Press Releases

NGA regularly communicates breaking news on legislative actions and other timely industry information via press releases to the media and general public.  Following is the latest news from NGA.

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Women Grocers of America Announces Newly Elected President, Executive Committee, and Board of Directors

Mar 19, 2014

Arlington, VA: The Women Grocers of America (WGA) announced its 2014 Leadership team, which consists of a newly appointed president to succeed Denise Beckman, four Executive Committee Members, and six new Board Members.  

"I commend Denise Beckman for her exemplary leadership of the Women Grocers of America over the last five years. Her passion and hard work have truly brought WGA to the next level," said newly appointed WGA President, Kathy Sweidel-Caton, VP of Customer Services of Gerland Corporation, based in Houston, TX. "I am honored to succeed such a positive leader and look forward to enhancing female presence and leadership in the independent grocery sector, alongside the newly appointed WGA Executive Committee."          

Members of the 2014 Executive Committee include:  

  • President: Kathy Sweidel-Caton, Gerland Corporation 
  • Vice President of Fundraising: Mari Jones, The Kellogg Company 
  • Vice President of Membership: Jody Larkin, National Grocers Association 
  • Vice President of Professional Development: Jodie Felter, Niemann Foods, Inc. 
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Cindy Sorensen, Midwest Dairy Association 

2014 Board of Directors includes: 

  • Becky Bray, National Grocers Association 
  • Alison Castillo, Unilever 
  • Linda Doherty, New Jersey Food Council 
  • Lorelei Mottese, Wakefern Food Corporation 
  • Mary Muller, Nugget Market, Inc. 
  • Barbara Thomas, K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc.  

NGA would also like to thank the following outgoing WGA Board Members for their dedicated service and leadership:

  • Immediate Past President: Denise Beckman, G.E. Foodland, Inc. dba Elrod's Cost Plus
  • Immediate Past Secretary/Treasurer: Mary-Francis Doris, Gerland Corporation - Food Fair / Food Town 
  • Tami Reeder, Gerland Corporation - Food Fair / Food Town 
  • Carol McCann, G.E. Foodland, Inc. dba Elrod's Cost Plus 

WGA is the sole organization representing women grocers and those affiliated with the independent food industry. Its aim is to ensure long-term prosperity in the evolving industry of grocery, by recruiting and retaining the next generation of successful individuals with an emphasis on young women through scholarships, awards, recognition, and professional development opportunities.  

At the 2014 NGA Show in Las Vegas, WGA ramped up its efforts considerably to expand its membership base and enhance women's voices in the independent grocery industry through a variety of events. WGA members participated in educational seminars, networking events, and fundraising activities such as the Annual WGA 5K Fun Run/1K Walk, which raised significant funds for its Mary Macey Scholarship Program. This program distributes scholarships to students working in the grocery industry with an emphasis on young women. WGA is now accepting scholarship applications, which may be found at www.nationalgrocers.org/WGA and must be postmarked by May 15, 2014. 

WGA will continue to focus on its professional development programs and networking opportunities for women in the industry through a series of webinars and regional meet-ups for women in the

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