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NJFC Members Well Represented In NJBiz Power 100

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Six members of the New Jersey Food Council (NJFC) have been named to the NJBiz Power 100 list by NJBiz, a business publication in New Jersey.

The annual list, with descriptions from NJBiz, included these NJFC members:

Joseph Colalillo

“New Jersey’s top private company is a retail co-op with 51 family owners. Colallilo has been Wakefern Food Corp.’s chief executive for 15 years running, and since his inaugural Power 100 list appearance in 2011, the company has increased its revenue by $7.6 billion. Slightly up from 2018, its revenue in 2019 was $16.6 billion; and in fiscal year 2019 it opened five new ShopRite stores and welcomed Manhattan-based banner Gourmet Garage.

It opened the first stand-alone micro-fulfillment center in the U.S. in July where robots assemble ShopRite from Home grocery orders. Wakefern attracted its 51st family in a co-op industry shake-up when Nicholas Markets, a grocer with four stores in North Jersey under the Foodtown banner within the Iselin-based Allegiance Retail Services LLC cooperative, joined in the fall to transition to Wakefern’s The Fresh Grocer. Nicholas Markets CEO David Maniaci had recently been chairman and CEO of Allegiance.”

Mark Clouse

“It’s been a little over a year since Clouse took over as Campbell Soup Co.’s chief executive, and he’s stuck to the plan announced in August 2018 to focus on the consumer packaged goods giant’s core business. The flurry of activity since he took the reins has included sales of its Danish snack division to a Ferrero affiliate for $300 million, its European chips business to Valeo Foods in Ireland for $80 million, and its Australian Arnott’s cookies and crackers business to New York-based KKR for $2.2 billion.

“Though not quite as crazy as 2018, when activist investor Dan Loeb of Third Point tried to overthrow Campbell’s entire board—Clouse wasn’t there at the time and the two sides reached a settlement two months before his arrival—2019 was definitely not boring. Loeb had nice things to say about Clouse in Third Point’s fourth quarter investor letter in January, noting Clouse ‘has demonstrated how powerful leadership working with an engaged board can revitalize a company. During the most recent quarterly call in December, Clouse was upbeat about the potential for top line growth in 2020, which is key to the next leg of the story,’ … we remain enthusiastic about Clouse’s leadership and Campbell’s future and are pleased to have played a role in repositioning this iconic company.”

Linda Doherty

“New Jerseyans gotta eat, and the millions of folks within the state’s food industry need a voice when it comes to regulation that might affect them. Enter Doherty, the longest running president in the history of the New Jersey Food Council, which represents food retailers. She tracks the hundreds of legislative measures that could affect the industry, some of the biggest employers in the state. Doherty’s organization spearheaded a reusable shopping bag initiative in October to bolster consumer engagement against the issue of single use plastic bags with the NJ Clean Communities Council, a litter-abatement program funded through a litter tax paid by the business community, which in February, named Doherty president of its board.”

Richard Saker

“The Saker ShopRite location in Monmouth Junction that opened in the fall was the neighborhood’s first in over a decade since Grand Union shut its doors. For the first time in years, community members don’t need to hoof it up to North Brunswick or over to Lawrenceville to feed their families. They’re far from the only community served by Saker, as his piece of the Wakefern co-op operates 32 grocery stores with 32 pharmacies, two liquor stores, and four commissaries that supply their stores with over 1,000 freshly made items daily. Though he completed his term as NJFC board chair in January, he remains an active member in the organization his father started 50 years ago and an important part of the New Jersey business community: the grocery empire he built employs more than 9,000 people.”

Bob Unanue and Peter Unanue

“‘Goya’s not for sale, and that ain’t changing.’ That was the company line this year when media outlets reported that the biggest Hispanic-owned food company in the nation was mulling a $3.5 billion sale to Wall Street firm The Carlyle Group. ‘Goya is and will always be committed to serving and building on our legacy of supporting our communities, established by our founding grandparents 83 years ago,’ brothers Bob and Peter, the company’s president and EVP, shared via a spokesperson. ‘We will never betray that mission.’ They added: ‘Through our Goya Gives program and other initiatives, we will continue to be socially responsible by giving back to the hundreds of organizations and charities we support, impacting millions of people worldwide.’

“The company, headquartered in Jersey City, has had roots here since 1974 when it crossed the river from Brooklyn. In New Jersey, the company donates 100,000 pounds of food each month to the Community Food Bank; and its currently offering $20,000 culinary arts and food science scholarships to four students across the country. The do-good company, which rakes in $1.5 billion in annual sales, employs 4,000 people at 26 facilities worldwide.”


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