More than 100 of Progressive Grocer’s 2012 Top Women in Grocery winners were on hand at the sold-out 2012 Top Women in Grocery gala event, held Thursday, Nov. 8 at the InterContinental Chicago O’Hare in Rosemont, Ill., where they each accepted their engraved awards before a crowd of 300 industry luminaries, special guests and family members, all of whom came from all over the country to celebrate with the event’s recognized guests of honor.
Lynn Marmer, group VP, corporate affairs for The Kroger Co., was also honored during the event as the first-ever recipient of the prestigious Trailblazer Award from Progressive Grocer and the Network of Executive Women (NEW). The newly created Trailblazer Award was initiated this year by PG and NEW to pay tribute to a single food industry executive whose leadership, vision and influence have had profound impacts on breaking new ground for women in the retail food industry.
PG’s 2012 Top Women in Grocery awards program, which was hosted by past Top Women in Grocery winner Marie Quintana, president/CEO of The Quintana Group LLC in Dallas, marks the sixth year the leading trade publication has recognized the invaluable contributions of women from all walks of the retail food industry in three categories: Senior-Level Executives (open to retailers, suppliers and wholesalers with the title of VP or higher); Rising Stars (retailers, suppliers and wholesalers with job titles above store manager, but below VP); and Store Managers.
In his opening remarks, Jeff Friedman, Stagnito Media VP/group publisher, said: “We are delighted to welcome all of our Top Women winners from three categories – Store Managers, Rising Stars and Senior-Level Executives – and their supporting companies here with us to help celebrate this special recognition. While we are honored to celebrate all of our 2012 TWIG winners,” Friedman continued, “there are many women in our industry who haven’t been nominated, and we certainly hope to have a chance to acknowledge them in the years to come.”
Keynote speaker and past Top Women in Grocery winner Regenia D. Stein, VP of business performance, industry development & communication at Northfield, Ill.-based Kraft Foods – a recognized leader in advancing diversity and fostering an inclusive corporate culture – then provided an enlightening overview on the important role of mentoring, particularly in regard to women.
During her remarks to this year’s Top Women in Grocery honorees, Meg Major, PG’s editorial director, said: “I am proud to stand before you and personally congratulate each and every one of you with an award that brings honor not only to yourselves, but also to the entire industry, of which you are such illustrious representatives. We would also like to thank your employers, for facilitating your nominations with their vigorous support of this very important awards program, as well as for the abiding support of our sponsors this evening,” which included:
Platinum Sponsor: Kraft Foods
Gold Sponsor: Pfizer Consumer Healthcare
After-dinner Party Sponsors: NJoy & Legendary Baking
Supporting Sponsors: Legendary Baking, Mariani, Northwest Natural Products and PepsiCo
More information, including a complete list of the 2012 Top Women in Grocery winners, can be found here.