Meijer's Art Sebastian to Receive Award for Distinguished Service
Named after the founding chair of WMU’s College of Business, the award is given to individuals who have dedicated “extraordinary time and effort to the improvement and enrichment of the program and its students.”
“Art is being recognized for his tireless dedication to advancing the mission of the WMU Food Marketing Program and investing in the development of the future leaders of our industry,” said Frank Gambino, director of food/CPG marketing at WMU. “Art is a very visible presence on our campus in the classroom, with our student organization and national case team. He has hosted several student visits to the Meijer headquarter campus, including his involvement with our annual industry tour. As the vice chairman of our Food Industry Advisory Board’s Industry Relations Committee, he has had a significant impact on elevating the number of corporate sponsors involved with our program.”
Sebastian said that he values his participation with WMU and its food marketing program.
“I strongly believe it is the best program in its category across the U.S.,” he told Progressive Grocer. “There’s a strong balance between academics and real industry case studies and experiences.”
In many instances, retailers and CPGs provide real-world case challenges for students to solve, and student recommendations are often activated within retail and CPG organizations.
“I’m humbled and honored to be recognized because I really enjoy the WMU FMC,” Sebastian said. “I get to contribute to the development of our industry’s future talent. I love food retail and CPG; I’ve worked in it my entire life.”
Sebastian and his team are responsible for understanding consumers and providing innovative ways for customers to engage with and shop at Meijer. His team is focused on creating seamless experiences across online and offline channels, developing programs that drive loyalty and working to transform culture within the retailer.
Prior to Meijer, Sebastian was VP, category leadership and shopper insights at Kraft Foods. He has more than 20 years of experience spanning retail, analytics consulting and consumer packaged goods.
In addition to his work at WMU, Sebastian is a member of the Diversity & Inclusion Council at Meijer, and participates on industry committees to identify and spread best practices. He and his wife, son and daughter reside in Meijer's hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich.
Sebastian will accept the Adrian Trimpe Distinguished Service Award during WMU’s 53rd Annual Food Marketing Conference, which will take place March 19-20. Register here for the event.