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Women Grocers of America Revisits Mission, Aims To Solidify Membership


President says association has more clearly defined its ‘why’

by Eric Pereira / content creator


The Women Grocers of America is continuing to find new ways to make an impact in the retail grocery industry with several goals in mind.

An organization of female leaders within the independent grocery sector, WGA operates under the National Grocers Association Foundation.

Women Grocers of America Revisits Mission, Aims To Solidify Membership
Kristin Popp

“Our main focus this year has been to revisit our mission to more clearly define our why, to define our intentions (objectives) to align with our why and create accountability within the organization as well as to strengthen our membership,” said Kristin Popp, president of WGA.

“We have worked to create our value document and are using our intentions to establish our initiatives and future goals. We have also worked to really highlight and bring more attention to the Woman of the Year Award and are also working to more clearly define our scholarship to align with our why, providing professional development opportunities to women at all levels within the industry.”

The WGA Woman of the Year Award was established by the WGA Board of Directors in 1996 to provide visible support and recognition to outstanding women in the independent grocer industry.

Popp, who also is EVP of Janesville, Wisconsin-based Woodman’s Food Markets, said the group received a substantial number of nominations for this year’s Woman of The Year award. This year’s recipient will be recognized for her accomplishments in September during the 2021 NGA Show at Las Vegas, Nevada.

“This year we received the most nominations we have seen since I have been a part of the organization and are looking forward to continuing to grow in this area,” she said. “We have some really neat initiatives in the works to continue to highlight these women and others who are accomplishing such great things in the industry.”

WGA also offers the Mary Macey Scholarship, which provides recipients a way to advance their education and continue their careers in the industry.

“I have had the opportunity to congratulate individuals on being selected as scholarship candidates and it is inspiring to learn how these individuals plan to carry their careers forward and how the scholarships will allow them to do so,” Popp said.

WGA also offers the Executive Leadership Development Program, which allows an individual to invest in themselves and maximize their leadership potential. 

“The programs allows for learning about yourself as a leader and brings you candidate perspectives from those around you on a daily basis,” Popp explained. “You have the opportunity to learn from top instructors, as well as others in the industry from across the country, allowing you to gain tools for success. 

“I have had the opportunity to attend the program previously and can’t say enough about it. This year, WGA has made the decision to add a scholarship to assist a woman in the industry to attend the program. [There’s] more to come on this opportunity, but really very exciting to be able to support women in this way.”


Women Grocers Association Board at a glance

The 2021 WGA Board of Directors includes: Kristin Popp, president; Alison Castillo, immediate past-president; Heidi Huff, VP of membership; and Stephanie Reid, VP of marketing and communications. Other members are Tess Hohman, Lorelei Mottese, Amy Niemetscheck, Shellie Wood and Cindy Sorensen.

“The board is such an inspiring group of women across all sectors the industry,” Popp said. “They are passionate, driven and motiving. The board, and really membership, are the ones really driving the WGA forward in such a way that is inspiring to be a part of. 

“Becoming a member of the WGA allows you the opportunity to connect with other women in the industry you may not otherwise have the opportunity to do. I have and continue to learn from all of them. The connections I have created with this team are invaluable.”

For more information on WGA, visit www.nationalgrocers.org/foundation/women-grocers-of-america/


Women Grocers Association Events

  • WGA Wellness Wake Up, the NGA Show morning event with WGA, is featuring NGA’s own Molly Pfaffenroth. In addition to her role as senior director of government relations, she is a certified personal trainer. This workout is designed for all levels and offers a chance to meet and network with the women of WGA. It is free to show attendees, promotes wellness and helps further the group’s mission. It will be poolside at 6 a.m. Sept. 20.
    Women Grocers of America Revisits Mission, Aims To Solidify Membership
    Heidi Huff
  • Join the WGA in supporting women pursuing careers in grocery by committing to run your favorite 5K route, anywhere, anytime through the end of the year. In exchange for your $50 donation to the Mary Macey scholarship fund, runners will receive recognition online and onsite at The NGA Show as well as an event tote bag. Registration for WGA’s virtual 5K will continue through the end of the year. Click here for a special video about the 5K with IGA’s Heidi Huff.

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