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NJFC To Honor 4 Industry Leaders At Annual ‘Night of Distinction’

From left to right: Gordon Reid, Christine Curtis, Kevin McDonnell and Gus Lebiak.

The New Jersey Food Council will host its annual “Night of Distinction” reception May 17 at The Palace at Somerset Park, Somerset. The NJFC event, with its slate of honorees, will draw more than 500 guests, including food industry executives.

“This is the perfect time to celebrate the industry and its leaders who have made such significant contributions to advance one of New Jersey’s most essential business sectors,” said Linda Doherty, president, NJFC. “The honorees have all achieved significant food business success, and have a history of civic service within the New Jersey food community. It is our honor to celebrate them with our annual Industry Achievement Awards.”

The NJFC honorees are: Gordon Reid, president of Stop & Shop; Christine Curtis, SVP and general manager, Northeast Independents, C&S Wholesale Grocers; Kevin McDonnell, SVP of Price Rite Marketplace; and Gus Lebiak, president and COO, Krasdale Foods.

Reid oversees Stop & Shop, a local brand of Ahold Delhaize USA. Founded in 1914, Stop & Shop now has more than 400 stores across the Northeast with 60 locations in New Jersey. He previously served as president of Giant Food. Reid has more than 35 years of international retail experience. Reid serves on the National Academy of Sciences’ Roundtable for Obesity Solutions, representing Stop & Shop, the first-ever grocery retailer to join this effort to address the obesity crisis.

Curtis serves as SVP and general manager for C&S Wholesale Grocers. She is responsible for private brands, category management and retail services for all the C&S independent retail stores. In her role, she focuses on strategy, sales and customer satisfaction. Working with all corporate functions, she drives improvement in performance and profitability.

McDonnell oversees 54 supermarkets in seven states for Price Rite Marketplace. In his role, he is responsible for all aspects of the company, including sales and advertising programs, retail store operations, real estate and facilities management. He previously worked at Fairway Markets as chief operating officer and co-president where he oversaw the company’s production center operations and all aspects of store operations. McDonnell is a founder of Friends of the Food Industry, providing aid to people and their families in the food industry.

Lebiak runs a grocery distribution, merchandising and marketing services company that supports more than 300 store owners. He leads operations for the 114-year-old company, overseeing all departments, including its distribution facility in the Bronx and managing the company’s base of operations in the Greater New York area, the Northeast and Florida. Lebiak began his career at Mayfair Supermarkets before moving to the wholesale side of the business as a category manager at Twin County Grocers.

The NJFC is the trade association representing almost 400 companies including 1,200 retail food stores, wholesalers, manufacturing and service companies that collectively employ more than 200,000 associates in New Jersey. Its annual Night of Distinction will feature an industry recognition ceremony, cuisine and live music.

For more information, visit NJFoodCouncil.com.

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