NGA Foundation, Cornell Launch Virtual eLeadership Series

September 3, 2020

Development program aimed at nurturing independent grocery’s rising stars

Arlington, VA – The NGA Foundation and Cornell University will host Head Start, a five-day virtual leadership development program crafted to address the challenges of leading a retail business through the pandemic, October 19-23, 2020.

Designed to complement NGA’s annual Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP), the week-long program offers 12 hours of instruction by Cornell faculty in two-hour increments per day.

Sponsored by PepsiCo, Head Start is a high-impact learning opportunity encompassing five days of intense, interactive instruction presented by a mix of respected academic and industry leaders. Participants will come away with the tools to emerge from the pandemic in a position of strength  This is a brand-new program utilizing content from the executive education team at Cornell and specifically geared towards crisis management, innovation and adaptability.

Cornell’s Executive Education leverages faculty, research and pedagogical innovation from all departments/schools at Cornell to deliver Customized Learning and Development solutions. Utilizing a wide range of customized learning methods, the team includes virtual classroom sessions, eCornell Expert-led and On-Demand asynchronous sessions, face-to-face sessions, experiential learning both within and outside the classroom, customized assessments, and executive/peer coaching, among other modalities.

“Investing in the next generation of leaders is vital to positioning your organization for long-term success,” said Maggie White, director of the NGA Foundation. “Head Start is the perfect learning opportunity for your rising stars.”

Who should attend?

  • Alumni of the NGA Foundation’s Executive Leadership Development Program.
  • Mid- to upper-level executives with large spans of control and responsibilities who may be candidates for ELDP.

“Due to the pandemic, the NGA Foundation was not able to hold its five-day intensive Executive Leadership Development Program this year,” White said. “Instead, thanks to PepsiCo, we are pleased to announce Head Start, an entirely new program that is the perfect booster shot for graduates of ELDP looking to hone their skills in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.”

All participants will receive a digital certificate from Cornell University upon completion of the program.


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

About NGA

NGA is the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale grocers that comprise the independent sector of the food distribution industry. An independent retailer is a privately owned or controlled food retail company operating a variety of formats. The independent grocery sector is accountable for close to one percent of the nation’s overall economy and is responsible for generating $131 billion in sales, 944,000 jobs, $30 billion in wages and $27 billion in taxes. NGA members include retail and wholesale grocers, state grocers associations, as well as manufacturers and service suppliers. For more information about NGA, visit

About Cornell University

Ithaca, N.Y.-based Cornell University is a privately endowed research university and a partner of the State University of New York. Cornell’s Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, a shared school with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is internationally renowned for its expertise in food and agricultural economics, management, environmental and resource economics, and international and development economics. Dyson offers undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs.