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WGA’s Emerging Leaders Share Group Premieres In Chicago

WGA share group
Emerging Female Leaders share group

Women Grocers of America, operating as a professional development network supported by the National Grocers Association Foundation, launched its new emerging leaders share group, setting the stage for the second meeting of the Executive Female Leadership Network in Chicago.

The first gathering of the Emerging Female Leaders share group attracted 13 participants for two days of education, team building and networking May 1-2 at the Hotel Chicago Downtown, Autograph Collection. This share group is open to any female leader with the support of a nominator from her company. These women have demonstrated high performance potential and are expected to continue to impact the industry in the future.

The inaugural meeting of this group was sponsored by The Coca-Cola Co., The Kellogg Co. and The Kraft Heinz Co. 

“I am truly impressed by the talent and enthusiasm of the grocery industry’s next generation of women leaders,” said Kristin Popp, WGA president and EVP of Wisconsin-based Woodman’s Food Markets.

“Career development is essential to the future of the grocery industry and WGA is dedicated to building up female leaders to take on whatever challenges lie ahead.”

Industry experts led sessions on topics including goal setting, mentoring and achieving work-life balance. The meeting also included an executive panel discussion, an update of industry issues and a store tour of Potash Markets in downtown Chicago.

To view the photo gallery of the store tour at Potash Markets provided by The Shelby Report, click here.

Speakers included Alyssa Ziegler with grocery app platform Upside; Haley Sammis, account management team lead at Rosie; author and entrepreneur Rachael Melot; Caroline Catoe, president of POS solutions provider ECRS; Kathy Kuzava, president of the Georgia Food Industry Association; and Amy Niemetscheck, president and CEO of grocery distributor Certco Inc.  

Following the EFL kickoff, Executive Female Leaders Network convened May 2-4 at the Hotel Chicago Downtown, attracting more than 40 participants for its second gathering since debuting last fall in Washington, D.C.

The EXFL is an exclusive group open to women at the director level and above. EXFL members networked with EFL participants before taking on their own agenda that included workshop sessions on topics such as negotiation strategies and communication styles, along with small-group discussions on personal branding, cross-department collaboration, being female in a male-dominated industry and other issues.

Speakers from the share group gathering joined additional presenters for EXFL sessions, including Heidi Huff, SVP of consumer engagement at Alliance Retail Group; Diane Kavalhuna, director of team sales for The Kellogg Co.; Meagan Nelson, senior director of retail and distributor growth, and Stacey Grunewald, director of learning and development, SPINS; Kryssa (Anderson) Byron: senior engagement manager, and Daniel Duty, CEO, Conlego; Tarsha Rafferty, VP of corporate distribution at Associated Wholesale Grocers; and Donna Zambo, VP and CMO at Allegiance Retail Services.

“The future of our industry is here, and NGA is ready to help the next generation of leaders to move it forward,” said NGA President and CEO Greg Ferrara, who delivered updates on industry issues for both groups this week. “We are honored to help nurture this great pool of talent to meet whatever the future has in store for independent grocers.”

Designed for female leaders within the independent grocery industry, EXFL is a professional community that allows members to reach their career potential while supporting both personal and business growth. Membership is available to women in retail, wholesale, supplier, manufacturer and vendor companies. The group meets in person to solve problems, openly swap ideas and share experiences. 

This meeting was sponsored by The Coca-Cola Co.; The Kellogg Co.; The Kraft Heinz Co.; Rosie, an Instacart Co.; and Upside.

Further information can be found at nationalgrocers.org/women-grocers-of-america/exfl.

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Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Chicago, Illinois
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