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FIM Program Celebrates 60th Class At USC Marshall School Of Business

USC Marshall cohort

“We are delighted to welcome the 60th class of food industry executives to USC Marshall,” said Food Industry Management (FIM) Director Cynthia McCloud. “Each year companies choose their best emerging leaders to spend four months immersed in Marshall’s top ranked business education. It’s an investment of time that pays off greatly for them in the future.”

Many industry leaders have come through the program over the years, stepping into their company’s most senior roles after having the opportunity to learn and practice new skills in strategy, marketing, communication and finance. These executives also participate in a personal assessment and growth process the helps them better understand their own strengths and weaknesses and learn how to more effectively implement productive leadership practices.

Class numbers

The class of 2018 is made up of 32 members, with an average age of 36 and an average tenure of approximately 15 years in the industry. Just about one-third of the class members are leaders with consumer packaged goods companies, and the other executives have senior-level roles with retailers. Most hold at least an undergraduate degree, and the program continues to see growth in the number of executives who have masters-level degrees. These executives are hand-picked by their companies and have a proven record of management accomplishments in addition to significant potential for future advancement.

Executives in the 2018 class are from retailers and wholesalers including Albertsons, Bristol Farms, Costco, Food4Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Gelson’s, King Soopers, Northgate Gonzalez, Raley’s, Ralphs, Safeway, Smart & Final, Stater Bros., Supervalu and Vallarta, along with several other new companies this year. Participating supplier, food industry and e-companies include Bimbo Bakeries USA, Coca-Cola, Dean Foods, Earth-Friendly Products, Mondelez, Nestle, Niagara and Pepsi Beverage Co.

Top speakers

Speakers for the year include a roster of C-suite industry leaders who bring their career stories and leadership insights to share with the class. The 2018 class will meet Kevin Davis (FIM graduate 1978), CEO of Bristol Farms/Lazy Acres; Valerie Jabbar, president, Ralphs; Bryan Kaltenbach, president, Food4Less; Jonathan Mayes, chief diversity officer for Albertsons; Todd Morris, global president at Catalina Marketing; Valerie Oswalt, president, Mondelez; Dan Sanders, COO of Sprouts; Karl Schroeder (FIM graduate 1988), President, Albertsons–Seattle; Sarah Wehling, VP general merchandise manager for Costco; and Evan Anthony, CEO, EDA Consulting.

The WAFC

This 60th anniversary celebration would not be possible without the Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC), which has partnered with USC Marshall to support the FIM Program since 1958, says the organization, adding that through the generous donations of companies and individuals in the food industry, this partnership has helped grow some of the top executives in the industry.

The FIM Program at USC Marshall School of Business was established 1958. Each year, students attend a semester-long four-month leadership program. The university admits a maximum of 35 students from a range of companies in the food industry. Each student accepted into the program receives a full-tuition scholarship from the WAFC.


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