Wakefern Chairman Emeritus Dies

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Wakefern Chairman Emeritus Dies


Thomas P. Infusino, chairman emeritus of Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern Food Corp. and president of Nutley Park ShopRite Inc., died Feb. 5 in Nutley, N.J. He was 89 years old.

His career in the grocery industry spanned more than 70 years. A member of the Wakefern cooperative since 1953, Infusino joined its board of directors in 1965. In 1971, he was elected to the office of president, a position later renamed chairman and CEO. In 2005, having held that role for more than three decades, Infusino became Wakefern’s chairman emeritus.

Survivors include son Jeffrey and his wife, Randi; son David; and son Michael and his wife, Helen, as well as two brothers and four grandchildren.

Additionally, Infusino was a founding member of the Trenton-based New Jersey Food Council (NJFC), serving as its chairman 1974 to 1976. He was the longest-standing member of the board, serving for 38 years, and during his tenure he received numerous accolades from the association’s membership, including Industry Leader in 1990, Lifetime Achievement in 2001 and the Patriot Award in 2005.

As an integral member of the NJFC board of directors from its inception, Tom Infusino was a man of principle whose commitment and resolve ensured the highest standards for the food council,” noted NJFC president Linda Doherty. “His focus has guided NJFC to maintain its status as one of the leading state associations in New Jersey and one of the most respected food industry trade associations in the nation.”

Infusino helped form the council with such distinguished New Jersey grocery retailers as Joe Azzolina of Foodtown, Joe Saker of Foodarama, Cal Bell of Foodtown, Stanley Kaufelt of Mayfair, and Alan Bildner of Kings.

“Mr. Infusino was steadfast in his determination to keep the NJFC mission pure and direct on government relations,” added Doherty. “The food council never missed a step because of his diligence to stay focused. Today, NJFC is a powerful and effective advocate for the food retail business because of the insightfulness of Tom Infusino.”