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Giant Eagle’s Voni Woods Wins IFMA Silver Plate In Retail/Specialty

Voni Woods, Giant Eagle
Voni Woods with her IFMA Silver Plate Award.

Giant Eagle’s Yvonne “Voni” Woods received a Silver Plate from the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association on May 19 at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show in Chicago. Woods recently was named VP of customer experience for Giant Eagle, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based grocer that operates nearly 400 stores in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland.

IFMA’s annual Gold and Silver Plate Awards honor the nation’s top foodservice talent. IFMA members and industry leaders nominate candidates for the award. Winners are selected by a jury that includes national trade press, foodservice experts and past Gold and Silver Plate Award winners.

“The IFMA Gold and Silver Plate Awards honor individual achievement across the foodservice industry,” said IFMA President and CEO Larry Oberkfell. “Every year for 64 years now, the winners demonstrate excellence that make us all proud to be a part of this industry.”

Woods was one of nine Silver Plate winners. She was the winner in the Retail and Specialty category. Woods was nominated for the award by Nestlé Professional.

Speaking on behalf of Giant Eagle, Lora Dikun, SVP of human resources, legal, safety and chief people officer, commented on the contributions Woods has made to Giant Eagle.

“With more than 40 years of service, Voni has successfully led our deli, bakery and prepared foods departments. Her leadership has been a key driver of Giant Eagle’s continued growth as a food retailer committed to offering the best in high quality, fresh foods.

“Voni also makes an impact beyond her role as co-founder and past president of the Giant Eagle Women’s Business Resource Group as well as an ex-officio advisory member and past chairman of the board of the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association,” Dikun said. “Most recently, Voni was inducted into the World Cheese Society held at the home of the U.S. Ambassador to France, where she was presented with a medal and signed the scroll of this International Guild.

“Voni’s contribution to Giant Eagle is immeasurable. Her expertise in food is surpassed only by her passion for improving the Giant Eagle experience for those with whom she interacts. This unique passion is a significant reason why she was recently promoted to VP of customer experience, where she has already begun to strengthen Giant Eagle’s culture of service,” said Dikun.

In addition to the IFMA Silver Plate Award, Woods has received many other recognitions and awards.

• 2017: Induction into the Private Chapter of the International Cheese Guild;

• 2014: Pennsylvania Diversity Council Most Powerful & Influential Women of Pennsylvania list;

• 2014: IDDBA board chairman;

• 2014: Women’s Health Conversation Body Brains and Bliss Award; and

• 2007: People’s Choice Industry Leader Award.

• 2007: Giant Eagle President’s Award, given to a person contributing in a major and innovative way to the overall business strategy of the company with a high level of initiative.

Woods is The Griffin Report’s 2018 Woman Executive of the Year. See her feature in the June issue.

About the author

Mike Berger

A veteran 20-year editor of The Griffin Report who often tours various supermarkets to check out the latest trends. When he isn’t writing, he enjoys sports, his family and young, energetic grandchild.

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