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NGA congratulates 37 grocery executives on their completion of the 2017 Executive Leadership Development Program

NGA congratulates 37 grocery executives on their completion of the 2017 Executive Leadership Development Program

Arlington, VA, 2017-Jun-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Grocers Association (NGA) today (June 20, 2017) congratulated 37 grocery executives on their completion of the 2017 Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP).  The event was held June 4 – 8 at Cornell University, located in Ithaca, New York.

“In an evolving business such as the supermarket industry, new leaders and executives will face an array of challenges and opportunities very different than their predecessors encountered. The development of these leaders will become even more important, and leadership and training programs will be critical for the long-term success of the industry,” said Peter J. Larkin, president and CEO, NGA. “Thanks to the generous support of our sponsor, PepsiCo, NGA is working to provide those resources and opportunities for independent supermarket operators to invest in their future leaders through programs such as ELDP.””

“I found the ELDP program to be an invaluable experience in which I will take the lessons learned and apply them throughout my career,” said Brian Rutigliano, Retail P.O.S. Specialist, Allegiance Retail Services, LLC. “The program helped me to understand the differences between management skills and leadership skills, and the one-on-one feedback session with Cornell faculty provided deeper insight into my strengths and weaknesses as a leader and a path forward to improve on my leadership skills.”

ELDP helps independent supermarket operators and wholesalers develop leaders from within their organizations who can respond to business challenges in the 21st century marketplace. It is a high-impact learning opportunity for rising grocery executives that provides interactive instruction presented by a mix of respected academic and industry leaders.

For the past 14 years, ELDP has been generously supported by PepsiCo.

2017 ELDP graduates:

Mark Bowen, Manufacturing Operations Manager, Brookshire Grocery Co.
Stewart Boyer, Retail Counselor, Merchants Distributors, LLC
Nathaniel Brusby, Store Manager, Kennie’s Market’s, Inc.
Reggie Carmon, Director of Food Service, Bakery/Deli Merchandising, Reasor’s, LLC
Lee Bowers, Sales Development Manager, Merchants Distributors, LLC
Derek Brison, Manager of Employment & Talent Management, Reasor’s, LLC
Sandra Cannillo, Advertising Manager, Wakefern Food Corp.
Layne Chastain, Director of Meat and Seafood, Harps Food Stores, Inc.
Rodney Cobb, Meat Director, Mitchell Grocery
Aidan Coleman, Director of Business Development, Coleman Group of Companies
Sean D. Hamady, Assistant Store Manager, Sissonville Piggly Wiggly
Guillermo Fernandez, Business and Finance Team Lead, Stop and Compare Market
Jim Fitterer, Director of Sales, Associated Wholesale Grocers
Eric Frigiano, Business/Financial Analyst, Wakefern Food Corp.
Joe Greene, District Manager, K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc.
Amber Hauber, Vice President of Customer Experience, Harmons Grocery
Drew Hembree, Director of Traditional Advertising, K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc.
Dennis Host, Vice President of Marketing, Coborn’s, Inc.
Heidi Huff, Director of Marketing, IGA USA
Jenny Jorge, Vice President of Operations, Jorgu Meat Corporation
Ray Lotierzo, Store Director, Ravitz Family Markets
Steve Oroszlany, Category Manager, Wakefern Food Corp.
Samer Rahman, Senior Director of Meat/Seafood Merchandizing, Allegiance Retail Services, LLC
Mohammad Rahman, Assistant Store Manager, ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc.
Mike Richter, Senior Director of Meat, Seafood, and Fresh, Coborn’s, Inc.
Mike Roberts, Produce Merchandiser, Harps Food Stores, Inc.
Clark Roper, Produce Buyer, Piggly Wiggly Alabama Distribution Co., Inc.
Brian Rutigliano, POS Specialist, Allegiance Retail Services, LLC
Carly Spross, Director of Marketing, The Fresh Grocer (ShopRite)
Laura Strange, Senior Director of Industry Relations, Communications, and Marketing, National Grocers Association
Marty Thompson, Director of Category Development, Coborn’s, Inc.
Peter Torchiano, Store Director, ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc.
Tom VonKessel, Director of Non-Perishables, Ravitz Family Markets
Alan Tait, Director of Business Development, Coleman Group of Companies
Daniel Koch, Vice President of Bakery/Deli, Associated Wholesale Grocers
Nicholas Arlan, Vice President, Arlan’s Markets, Inc.
Elizabeth Crocker, Executive Director, NGA Research and Education Foundation

For more information on ELDP please visit

About The National Grocers Association:
The National Grocers Association (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


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