Leadership Development Skills Honed at NGA Foundation’s ELDP

June 14, 2022

 PepsiCo-supported program includes leadership  

instruction and personal coaching

Washington, D.C. –  The National Grocers Association Foundation (NGAF) has completed its 2022 Executive Leadership Development Program. Accomplished academics and industry leaders led interactive instruction and personalized coaching for attendees, providing a comprehensive learning opportunity that will accelerate the growth of leadership skills.

In all, 31 attendees from NGA member companies gathered at Cornell University from June 5-9 to develop their leadership skills so they can better implement organizational and cultural changes in their companies.

“ELDP helps independent retailers and wholesalers develop leaders from within their organizations, enabling them to better respond to business challenges,” said Chelsea Matzen, NGA Foundation director. “This year’s attendees departed from Cornell University with the tools necessary to thrive in the independent grocery industry, helping their organizations compete in a competitive marketplace. I congratulate these leaders and look forward to seeing them apply their new skills in the workplace.”

The ELDP program is designed for mid- to upper-level executives with large spans of control and responsibilities that require delegating tasks to others. This year’s program covered a variety of topics, including:

Leadership Theory and Practice: The four basic paradigms of leadership were examined and discussed. Success and derailment was explored within the context of career transition.

Managing Diverse Teams: How can leaders attract and inspire a changing workforce.

Leadership Assessments: The importance of feedback was explored and specific feedback instruments (Firo-B and Benchmarks) were introduced and discussed.

One-On-One Coaching: Trained coaches answered questions regarding the Firo-B and Benchmarks 360 assessments.

Reconnecting with Strategy: The link between leadership and strategy was discussed and the importance of strategy in adapting to a changing environment was emphasized. The critical differences between an executional focus vs. a strategic focus are explored.

Click here to learn more on the NGA Foundation’s website.

Among this year’s attendees was Latasha Woodward of Texas-based Brookshire Grocery Co. Woodward, the vice president and district manager for the independent grocery chain, received this year’s PepsiCo Diversity in Leadership Scholarship, which covered the cost of her attendance at the program, with the remaining funds available as a travel stipend.

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

Click here to view 2022 ELDP Graduates

  1. Alexis Cassin, Director of Financial Planning and Analysis, Coborn’s Inc.
  2. Andrew Abellonio, Controller, ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc.
  3. Cary Anselment, District Manager, K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc.
  4. Chris Ross, District Manager, Harps Food Stores
  5. Cynthia Watson-Casey, Manager of Training and Development, Ravitz Family Markets
  6. Daniel, Moore, Category Manager, Certco, Inc.
  7. David Pierson, Manager of QA and Facility, Delaware Supermarkets, Inc.
  8. Ed Kirkland, District Manager, Harps Food Stores
  9. Ethan Mitchell, Senior Category Leadership Advisor, Mitchell Grocery Corporation
  10. Frank Wunder, Store Director, Ravitz Family Markets
  11. Hadley Sekela, VP Corporate Controller, Lipari Foods
  12. Heather Desoto, Vice President, Nonfood Sales, Associated Wholesale Grocers
  13. Jacob Linnes, Owner, GM, Orcas Island Market, Inc.
  14. Jeni Ganzman, Sr. Manager NonFoods Merchandising, Associated Wholesale Grocers
  15. Jimmy Lipari, Senior VP Category Management, Lipari Foods
  16. Kameka Curtis, Assistant Store Manager, ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc.
  17. Kevin Perino, Store Manager, ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc.
  18. Kris Garrison, Distric VP – Reasor’s, Brookshire Grocery Company
  19. Kyle Graff, Director of Store Operations, Columbiana Foods, Inc. dba Giant Eagle
  20. Lakeisha Hall, Sr. Manager, Traffic, Associated Wholesale Grocers
  21. Latasha Woodard, Vice President District Manager, Brookshire Grocery Company
  22. Lee Sestak, Financial Manager, Delaware Supermarkets, Inc.
  23. Lori Hodgkinson, District Director of Operations, ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc.
  24. Maria O’Malley, Human Resources Director, McMenamin Family ShopRite
  25. Michael DeVita, Category Manager, Wakefern Food Corp
  26. Mike Bratz, Assistant Director of Retail Operations, Sendik’s Food Market
  27. Ryan Williams, Director of Risk Management, Associated Grocers, Inc.
  28. Tristen Kendall-Barros, Vice President of Marketing, Roche Bros. Supermarkets Co.
  29. Tyler Bailey, Store Operations Starbucks Supervisor, K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc.
  30. William Holtman, Vice President Wholesale Operations, Associated Grocers, Inc.
  31. Yajaira Duran, Procurement Manger Appy/Deli, Wakefern Food Corp