Women Grocers of America (WGA) presented the WGA Woman of the Year Award to Suzanne Schmitz, a Save A Lot owner in western New York, on Monday, Feb. 28. The award, presented during The NGA Show at the Caesars Forum Convention Center, in Las Vegas, is given annually to a female grocer with the characteristics of a leader and possessing a passion for the independent grocery industry.
Schmitz began working at Save A Lot as a summer employee at the age 16. She continued this seasonal work while attending college to earn a business degree. After graduation, she operated one of her employer’s top-performing stores. In 2010, Schmitz became a Save A Lot owner herself, eventually going on to own five New York stores under the banner. As an owner, she oversees operations, inventory management and hours of operation for her stores, managing a team of more than 70 employees, and remaining involved in the needs and intricacies of each location.
“Suzanne Schmitz is an independent grocer who is committed to ensuring her stores run efficiently, providing fresh food and high-quality products for her customers,” said WGA President Kristin Popp. “Her leadership style is an inspiration to women across the industry looking to succeed. I congratulate Suzanne for receiving this award and look forward to working together for years to come as we continue to open doors within our industry to female leaders.”
Operating under the NGA Foundation, the 501(c)3 nonprofit arm of the Washington, D.C.-based National Grocers Association, Women Grocers of America aims to inspire and empower women in the independent grocery industry through personal and professional development, cultivating connections and highlighting accomplishments and achievements.
The 2022 NGA Show took place Feb. 27-March 1. The three-day event, which brought together independent retailers, wholesalers, food retail industry executives, food/CPG manufacturers and service providers from all over the United States, featured more than 200 exhibitors, as well as the World of Latino Cuisine pavilion, which ran a full schedule of culinary demonstrations presented by well-known chefs, and an opening keynote address by former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.