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New Jersey Food Council Honors ‘All-Star Lineup’ 

NJFC New Jersey

Across the Northeast Region, food business professionals participated in the New Jersey Food Council Night of Distinction event to honor its 2020 Industry Achievement Award recipients comprising prominent food industry executives.

It is considered the longest Night of Distinction in the making, as the pandemic prevented the celebration for nearly two years. You can view highlights of the event here.

The December event was held virtually as “viewing parties” were thrown across the state, with honorees, their families and associates watching the professionally produced show. Participants enjoyed champagne, chocolate and other goodies from a swag bag provided before the event.

“We are so pleased and proud that we finally could produce a high-quality virtual event to celebrate three industry leaders who have made such a meaningful contribution to advance the mission of the food council, have achieved significant grocery industry success and have a history of civic service within the New Jersey food community,” said NJFC President and CEO Linda Doherty. “These individuals are truly an all-star lineup of industry leaders in New Jersey.”

This year’s honorees included Daniel Dinkowitz, senior director of omni-channel sales for Allegiance Retail Services; Suzanne DelVecchio, corporate counsel of QuickChek Corp., and Paul Patten, group VP of Wakefern Food Corp.

“It was a great privilege to honor these industry giants who work diligently to support our efforts and our association’s mission, even during the challenges of this pandemic,” Doherty said. “They’ve all demonstrated tremendous abilities to adapt to changing market and supply chain forces. It is particularly relevant to be able to honor them this year through a virtual platform streamed across the region.”

Daniel Dinkowitz

Jimmy Ostling, of Ostling & Associates Sales and Marketing Inc., was part of the presentation of the Industry Achievement Award to Dinkowitz, who said, “Danny is the perfect candidate to receive this prestigious award. His energy level, passion, creativity and entrepreneurial mindset are among his key attributes. He’s a true merchandiser that has always focused on sales growth and has numerous accomplishments to support it.”

Suzanne DelVecchio

Don Leech, VP of marketing and development at QuickChek, presented the award to DelVecchio, the NJFC secretary who has served as legal counsel for the convenience store chain for 20 years. DelVecchio, lauded as the model NJFC member, heads up government affairs for QuickChek and is a leader in addressing the food industry’s public policy issues in Trenton.

“Suzanne is a colleague, a confidant and a friend,” Leech said. “She has dedicated her entire career to QuickChek. Her role is not just counsel; she plays a much bigger role wherever needed. She’s always there to collaborate and is a real positive force for the entire food industry.”

Paul Patten

Richard Saker, president and CEO of Saker ShopRites, said he has known Patten for more than 30 years, noting his colleague is widely regarded for his special, intuitive knowledge of the supermarket business.

“During the pandemic, Paul was a leader, a relentless, tremendous hard worker,” Saker said. “He understood the importance of essential workers and how critical the food industry is to customers. Paul was a stand-up guy through the crisis, with character and integrity. He is a giant.”

Michael Biase, with Mission Foods and event chair, added: “The Night of Distinction truly represents the ‘who’s who’ as we celebrate and pay tribute to our industry leaders who have helped us strive to be `the best in class’ food trade association in the country.”

The New Jersey Food Council is a trade association representing almost 400 companies, including 1,200 retail food stores, wholesalers, manufacturing and service companies that collectively employ more than 250,000 associates.

For more information, visit njfoodcouncil.com.

About the author

Treva Bennett

Senior Content Creator

After 32 years in the newspaper industry, she is enjoying her new career exploring the world of groceries at The Shelby Report.

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