Employees of grocery cooperative Wakefern Food Corp. have received scholarships to attend the Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP), which will be hosted by the National Grocers Association Foundation June 4-8 at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and is sponsored by Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo.
Edwin “Nino” Vazquez, district manager with Wakefern’s Price Rite Marketplace banner, received this year’s PepsiCo Diversity in Leadership Scholarship, while Margarita “Maggie” Rivera, perishables manager with Ravitz Family Markets, was awarded the Women Grocers of America (WGA) Scholarship. WGA operates under the NGA Foundation. Ravitz Family Markets operates five ShopRite stores in and around Cherry Hill, N.J.
“With his diverse cultural background and his experience in culinary school, and cooking as a hobby, Nino has brought a positive influence to his district, which in turn has driven sales throughout his market,” noted Price Rite HR director Jon Wiltrout, who nominated Vasquez for the scholarship.
“I have no doubt that Maggie will achieve her goal of becoming a store director for our company when the opportunity arises,” said Kenneth Brahl, senior director at Ravitz Family Markets and Rivera’s nominator. “Her hard work and drive make her success possible. She is definitely a role model for women in our company as well as our Hispanic associates.”
As the 501(c)3 nonprofit arm of the National Grocers Association, the Washington, D.C.-based NGA Foundationhelps independent retailers develop more effective recruiting programs, amplify retention efforts and bolster professional leadership development opportunities for associates.
Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern comprises nearly 50 members that independently own and operate 360-plus supermarkets under the ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage and Fairway Market banners in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Together with its member companies, Wakefern employs nearly 80,000 people. The company is No. 29 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 listing of North America’stop food and consumables retailers in North America.