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Hee-Sook Nelson Elected Chair Of CGA Board Of Directors

Hee-Sook Nelson

Hee-Sook Nelson, VP of team development & public affairs for Gelson’s Markets, was elected the 2020-21 California Grocers Association chair of the board of directors at the association’s virtual annual meeting on Dec. 4. Nelson is the first Asian-American woman to serve as CGA Board Chair, and the second woman to serve in this role in the last three years.

As chair, she will lead the board’s strategy regarding CGA’s numerous legislative, educational, communications and industry-related programs. She succeeds Phil Miller of C&S Wholesale Grocers. The chair serves for one year.

“We are excited to have Hee-Sook serve as chair in the coming year,” said CGA President & CEO Ron Fong. “She has a keen understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities facing our industry, particularly as we all work to the navigate the ongoing global pandemic.”

In addition to Nelson, the following individuals were elected to the 2020-2021 CGA Board of Directors Executive Committee: First Vice Chair, Renee Amen, Super A Foods; Second Vice Chair, Dennis Darling, Foods Etc.; Treasurer, Lynn Melillo, Bristol Farms; Secretary, Hal Levitt, The Save Mart Companies; and Immediate Past Chair, Phil Miller, C&S Wholesale Grocers.

Directors elected to their first full three-year term include: Kylie Bishop LaBrie, The Hershey Company; Lori Brown, Post Consumer Brands; Elaina Budge, Costco Wholesale; Mary Kaspar, 99 Cents Only Stores; Tyler Kidd, Mar-Val Food Stores; Kelli McGannon, Ralphs Grocery Company; David Moore, E. & J. Gallo; Ken Mueller, Raley’s; Josh Southerland, Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling; and Diane Snyder, Whole Foods Market.

Directors elected to their second three-year term include: Jake Fermanian, Super King Markets; David Higginbotham, Stater Bros. Markets; John Mastropaolo, Chobani; Lee Smith, Smart & Final Stores; Rick Stewart, Susanville Supermarket IGA; and Karl Wissmann, C&K Market.

Chair appointments to the Executive Committee include; Denny Belcastro, Kimberly-Clark Corp.; Steve Dietz, United Natural Foods, Inc.; and Michel LeClerc, North State Grocery Company. Former CGA Chair Kendra Doyel, Ralphs Grocery Co., was elected an honorary board member.

California Grocers Association, based in Sacramento, California, is a non-profit, statewide trade association representing the food industry since 1898. CGA membership includes approximately 300 retail companies operating more than 6,000 stores in California and Nevada, and approximately 200 grocery supplier companies.

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