WGA Scholarships & Awards

The Mary Macey Scholarship Program

Aligned with WGA’s educational objectives, WGA distributes the Mary Macey Scholarship yearly to promising college students pursuing careers in the industry. Scholarships are one-year awards in the amount of $1,500 (number of recipients subject to availability of funds).


  • Must attend a U.S. college or university
  • 2.0 grade point average or better
  • Entering sophomore or higher (including graduate studies) in good standing at bachelor degree-granting institution or graduate program. 

The WGA Woman of the Year Award

The Woman of the Year will be recognized for her accomplishments at the 2016 NGA Show in Las Vegas, NV. The award recipient will also receive complimentary registration to the Show and gala. The prestigious WGA Woman of the Year Award was established by the WGA Board of Directors in 1996 to provide visible support and recognition to outstanding women in the independent grocer industry.


  • Nominees must be female professionals with at least 7 years' experience in the independent food industry.
  • Nominees do not have to be a member of WGA, but must be employed by a NGA member company.
  • Nominees exemplify the true characteristics of a leader with passion, helping to shape the face of her company or organization while distinguishing herself from her peers. 
  • Nominees from all industry subdivisions are welcome: single store retailers, multi-state wholesalers, state association executives, and other entities.

Past WGA Woman of the Year Recipients

  • 2015 Barbara Wiest, IGA
  • 2014 Tammy Bailey, Bailey's IGA Supermarket
  • 2013 Debbie Dory, Newport Avenue Market 
  • 2012 Barbara Thomas, K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc.
  • 2011 Stephanie Skylar, Chief Super Markets, Inc.
  • 2010 Kathy Sweidel-Caton, Gerland Corporation 
  • 2009 Pamela Murray, K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc.
  • 2008 Mary Ellen Gowin,  Wakefern Food Corporation 
  • 2007 Tessa Greenspan, Sappington Int’l Farmers Market  
  • 2006 Teresa Baker, Baker’s Foods 
  • 2005 Lee Ann James, E.W. James & Sons Supermarket 
  • 2004 Lana Amodei, Carcieri’s Supermarket 
  • 2003 Carole F. Bitter, Ph.D., Friedman’s Supermarkets 
  • 2002 Mary Anne Kowalski,  Kowalski’s Markets 
  • 2001 Penny Pederson, Conrad’s Sentry 
  • 2000 Dale Danahy, Colella’s Supermarket 
  • 1999 Neva Lamb, Lamb's Thriftway 
  • 1998 Sue Richardson, Richardson's Piggly Wiggly 
  • 1997 Ruby Wyatt, Wyatt's Supermarket, Inc. 
  • 1996 Mary Lucas, Kountry Korner 

The WGA Legislator of the Year Award 

This newly-established honor annually recognizes a female state representative or senator who remains passionately committed to causes important to the independent retail grocery community. The WGA Legislator of the Year is a champion for the industry both on the local level and on Capitol Hill. This award is nominated by the NGA Public Affairs team and confirmed by the WGA Board of Directors.

Congratulations to Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, the 2015 WGA Legislator of the Year!

Senator Heitkamp accepts the Legislator of the Year Award from Kristi Magnuson-Nelson