Executive Leadership Development Program Delivers Intense Business Instruction

Washington, D.C. – The National Grocers Association Foundation (NGAF) has completed its 2021 Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP), a four-day program that included a mix of interactive leadership instruction and personalized coaching.

The program, held June 6-10, 2021, at Cornell University, is a high-impact learning opportunity encompassing intense instruction presented by respected academics and industry leaders. This year’s session, which hosted 31 participants from a wide variety of companies and titles, marked the return of the in-person program after virtual leadership training in 2020.

Program topics included leadership theory and practice, leadership assessments, one-on-one coaching, leadership vs. management, leveraging human assets, reconnecting with strategy, a leadership case study, group think exercise, and development action planning. Attendees considered attending the program to be an incredibly valuable experience.

“It was inspiring to meet and connect with so many diverse leaders from across the country, and I look forward to following the members of this year’s class as they progress in their leadership journeys,” said Maggie White, NGAF director. “The combination of faculty, industry leaders, coaching and interactive exercises is well designed to make you think and give you actionable feedback and ideas.”

Among the attendees was Charles Choi, the recipient of this year’s PepsiCo Diversity in Leadership Scholarship. NGAF partnered with PepsiCo to create the Leadership Endowment following the completion of the virtual 2020 Head Start program.

The son of Korean immigrants, Choi is driving the growth of his family’s independent supermarket business, Long Island, N.Y.-based Fruit Tree Farm, affiliated with the Associated Supermarket Group (ASG).

“The 2021 NGA Executive Leadership Development Program at Cornell University was an impactful and memorable learning experience for me,” said Choi, managing director of Fruit Tree Farm. “Through a combination of interactive lectures, self-assessment and peer networking, the program provided a framework to become an effective and successful leader. I enjoyed how the program offered the opportunity to learn and interact amongst a group of supermarket industry professionals from different parts of the country. Although our roles and experiences vary, it was clear to me that we all shared the same leadership challenges as well as the desire for improvement. I believe the insights, perspectives and tools gained from this program will prove to be invaluable in my leadership journey.”

The program was the first to be held at Cornell’s Statler Hotel since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We could not have asked for a better group to welcome in-person learning back to campus,” Dan Hooker of the Cornell Executive Education team remarked.

To be notified when nominations open for the 2022 ELDP, click here.

These are the 2021 ELDP Graduates:

Sara Baldwin, K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc. (dba Food City)

Kimberly Cates, Associated Wholesale Grocers

Johnny Chapman, Harps Food Stores, Inc.

Charles Choi, Fruit Tree Farm (Associated Supermarket Group)

Peter Coborn, Coborn’s, Inc.

Kimberly Eggler, Piggly Wiggly Alabama Distributing Company, Inc.

Kate Favrow, Associated Wholesale Grocers

Christopher Gibson, Ravitz Family Markets

Justin Gulla, Ravitz Family Markets

Hydie Hale, Harps Food Stores

Josh Hamill, Woodman’s Food Market, Inc.

Christina Henry, ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc.

Kevin Holland, Brookshire Grocery Company

Jay Holmes, Brookshire Grocery Company

Tanisha Jones, Associated Wholesale Grocers

Rob Jones, Charley Family Shop N Save

William Meyer, Wakefern Food Corp

Katie Penny, K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc. (dba Food City)

Molly Pfaffenroth, National Grocers Association

Lori Price Abrams, Wakefern Food Corp

Doug Ringer, ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc.

Drew Saluga, Columbiana Foods, Inc. dba Giant Eagle

Chelsea Stanton, ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc.

Chris Sturdevant, Woodman’s Food Market, Inc.

Ayana Summerville, Wakefern Food Corp

Sarah Thacker, Harps Food Stores

Justyne Uribe, Certco, Inc.

Justin Wallschlager, Sendik’s Food Market

Seth Wertz, ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc.

Maggie White, National Grocers Association

Alex Yanuzzelli, Wakefern Food Corp

About NGA Foundation

The NGA Foundation is the 501(c)3 nonprofit arm of the National Grocers Association. The Foundation provides independent retailers with tools to develop more effective recruiting programs, enhance retention efforts and bolster professional leadership development opportunities for employers. For more information, visit www.ngafoundation.org.