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Street Renamed For Wakefern’s Sheridan In Elizabeth, NJ

Wakefern Sheridan Elizabeth

Wakefern Food Corp. announced that Elizabeth, New Jersey, has renamed York Street “Joe Sheridan Way” in honor of the company’s longtime president.

A native of Elizabeth, Sheridan will retire in December after nearly five decades with the company. Mike Stigers, a supermarket industry veteran, joined Wakefern in June to succeed him.

Local leaders including Elizabeth Mayor J. Christian Bollwage, City Council President Frank Mazza and Councilman-at-Large Manny Grova Jr. joined Wakefern representatives for a dedication and street sign unveiling ceremony Oct. 24.


The event, which took place outside the Elizabeth Grocery Distribution Center on York Street, recognized Sheridan for his decades of commitment to the cooperative, as well as his hometown and the many communities Wakefern serves.

Sheridan started his career in 1976 as a selector in the Elizabeth warehouse and rose through the ranks to become president of the company in 2011.

Bollwage said he was proud to dedicate the street to Sheridan, who rose to the highest levels of his profession, and thankful for his work over the years to make sure that Wakefern remained a New Jersey-based business with a strong presence in the city.

“Joe eventually rose to the role of president of Wakefern in 2011, and led what is now a $19.6 billion dollar cooperative with his signature grit and determination – and with his deep sense of pride in his Elizabeth roots,” Stigers said.

“Few demonstrate a stronger love for their company – and their community – than Joe.”

After graduating from Kean University in 1980, Sheridan was promoted to category manager. He worked over the decades with the cooperative’s member family-owned businesses and in many different parts of the company, including logistics, finance, procurement and management in grocery, bakery, health and beauty care and pharmacy divisions.

In 1991, he was promoted to VP of direct store delivery and the following year to VP of health and beauty care, non-foods and pharmacy. He was named SVP of marketing in 1994 and EVP in 1996. In 2011, he was promoted to the role of Wakefern president.

During his time as VP and president, Wakefern added four new retail banners and 93 stores, and in 2002 launched one of the grocery industry’s earliest online shopping platforms, known today as Order.Pickup.Deliver. Sheridan oversaw investments to optimize retail and warehouse operations and launched Wakefern’s Bowl & Basket, Wholesome Pantry and Paperbird private label lines.

Sheridan also led the way in corporate social responsibility. More than $62 million has been donated through ShopRite Partners In Caring to hunger fighting organizations over the last 24 years.

Sheridan has also served with a variety of supermarket and retail trade organizations over the years, including the FMI Board of Directors and the Board of Governors for the GS1 US, a nonprofit that designs and manages a global system of supply chain standards. He is also a past chairman of the NGA, a trade association representing independent retail and wholesale grocers.

In 2012, the Grocery Manufacturers Association presented Sheridan with its Industry Collaboration Leadership Award and in 2014, he received the New Jersey Food Council’s Industry Achievement Award. 

FMI recognized Sheridan earlier this year with the Sidney R. Rabb Award for Statesmanship.

“I’ve been blessed to be around great people for a great career,” Sheridan said at the unveiling ceremony. 

“As a native son of Elizabeth, I just want to say thank you. I truly appreciate and I am honored by this tribute.”

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Sommer Stockton

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Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

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