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Wakefern's Cheryl Macik Gets FMI's Peterson Award

Cheryl Macik, director of consumer affairs for Keasbey, N.J.-based retailer cooperative Wakefern Food Corp., today received the Esther Peterson Consumer Service Award at FMI Connect, held this week at Chicago's McCormick Place.

The award recognizes her work as a shopper advocate, and her influence in meeting the needs of and retaining Wakefern's customer base across its ShopRite and Price Rite banners.

Starting at Wakefern more than 30 years ago as a frontline representative in what was then a nacent consumer affairs department, Macik currently oversees a staff of 30, including ShopRite's Customer Care Center and consumer research team. Under her supervision, the center responds to nearly 200,000 customer contacts annually.

Macik played a key role in advancing consumer-centric programs over the past three decades, with a consistent focus on consumer education, advocacy, and health and wellness. Perhaps most notably, she was instrumental in developing a protocol that employed ShopRite's loyalty card database to inform customers of product recalls; this procedure has since become an industry standard. She also had a hand in hiring Wakefern's first corporate dietitian, who now leads an extensive retail program with more than 115 dietitians in ShopRite stores.

"Cheryl takes a practical approach that gets her a lot of respect from our owners and Wakefern staff," said Wakefern Chairman and CEO Joe Colallilo. "She doesn't just look at it from a corporate perspective, but looks at the impact our decisions have at a retail level as well. She helps our membership focus on what’s happening in our stores and how it affects our customers."

Added Leslie G. Sarasin, president and CEO of Arlington, Va.-based Food Marketing Institute, "True to the spirit of [the late legendary consumer advocate and Giant Food employee] Esther Peterson, Cheryl works tirelessly to ensure the customer's voice is heard clearly by the industry and that the industry responds in an open, understandable and friendly fashion."

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