ronald Fong, who also serves as president/CEO of the California Grocers Association. “Jim’s extensive experience in the grocery industry makes him the perfect individual to serve as chair. He has a great love for the grocery industry and I’m confident will do an excellent job directing our Foundation.”

Van Gorkom began his career in the grocery industry 30 years ago while in college. His background includes sales positions with several national organizations, including Nestle Foods. He joined NuCal Foods in 2006, after 16 years with Sun-Maid Growers, where he was VP of retail sales. As part of the senior management team, he directs all sales and marketing functions for NuCal Foods, Rocky Mountain Eggs and Nulaid Foods.

Van Gorkum is a graduate of the USC Food Industry Executive Program and is very involved in the grocery industry, currently serving as Spotlite (Treasurer) of the Illuminators. He also serves on the boards of the City of Hope Northern California Food Industry Circle, the Food and Drug Industry Alliance for Easter Seals Bay Area, and the Frozen & Refrigerated Food Council of Northern California. Jim, and Judy, his wife of more than 30 years, live in Ripon, CA.

Falvey graduated from Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1982. His career in the consumer products industry started with the E&J Gallo Winery as a Sales Representative in the Los Angeles market. he was transferred to the San Francisco area in 1984 to assist in the start-up of a newly formed Gallo distributor where he was promoted to district manager.

In 1986, he joined Nalley’s Fine Foods, a Division of Agrilink as a regional sales manager where he was later promoted to director. In December 1999, upon the completion of the merger of United Grocers of Oregon and Certified Grocers of California, he joined the new company, Unified Western Grocers, as VP and Northern California division president. In 2007, he was promoted to SVP of sales for Unified Grocers, Inc.

Falvey serves on the board of directors for City of Hope, Easter Seals Foundation in Northern California and the California Grocers Association.

Askeland began his grocery career in 1988 as a courtesy clerk for a small independent before joining North State Grocery, Inc. in 1995. He managed several stores for the company before assuming his current position as the director of human resources in 2003. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from California State University, Chico in 1995. Brad resides in Redding, Calif. with his wife Jeny and their two children.

Nieman is the VP of human resources for the Southern California Albertsons Division. His Supervalu career started 28 years ago as a bagger at Osco Drug in Indiana. Since that time, he has held various positions in store operations, banner leadership roles, training roles and human resources. He earned a degree in Marketing from Ball State University in 1986. He resides in Huntington Beach, Calif.

The CGAEF was created in the early 1990s to provide measurable benefits to employees, potential employees, customers and businesses in the retail food industry. Its key areas of emphasis include providing college scholarships, tuition reimbursement and educational programming for Association members. In 2010, the Foundation awarded 246 college scholarships totaling $296,500 to deserving CGA member employees or their dependents.

In addition, the Foundation paid more than $90,000 in tuition reimbursement to member company employees wanting to improve their job-related skills.