Whole Foods’ Walter Robb to Keynote SFA 2018 Leadership Awards


The Specialty Food Association (SFA) has tapped Walter Robb to keynote the 2018 Leadership Awards, which recognize food industry entrepreneurs in the categories of Business Leadership, Citizenship, and Vision.

Having joined Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market in 1991, Robb became co-CEO along with John Mackey in 2010 and joined the company’s board of directors. In 2017, Robb transitioned to chairman of the board for Whole Kids Foundation and Whole Cities Foundation. He also serves on the boards of directors for Union Square Hospitality Group, The Container Store, FoodMaven and HeatGenie.

“The SFA Leadership Awards honor people who do social good through their businesses,” noted Phil Kafarakis, president of the New York-based SFA. “Through his leadership at Whole Foods Market and in his newest ventures, Robb exemplifies the goodness of the specialty food industry.”

This year's winners include Sam Mogannam, of the San Francisco-based Bi-Rite Family of Businesses, encompassing the well-known Bi-Rite Market, in the Citizenship category, while among the judges are Whole Foods' Cathy Cochran-Lewis and John Raiche, of Providence, R.I.-based wholesaler United Natural Foods Inc.

The awards ceremony will take place during the SFA’s Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco on Sunday, Jan. 21 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., followed by a reception sponsored by the association’s Natural & Organic Council.

The not-for-profit SFA, with 3,500 members in the United States and abroad, owns and produces the Winter and Summer Fancy Food Shows, and presents the sofi Awards recognizing excellence in specialty food.


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