The New Jersey Food Council will host its “Night of Distinction” reception at 5:30 p.m. on May 17 at The Palace at Somerset Park in Somerset, New Jersey. The event will draw more than 500 guests, including food industry executives across the region.
“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 important business sectors,” said Linda Doherty, president.
“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.”
This year’s honorees are: Nicole Davia, Northeast regional president at Whole Foods Market; Jim Perkins, president of Albertsons Companies mid-Atlantic division; Steve Henig, chief customer officer of Wakefern Food Corp.; and Jason Read, director of store operations at Wawa.
Davia began her career with Whole Foods Market in 1993 as a team leader in the mid-Atlantic region. She oversees 50 stores with more than 14,000 employees. With a diverse team member base that speaks multiple languages, her leadership focuses on inclusion and connection. Her leadership style is based on a strategic approach, positivity, empathy and mentorship.
Perkins has spent 40 years as a leader in the grocery industry. He has challenged and motivated teams to achieve record-setting performance with his high energy and can-do attitude. His passion for the grocery business began in 1982 at Albertson’s, where he was a key leader in several areas of the country.
After 28 years, Perkins left Albertsons to join Giant Foods, leading more than 60 stores. In 2013, Perkins returned to Albertsons as president of the ACME division, a grocery store chain that operates 161 regional supermarkets. Perkins combined the ACME, Eastern Safeway, Kings and Balduccis banner into the “new” Mid-Atlantic Region with 300 stores and 32,000 employees.
Henig is an innovator with the nation’s largest retailer-owned cooperative for his entire career. In his current role, he works with Wakefern members, leaders and employees to create a single, consistent brand voice. He oversees Wakefern’s advertising, social media, brand strategy, consumer affairs, e-commerce, sales planning and analytics and insights teams. He made changes to the company’s from-home service and helped ShopRite become the first supermarket in North America to implement an automated micro-fulfillment center. Henig is also an adjunct marketing professor at The College of New Jersey and serves on FMI’s New Consumerism Board council and team.
Read joined Wawa seven years ago as director of store operations, overseeing more than 100 stores. Prior to Wawa, Read worked for Starbucks for 14 years in roles across all domestic business operations. He is a former advisory board member for Rutgers University’s customer experience program and sits on the NJFC Board of Directors, the board of the Wawa Foundation and the Operators Advisory Council at Winsight Media.
During The Night of Distinction, attendees will experience an industry recognition ceremony, cuisine and live music. To register for the event, click here.
The New Jersey Food Council is the Garden State’s preeminent trade association, representing almost 400 companies including 1,200 retail food stores, wholesalers, manufacturing and service companies that employ more than 200,000 associates.