Two new board members were elected Jan. 31 at the New Jersey Food Council’s annual membership meeting as it introduced its 2023 theme: “Beyond Essential.”
The board welcomed Todd Ferrera, VP and district manager of food market operations for Wegmans Food Markets, and Pete Contino, store manager of Weis Markets.
The NJFC theme for 2023 is “Beyond Essential,” developed during a recent board strategy planning session.
“The COVID pandemic fully recognized our food industry now as something we have always known: we are a lifeline and cornerstone of the community,” said Linda Doherty, president and CEO.
During the event, NJFC members elected the 2023 officers who lead the association, including a second term as chairman of the board for Andrew Kent of Glass Gardens ShopRite. He was instrumental in navigating NJFC’s promotion of the statewide bag ban.
“I would like to express a heartfelt thank you to all of the members who unselfishly volunteered their time, talent and expertise to help strengthen the New Jersey Food Council over the past year,” Kent said. “I am impressed by the way the board and members united for all we accomplished in 2022. I am optimistic as we have set a strong agenda through our strategic plan for 2023.”
Last year was an eventful year for the trade association, as it navigated a plastic law and single-use bag ban. Since the law went into effect on May 4, NJFC members have saved more than 4.8 billion plastic bags and 96 million paper bags from entering the waste cycle.
The association also participated in a court case regarding a “slip and fall,” battled harmful state legislation, increased membership, grew its scholarship fund and saved participating members $24 million in electric utility costs.
“While we are proud of these victories, the food industry will still face policy and regulatory challenges in this upcoming state election year when all 120 legislative seats are up for election,” Doherty said. “However, your food council is prepared and positioned to tackle these obstacles in our united effort to better our industry and preserve our reputation as ‘Beyond Essential.’”
Sworn in by former Gov. Donald DiFransesco, the officers include:
- Chairman – Andrew Kent, Glass Gardens ShopRite;
- Vice chairwoman – Suzanne Delveccio, QuickChek;
- Associate vice chairman – Nicholas Brown, KraftHeinz Company;
- Treasurer – Michael Rothwell, Pennington Quality Market;
- Secretary – Michael Styer, Acme Markets; and
- President and CEO – Linda Doherty, New Jersey Food Council.
During the event, the NJFC also announced the start of the 2023 Education Scholarship Program, with the NJFC offering 30 scholarship awards totaling $97,500 this year. The deadline to apply is April 17.
NJFC also unveiled its 2023 sponsors, a group of members who have made a financial and organizational commitment to advance the association’s mission in Trenton.
The New Jersey Food Council is the state’s trade association representing almost 400 companies including 1,200 retail food stores, wholesalers, manufacturing and service companies that collectively have more than 250,000 employees in New Jersey,