The Women Grocers of America (WGA) has named the recipients of the 2014 Mary Macey Scholarship: Jazzmen Simms and Kaeley Latow, Nugget Markets; Alina Williams, Wakefern Food Corp.; and Pamela Sprouse, Gerland’s Food Fair. Each will receive a $1,500 scholarship to further their education and careers in the food retailing industry. The scholarship was created to honor WGA’s first president, Mary Macey.
“This year, the WGA Board of Directors selected four exceptional recipients of the 2014 Mary Macey Scholarship Award. The choice was not easy,” said WGA President Kathy Sweidel-Caton. “We received applications from many extraordinary students who are planning careers with an independent food retailer. The students’ accomplishments, as well as their passion for the industry, were very impressive. WGA remains committed to recruiting and retaining the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs with an emphasis on young women.”
Jazzmen Simms is a senior at California State University, Sacramento, and will graduate in December with a bachelor of science degree in communications. Simms is employed full time as a manager in charge at a Nugget Markets. She joined Nugget Markets in 2008 as a courtesy clerk and was named Associate of the Year after her first year. Simms has held a number of positions of increasing responsibility and is known for her emphasis on servant leadership and strong initiative.
Kaeley Latow, also representing Nugget Markets, attends the University of California, Davis, and plans to graduate with an MBA in May 2015. Latow is the director of bakery operations at Nugget Markets. She joined Nugget in 2008 as a deli clerk and quickly became known for her positive attitude and strong work ethic. Latow now oversees all bakeries for Nugget Markets and plans to continue her career there.
Alina Williams is a key member of the loss prevention department at Wakefern Food Corp. and is pursuing her doctoral degree at New Jersey City University. Williams maintains a 4.0 average and is one of two women in the program. She has been recognized for her active role in helping Wakefern continue to operate during recent weather challenges (such as Hurricane Sandy and the tough 2013-14 winter) and was one of four chosen in 2012 for Wakefern’s Leaders in Training program. Williams plans to continue her work in emergency management and food security at Wakefern.
Pamela Sprouse maintains a 3.98 average as a senior at the University of Houston. She is pursuing a bachelor of science degree in organizational leadership and supervision. She started at Gerland’s in 1997 as a store associate in the courtesy booth. Sprouse is the accounts payable supervisor at Gerland’s corporate office and is appreciated for providing stability to the department during a time of transition and for her outstanding work ethic. She also is a member of the boards of the University of Houston Student Ambassador Program and her local animal shelter.