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New Scholarship Honors Longtime NJFC Leader

NJFC scholarship
NJFC Board Chairman Andrew Kent and NJFC President Linda Doherty.

Last updated on January 3rd, 2024 at 10:13 am

Linda Doherty, who has served as president and CEO of the New Jersey Food Council (NJFC) for 20 years, was hailed for her service with a $5,000 President’s Scholarship, to be awarded annually to a student from a member company or family member.

NJFC launched the scholarship through an advertising journal, which was distributed at the association’s holiday party Dec. 5 in East Brunswick, New Jersey. Through sponsorships, NJFC raised about $15,000 to kickstart the scholarship.

“Our new President’s Scholarship is in honor and celebration of the milestone of Linda Doherty’s 20th year as our president of the food council and 30th anniversary as a driving force behind the success of the association,” said NJFC Chair Andrew Kent of Glass Gardens ShopRite.

“The board believes it is a fitting recognition to establish this scholarship featuring Linda since the foundation has grown under her leadership from the humble three scholarships to the incredible distribution we have now.

“During her decades of dedication and leadership at the food council, our association has grown in influence in New Jersey and throughout the nation; expanded member engagement and reach; achieved substantial legislative, regulatory and legal victories; developed many emerging industry leaders; navigated us through the COVID crisis; positioned our financial strength and built our educational scholarship foundation.”

In 2010, the NJFC established its educational scholarship foundation with three awards totaling $6,000. The fund has since grown to 33 scholarships that total more than $105,000 a year, with 33 member scholarships under the foundation’s umbrella.

Kent highlighted a unique aspect of the program, noting that individual member companies join together under the umbrella of the Food Council Scholarship Program to also provide their individual company student scholarships.

“The overall goal is simple: to support the families and associates of the New Jersey food industry,” Kent said.

The advertising journal honored Doherty for her accomplishments over the years to promote and safeguard the state’s food industry. There were also photos and testimonials of previous scholarship recipients, as well as highlights of education and networking events under her leadership.

“Today we are in the season of hope and appreciation,” Doherty said.

“I will always cherish this tribute and I am grateful for the meaningful friendships, association achievements, memorable events, industry programs and legislative, legal and regulatory victories we have had over the past 30 years.”

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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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