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Wakefern Welcomes New Leadership At Annual Meeting

Wakefern leadership at annual meeting
From left, Joseph Colalillo, outgoing Wakefern Food Corp. chairman; Sean McMenamin, incoming Wakefern chairman; Mike Stigers, Wakefern president; and retiring Wakefern President Joe Sheridan.

Keasbey, New Jersey-based Wakefern Food Corp. welcomed its new chairman and president during the company’s annual meeting Oct. 19, attended by shareholders, store leadership teams and staff.

Outgoing Chairman Joseph Colalillo paid tribute to the cooperative he led for 18 years as he welcomed Sean McMenamin as the new chairman and Mike Stigers as Wakefern’s new president.

McMenamin, who served as vice chairman of the board, is also president of McMenamin Family Markets, which operates two ShopRite stores in Philadelphia. It was the first Wakefern annual meeting for Stigers, who joined the company in June.

“Sean is a second-generation grocer who believes in the mission of our cooperative. He recognizes that Wakefern succeeds when all of its members succeed. Both Sean and Mike are strong leaders who will confidently navigate the challenges ahead to make sure Wakefern continues to grow and succeed,” Colalillo said.

He will continue to serve on Wakefern’s Board and lead his family company, ShopRite of Hunterdon County, which operates five ShopRite stores in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

“It has been my great privilege and honor to serve our cooperative as chairman of the board,” said Colalillo, who thanked fellow board members, retiring Wakefern President Joe Sheridan and associates. “Together, we have steered our company through a period of substantial growth, made investments in warehouses, technology, and new and innovative marketing programs. Through our combined efforts, Wakefern’s retail banners are respected and formidable regional supermarkets in the Northeast.”

McMenamin said he was “honored and humbled to be here today and promise to work as hard as I can to ensure that our family-owned businesses – our Wakefern family – thrive for generations to come. He also thanked Colalillo for his leadership and mentorship.

“A desire to help people eat well and be happy has been at our core since the cooperative was founded by eight neighborhood grocers in 1946. That shared common purpose will continue to guide us and keep our members strong in this rapidly changing industry,” McMenamin said.

During the Wakefern annual meeting, the company reported retail sales of $19.6 billion for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2023, a 5.5 percent increase from the previous year.

Colalillo presented Sheridan with the Chairman’s Award for his nearly 50 years of service to the cooperative. In his last annual report on the cooperative, Sheridan said investments in brick-and-mortar stores, online shopping, technology and Own Brands continue to drive a best-in-class customer experience that strengthens Wakefern.

“As I complete my last and 28th presentation to this group, I want you to know that it has always been my privilege to present the accomplishments of all the people in this room, in our warehouses and in our stores. It has been an honor for me to serve multiple generations of ShopRite families who lead their own companies and support Wakefern,” Sheridan said.

Both Colalillo and Sheridan called on Wakefern members and associates to support the new leadership team with McMenamin and Stigers at the helm.

Stigers said he is focused on protecting Wakefern’s legacy while moving the company forward.

“The past 77 years has seen Wakefern achieve the considerable feat of becoming the nation’s largest retailer-owned cooperative. This cooperative has a pretty remarkable history, and I’m so grateful to be part of it. I’m excited to think about what the next 77 will bring and how we can take the next steps on Wakefern’s journey into the future,” said Stigers.

The board welcomed Sandra Brown, chairwoman of Brown’s Super Stores Inc., and David Maniaci, president and CEO of Nicholas Markets Inc., as the newest members of Wakefern’s Board of Directors.

Shareholders elected to the board at the Oct. 19 Wakefern annual meeting include: McMenamin, chairman; Larri Wolfson and Dominick J. Romano, vice chairmen; Nicholas Sumas, treasurer; Lawrence Inserra Jr., and Neil Greenstein, assistant treasurers; Richard Saker, secretary; and Ned Gladstein, Shawn Ravitz and Marshall Klein, assistant secretaries. Stigers was also appointed as president.

About Wakefern

A small, local cooperative that began with eight grocery store owners, Wakefern Food Corp. has grown into the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States. Founded in 1946, the cooperative comprises nearly 50 member families who today independently own and operate 365 supermarkets under the ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage and Fairway Market banners in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Together with its member companies, the Wakefern cooperative has nearly 80,000 team members and is one of the largest employers in New Jersey.

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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