UNFI Steps Up Its Diversity Efforts

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UNFI Steps Up Its Diversity Efforts

By Thad Rueter - 09/09/2020
UNFI Steps Up its Diversity Efforts
Guillaume Bagal

United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) has appointed Guillaume Bagal as its VP of diversity and inclusion, effective Sept. 14.

In this newly created role, Bagal will continue advancing UNFI’s commitment to be a company that promotes equality, celebrates diversity, dismantles systemic racism in its workplace, and supports justice in the communities it serves.

He will report to Danielle Benedict, UNFI’s chief human resources officer.

“Guillaume has a tremendous background, including a strong track record for bringing about change, generating associate engagement, and creating programs that help diversity initiatives and organizations prosper,” said Benedict. “His immediate focus will be on team building, reviewing and revising our current D&I efforts, and bringing together a more holistic strategy to advance our position as North America’s premiere grocery wholesaler and a top workplace for associates of all backgrounds.”

Bagal most recently served as head of diversity, equity and inclusion at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, a nationally recognized health insurance company with more than 400,000 members. Through an ability to create internal partnerships, Bagal helped refine BCBSRI’s internal and external EDI efforts and, in just over two years, helped grow their associates of color population and foster a sense of belonging and elevated the supplier diversity program.

Earlier this year, Bagal was appointed to Rhode Island Governor’s Equity Council to help address inequities of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to help guide Rhode Island’s reopening plan.

He also has extensive community leadership experience and currently serves on several boards, including the Rhode Island Public Health Institute, where he chairs the community advisory and advocacy group for Open Door Health (Rhode Island’s first LGBTQ health center). He also previously served as president of the GLAA (Gay and Lesbian Activist Alliance), the nation’s oldest continuously active gay and lesbian civil rights organization.

Providence, Rhode Island-based UNFI delivers a wide variety of products to customer locations throughout North America, including natural product superstores, independent retailers, conventional supermarket chains, e-commerce retailers, and foodservice customers. The largest publicly traded grocery distributor in America, UNFI is No. 61 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s list of the top food retailers in North America.