Education happens every day and in many ways. That’s what Rosita Szatkowska has discovered about the food retail industry that has become her career and passion.
“I’m always learning something new. For me, this industry is about the constant and never-ending pursuit of growth and how that will impact the business and customers,” says Szatkowska, a grocery operations specialist at Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Cos. who earned a 2022 Top Women in Grocery (TWIG) award from Progressive Grocer in the Rising Star category.
For her outlook, performance and achievement toward her goal of ongoing learning, Szatkowska has also received the inaugural Salesforce Continuing Education Award, a $5,000 grant presented by PG and Salesforce. She was named the 2022 winner at the TWIG dinner gala and awards ceremony in Orlando, Fla., on Nov. 4.
The Salesforce Continuing Education Award will allow Szatkowska to continue her studies at the University of Massachusetts (UMass), where she is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Her perennial curiosity and dedication to the industry led her to embark on her undergraduate degree not long after graduating from the University of Southern California’s (USC) Food Industry Management Program; she’s already making plans to enroll in a master’s program in business administration at USC after she graduates from UMass in 2024.
“When I was at USC, I saw the value of how much you can grow and learn from earning a degree, so I know that when I receive my BA and master’s, it will continually shift my mindset on how I view business and the way I can show up as a leader within the industry,” she explains.
‘A Pioneer in Innovation and Leadership’
Szatkowska has been on a swift track at Albertsons, where she recently worked on a special assignment related to the metaverse. Based in the Southern California area, she has also worked as a district customer service manager and store director, having started her career as a deli/bakery clerk.
While she prides herself on being a mentor, her own mentors laud her work and determination to keep learning. “I have worked closely with Rosita in multiple points in our careers, and she continues to be a pioneer in innovation and leadership,” observes Ray Villarreal, a district manager at Albertsons. “She is determined to make any project she is placed on a success and is confident … that she will get the job done.”
Julie Field, who was Szatkowska’s district manager at Albertsons for two years, notes that her capstone project at USC won the top prize. “I am familiar with her educational goals, as well as the challenges she will face when it comes to funding college tuition,” says Field. “I cannot think of anyone more deserving than Rosita.”
The funds from Salesforce and PG will cover at least one semester of that tuition.
“We were proud to partner with Salesforce on our inaugural Continuing Education Award,” notes John Schrei, publisher of PG. “We felt that providing an opportunity for continuing education fit our respective visions and was a great new way to highlight the professionalism and drive that all of our Top Women in Grocery honorees strive for every day.”
Adds Schrei, “We look forward to growing this aspect of TWIG every year moving forward.”
TWIG nominations will open in early 2023. Next year’s honorees in the Rising Star and Store Manager categories will be eligible for the second annual Salesforce Continuing Education Award, which will be presented at the gala in November.
[Szatkowska appeared on recent episode of the TWIG podcast. LISTEN HERE.]