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NGA Foundation Awards Scholarships To Grocery Industry’s Rising Stars

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The National Grocers Association (NGA), the trade association representing the independent supermarket industry, has awarded up to $73,000 in scholarship funding through the NGA Foundation to 16 students pursuing a career in the grocery industry for the 2017-2018 academic year.

“One of the most important missions we have is preparing today’s students for the challenges of tomorrow,” said Elizabeth Crocker, VP and executive director of the NGA Foundation, in an Aug. 23 press release. “There’s no doubt that each of these students will bring as much talent, drive and passion to the industry as they do to their schoolwork.”

“No one knows better than independent grocers how fiercely competitive the supermarket industry is,” said Peter J. Larkin, president and CEO of NGA. “With this new crop of torchbearers, independent supermarkets will be stocked with leaders ready to help the industry face new challenges and competitive marketplace shifts head on.”

Since 1990, the NGA Foundation has provided more than $1 million in scholarships to students preparing for careers in the grocery industry.

This year’s scholarship recipients are:

The Thomas K. Zaucha Asparagus Club Scholarship ($2,500 for up to four semesters) was awarded to Chad Villanueva, who works at The Save Mart Cos. (FoodMaxx #487) and is pursuing a degree in business management at Fresno Pacific University. The scholarship is given each year to an outstanding applicant pursuing a career with a focus on independent retailers and wholesalers.

The Asparagus Club Scholarship ($2,000 for up to four semesters) recipients include Nolan Hickey, who works at Hy-Vee Inc. and is pursuing a degree in supply chain management from Iowa State University; Margaret Schnaufer, who works at Fareway Stores and is pursuing a degree in finance and management from Iowa State University; Denise Malkoon, who works at Peanut Butter Americano LLC and is pursuing a degree in entrepreneurial student mentorship in higher education at Arizona State University; Cara Mahon, who works at Associated Wholesale Grocers and is pursuing a degree in interactive media and strategic planning at the University of Missouri; and Lauren Hillsburg, who works at Hormel Corp. and is pursuing a degree in food and CPG marketing at Western Michigan University.

The Bob Richardson Scholarship ($1,000 annual) was awarded to George Denny, who works at K-VA-T Food City and is pursuing a degree in physics and geology at the College of William and Mary.

The Charlie and Becky Bray Scholarship ($2,500 annual) was awarded to John Schneidenbach, who works at SpartanNash Co. and is pursuing a degree in food and CPG marketing at Western Michigan University.

The First Data Technology Scholarship ($2,500 annual) recipients include Ryan Sobolik, who works at Valley Markets Inc. dba Hugo’s and is pursuing a degree in accounting at the University of Mary, and Travis Stinson, who works at Brookshire Grocery Co. and is pursuing a masters in business administration and industrial management from the University of Texas at Tyler.

The first-ever FMS Scholarship ($3,000 annual) was awarded to David Rosen, who works at Vicente Foods and is pursuing a masters in business administration from the University of LaVerne.

The Kimberly-Clark Corp. Scholarship ($2,500 annual) was awarded to Mikaela Campbell-Magana, who works at K-VA-T Food City and is pursuing a degree in business administration at King University.

The Mondelēz International Scholarship ($2,500 annual) was awarded to Chad Villanueva in addition to the Thomas K. Zaucha Asparagus Club Scholarship.

The Peter and Jody Larkin Scholarship ($2,500 annual) was awarded to Emily Mufich, who works at Unified Grocers Inc. and is pursuing a degree in organizational leadership at Point Loma Nazarene University.

The Roger Collins Scholarship ($1,000 annual) was awarded to Lindsey Oettel, who works at the University of Illinois and is pursuing a degree in food science and human nutrition at the university.

The Women Grocers of America (WGA) Mary Macey Scholarship ($1,500 annual) recipients include Katie Bridge, who works at Roche Brothers Supermarkets and is pursuing a degree in business marketing at the University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth, and Sarah Carpenter, who works at Acosta and is pursuing a degree in marketing at Western Michigan University.

See the winners here:

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