Release: In 20 Years as a Food Broker, Stan Barrasso Still Makes Deals and Works the Trade

When new friends ask Stan Barrasso what he does for a living, he finds it difficult to respond.

He could tell them about how he connects supermarkets with big brands, like Coca-Cola and Minute Maid. Or he could discuss his drive to help up-and-coming companies, like the chickpea-centric Banza Pasta, learn the food business and succeed.

But, typically, he just tells people he’s a salesman.

That’s because Barrasso’s job as a food broker for Acosta Sales & Marketing is complicated. He’s the guy who facilitates major deals between companies like A&P and the manufacturers vying for shelf space. It’s a critical role in the food business, and one that’s often overlooked—even his mother thought he worked for a supermarket.

But Barrasso’s efforts are gaining recognition. He’s the recipient of the New Jersey Food Council’s 2017 Max Stone Award, a prestigious honor given to those with an accomplished career in trade relations. The Award will be presented to Barrasso during the NJFC Trade Relations Conference at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City on June 6, 2017.

“Stan Barrasso is an outstanding role model in the food trade industry,” said NJFC President Linda Doherty. “His style and ability to forge partnerships between the supplier and food retail community is admired and appreciated.” 

“I’m honored to get this award, and I don’t take it for granted at all,” Barrasso said. “We have a great industry, and the thing that hits me the most about it is the quality of the people and their willingness to come together for each other.”

And Barrasso knows the business better than most.

After graduating from Seton Hall University in South Orange, he began his career as a retail representative for Hillshire Farm in 1990. Soon enough, he climbed the ranks and took on more responsibilities. By age 28, Barrasso was at a crossroads: Either accept a promotion and leave New Jersey or look for new work.

“My family and I are New Jersey through and through, and we’re proud of that,” the Little Falls resident, husband and father of three said. “We couldn’t leave.”

So he went to work as a broker for the company that would become Acosta Sales and Marketing. He has thrived there ever since, eventually becoming senior vice president of the metro mid-Atlantic region.

His favorite part of the job is mentoring young food brokers and watching them grow, both personally and professionally. In fact, as a team leader, he has taught newcomers the business for more than a decade.

“They’re inquisitive, and they want to know everything. Teaching them is what keeps me going,” Barrasso said. “We just promoted some guys and gals to big roles who I recruited, and it’s so rewarding.”

Barrasso has also picked up a few tricks from his younger colleagues. He recently moved his 200-person office from Hackensack to Plainfield, a process that took almost two years and, despite some concerns, didn’t result in a single resignation. The new space represents a step forward, bringing employees together to brainstorm over Ping-Pong, basketball and Xbox matches.

But the boss spends most of his time working for his more than 250 clients. Where he could once ink deals through a laugh and a drink at the bar, he must now record and gather every possible bit of data. Because he may meet with Clorox in the morning and Campbell’s Soup in the afternoon, Barrasso also must know the ins and outs of many industries.

Barrasso relies on the New Jersey Food Council to help him and his employees better understand the factors that could affect the food trade. Even better, Barrasso said, is the council’s proven ability to successfully fight for companies like Acosta.

“I feel like I owe them a debt,” he said. “Things that could have affected not only our business at Acosta, but the whole industry, have been warded off by the Food Council.”

For registration information to attend the NJFC Trade Relations Conference or ‘curtain closer’ Golf event on June 7 at Galloway National Golf Club, please call 609-392-8899 or register at http://njfoodcouncil.com/

BREAKING NEWS: Wakefern’s Chris Lane to Keynote 2017 NJFC Trade Relations Conference

The New Jersey Food Council (NJFC) is pleased to announce that Chris Lane, Executive Vice President for Wakefern Food Corporation, will present the Keynote Address during the 2017 Trade Relations Conference to be held on June 6, at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City, NJ, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Chris Lane is the Executive Vice President for Wakefern Food Corp., the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States. His current responsibilities include guiding the day-to-day operations and strategic planning for Wakefern, a cooperative that reported $16 billion in retail sales for its most recent fiscal year.

During the event, Stan Barrasso, Senior Vice President Metro Mid Atlantic, of Acosta Sales & Marketing will be honored with the NJFC Max Stone Trade Relations Award. The Max Stone Award is named in honor of the longtime trade relations leader for Best Foods, CPC in recognition of his accomplished career in trade relations in New Jersey.

As is tradition, the conference will conclude with a Curtain Closer golf event at Galloway National Golf Club onJune 7 at 9:00 A.M. in Galloway, NJ.

Contact NJFC at 609-392-8899 to register for the event, or go to http://bit.ly/2oVHgWK

The New Jersey Food Council is the Garden State’s preeminent trade association representing 1,200 retail food stores, wholesalers, manufacturing and service companies that collectively employ more than 200,000 associates in NJ.

Release: Food Council Hosts Special Event for 2017 Education Scholarship Winners

Recently, the New Jersey Food Council (NJFC) hosted a special event to honor 2017 scholarship recipients from the Educational Development Scholarship Foundation at Forsgate Country Club, Monroe. The recipients and their families were joined by members of the Board of Directors as well as sponsors of the individual scholarships.

VIEW ALL PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT HERE

Since the inception of the Scholarship Program in 2011, the three NJFC scholarships have grown from $2,000 to $5,000 each and now the Foundation manages an additional 17 member supported scholarships.  In all, 20 scholarships will be awarded this year totaling $67,000.

“We are proud of how significantly our scholarship program has expanded over the last few years,” said NJFC President & CEO Linda Doherty.  “When we created this small scholarship program in 2011 to help grow the future of our industry and to benefit our members and their families, we had no idea that it would grow so quickly. The incredible support of our members and the opportunity to make such as significant impact on the lives of our associates and their families makes this one of the most rewarding programs we offer.”

Doherty added, “NJFC received 124 applications for consideration.  The Selection Committee was overwhelmingly impressed with the number and quality of applications. Our scholarship winners and all applicants are a shining example of the youth of today and their goals to succeed in today’s competitive business climate.”

 
The following scholarships were awarded this year by NJFC:

  1. NJFC Founders Scholarship Award – An award of $5,000 to an employee in a food related member business or future industry leader.

Recipient:  Erich Ballard, Wegmans Food Markets, TCNJ (Junior)

  1. NJFC Student Award – An award of $5,000 to a graduating high school senior or college student who is a family member of a full time employee, NJFC employee or part-time student employee.

Recipient:  Dana Schmeltzle, QuickChek Corporation, North Carolina State University (Sophomore)

  1. NJFC Thomas Infusino Scholarship Award – An award of $5,000 to one employee in a retail member business.

Recipient:  Ruth Fiore, Stop & Shop Supermarkets, NJIT (Freshman)

 

Member Scholarships:

  1. Acme Food Markets Scholarship – An award of $2,500 to an employee or family member employed at Acme Food Markets.

Recipient:  Victoria Blankenbiller, Acme Markets, Mercer County Community College (Freshman)

  1. CBA Industries Scholarship – An award of $2.500 to an employee or family member employed at CBA Industries or an NJFC Retail Food Market.

Recipient:  Andrew Easterwood, CBA Industries, Georgia Southern University (Senior)

  1. CBA Industries Scholarship – An award of $2.500 to an employee or family member employed at CBA Industries or an NJFC Retail Food Market.

Recipient:  Kacie Meyer, Perlmutter ShopRite, Fairleigh Dickinson University (Freshman)

  1. Cuellar Family ShopRites Scholarship – An award of $2,500 to an employee or family member employed at Cuellar Family ShopRites.

Recipient:  Manthan Gandhi, Cuellar Family ShopRites, NJIT (Junior)

  1. Lawrence R. Inserra Memorial Scholarship – An award of $5,000 to an employee or family member of Inserra Supermarkets.

Recipient:  Ariana DiPietrantonio, Inserra Supermarkets, Undecided (Freshman)

  1. QuickChek Corporation Scholarship – An award of $2,000 to an employee or family member employed at QuickChek Corporation.

Recipient:  Yasmine Elasmar, QuickChek Corporation, Undecided (Freshman)

  1. Grace Scaduto Memorial Scholarship – An award of $2,000 to a student chosen by the Scaduto family.

Recipient:  Ruth Fiore, Stop & Shop Supermarkets, NJIT (Freshman)

  1. Spires Family Scholarship – An award of $2,500 to a Kings associate or family member chosen by the Spires family.

Recipient:  Michael Napolitano, Kings Food Markets, Northeastern University (Junior)

  1. Spires Family Scholarship – An award of $2,500 to a Kings associate or family member chosen by the Spires family.

Recipient: Molly Tompson, Kings Food Markets, Penn State University (Sophomore)

  1. Perry Sumas Memorial Scholarship – An award of $5,000 to a student chosen by the Sumas family.

Recipient:  Kacie Meyer, Perlmutter ShopRite, Fairleigh Dickinson University (Freshman)

  1. Wawa Education Scholarship – An award of $5,000 to an employee or family member employed at Wawa.

Recipient:  Eun Kyung Jeon, Wawa, Northeastern University (Freshman)

  1. Whole Foods Market Scholarship – An award of $2,000 to a team member employed by Whole Foods Market.

Recipient:  Addrisa Ankrah, Whole Foods Market, Montclair State University (Senior)

  1. Whole Foods Market Scholarship – An award of $2,000 to a team member employed by Whole Foods Market.

Recipient:  Allyssa Farino, Whole Foods Market, Hunter College (Junior)

  1. Whole Foods Market Scholarship – An award of $2,000 to a team member employed by Whole Foods Market.

Recipient:  Melissa Gonzalez, Whole Foods Market, Laguardia CUNY (Freshman)

  1. Whole Foods Market Scholarship – An award of $2,000 to a team member employed by Whole Foods Market.

Recipient:  Ruth Gadsden, Whole Foods Market, CUNY-City College (Sophomore)

  1. Whole Foods Market Scholarship – An award of $2,000 to a team member employed by Whole Foods Market.

Recipient:  Lorraine Martinez, Whole Foods Market, William Paterson University (Junior)

NJFC Honors the “Best of the Best” at Annual “Night of Distinction”

More than 500 guests recently attended the New Jersey Food Council’s “Night of Distinction” event to honor its 2017 Industry Achievement Award recipients, comprising prominent food industry executives who continue to innovate and propel the industry in the state.

VIEW ALL OF THE EVENT PHOTOS HERE

This year’s honorees have advanced the mission of the New Jersey Food Council (NJFC), achieved significant food business success, and have a history of civic service. This year’s honorees are John Derderian, President of Allegiance Retail Services; Frank Mastrangelo, Area Marketing Director of SuperValu; and Nico Sumas, Chief Marketing Officer of Village ShopRite Supermarkets Inc.

“We are excited to honor these three individuals who work diligently to support our efforts and our association’s mission.” said Linda Doherty, NJFC President. “They are truly the best of the best in our industry and we are enormously proud to honor them.”

Derderian leads a supermarket cooperative of about 100 stores headquartered in Central New Jersey. His focus has been to ramp up the cooperative’s investment in information technology, resulting in improved data-sharing platforms, increased analytical capabilities, price optimization, and digital e-commerce initiatives.

Even though so much has changed in the industry, the fundamental service we provide to our consumers has not changed: quality food at good prices and a clean store environment,” Derderian said. “And no matter how much technology we deploy, it’s still a people business.”

Mastrangelo is a member of the NJFC Board of Directors for the past 12 years, as well as the Finance Committee, where he has served for the past eight years. He is a 34-year industry veteran, who began his career as a manufacturer representative at Mrs. Paul’s, moving onto retail and foodservice supply chain services with Rotelle, Richfood, Fleming, AWI and, now, SuperValu.

“With every successful person, there’s some type of family behind them – some blood-related, sometimes not, but there’s always a family behind them,” Mastrangelo said. “So other than that, I’d like to thank the Council again, I’d like to thank all of the vendors that participated, and I’d like to ask you again, from the Food Council to you – if you’re a member, participate more, get involved. If you’re not, sign up.”

Sumas is Chief Marketing Officer of Village Super Market Inc. (a member of Wakefern Food Corporation), which operates 29 ShopRite supermarkets in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Nico, a third-generation grocer, has worked in almost all facets of the family business since he was 14 years old.  He now works alongside his extended family to fulfill their mission of helping families live better.
“About 80 years ago, two immigrant brothers scraped their hard-earned savings together and started a produce market in the Village of South Orange,” Sumas said. “Their love and determination in many ways is why I stand before you. I’m proud to be the namesake of one of those brothers.”

Michael Biase, Division Sales Manager, Mis sion Foods, noted the “Night of Distinction” is a “who’s who” of the New Jersey grocery industry. “We come together to celebrate the industry leaders who have helped us to be one of the finest food trade organizations in the country,” he explained.

View the highlight video below.

Release – Food Council Announces Education Scholarship Winners

Linda Doherty, President of the New Jersey Food Council (NJFC), announced the winners of the 2017 Education Development Scholarship Awards and a special Scholarship Reception will be held in their honor in April. NJFC created an Educational Scholarship Program to promote future leaders and support the food industry as recommended by the NJFC Trade Relations Committee.  This year, 20 member scholarships were awarded totaling $67,000.  Doherty stated, “We are pleased and proud that the scholarship program is growing and flourishing.  This is by far the most since the program’s inception.  We have come so far in the past seven years from three $2,000 scholarships to this robust investment today.  It allows us to provide an important member benefit and to invest in the future of NJFC families and our dynamic industry.

Doherty added, “NJFC received 124 applications for consideration.  The Selection Committee was overwhelmingly impressed with the number and quality of applications.  Our scholarship winners and all applicants are a shining example of the youth of today and their goals to succeed in today’s competitive business climate.”

 

The following scholarships were awarded this year:

  1. NJFC Founders Scholarship Award – An award of $5,000 to an employee in a food related member business or future industry leader.

Recipient:  Erich Ballard, Wegmans Food Markets, TCNJ (Junior)

  1. NJFC Student Award – An award of $5,000 to a graduating high school senior or college student who is a family member of a full time employee, NJFC employee or part-time student employee.

Recipient:  Dana Schmeltzle, QuickChek Corporation, North Carolina State University (Sophomore)

  1. NJFC Thomas Infusino Scholarship Award – An award of $5,000 to one employee in a retail member business.

Recipient:  Ruth Fiore, Stop & Shop Supermarkets, NJIT (Freshman)

  1. Acme Food Markets Scholarship – An award of $2,500 to an employee or family member employed at Acme Food Markets.

Recipient:  Victoria Blankenbiller, Acme Markets, Mercer County Community College (Freshman)

  1. CBA Industries Scholarship – An award of $2.500 to an employee or family member employed at CBA Industries or an NJFC Retail Food Market.

Recipient:  Andrew Easterwood, CBA Industries, Georgia Southern University (Senior)

  1. CBA Industries Scholarship – An award of $2.500 to an employee or family member employed at CBA Industries or an NJFC Retail Food Market.

Recipient:  Kacie Meyer, CBA Industries, Fairleigh Dickinson University (Freshman)

  1. Cuellar Family ShopRites Scholarship – An award of $2,500 to an employee or family member employed at Cuellar Family ShopRites.

Recipient:  Manthan Gandhi, Cuellar Family ShopRites, NJIT (Junior)

  1. Lawrence R. Inserra Memorial Scholarship – An award of $5,000 to an employee or family member of Inserra Supermarkets.

Recipient:  Ariana DiPietrantonio, Inserra Supermarkets, Undecided (Freshman)

  1. Raymond J. Maniaci Memorial Scholarship – An award of $8,000 to a food marketing major student at Saint Joseph’s University.

Recipient:  Jared Kolakowski, Perlmutter ShopRite, St. Joseph’s University (Freshman)

  1. QuickChek Corporation Scholarship – An award of $2,000 to an employee or family member employed at QuickChek Corporation.

Recipient:  Yasmine Elasmar, QuickChek Corporation, Undecided (Freshman)

  1. Grace Scaduto Memorial Scholarship – An award of $2,000 to a student chosen by the Scaduto family.

Recipient:  Ruth Fiore, Stop & Shop Supermarkets, NJIT (Freshman)

  1. Spires Family Scholarship – An award of $2,500 to a Kings associate or family member chosen by the Spires family.

Recipient:  Michael Napolitano, Kings Food Markets, Northeastern University (Junior)

  1. Spires Family Scholarship – An award of $2,500 to a Kings associate or family member chosen by the Spires family.

Recipient: Molly Tompson, Kings Food Markets, Penn State University (Sophomore)

  1. Perry Sumas Memorial Scholarship – An award of $5,000 to a student chosen by the Sumas family.

Recipient:  Kacie Meyer, ShopRite of Manahawkin, Fairleigh Dickinson University (Freshman)

  1. Wawa Education Scholarship – An award of $5,000 to an employee or family member employed at Wawa.

Recipient:  Eun Kyung Jeon, Wawa, Northeastern University (Freshman)

  1. Whole Foods Market Scholarship – An award of $2,000 to a team member employed by Whole Foods Market.

Recipient:  Addrisa Ankrah, Whole Foods Market, Montclair State University (Senior)

  1. Whole Foods Market Scholarship – An award of $2,000 to a team member employed by Whole Foods Market.

Recipient:  Allyssa Farino, Whole Foods Market, Hunter College (Junior)

  1. Whole Foods Market Scholarship – An award of $2,000 to a team member employed by Whole Foods Market.

Recipient:  Melissa Gonzalez, Whole Foods Market, Laguardia CUNY (Freshman)

  1. Whole Foods Market Scholarship – An award of $2,000 to a team member employed by Whole Foods Market.

Recipient:  Ruth Gadsden, Whole Foods Market, CUNY-City College (Sophomore)

  1. Whole Foods Market Scholarship – An award of $2,000 to a team member employed by Whole Foods Market.

Recipient:  Lorraine Martinez, Whole Foods Market, Fairleigh Dickinson University (Junior)

 

Each recipient will be presented with a scholarship check at a special reception held on April 4, 2017 at the Forsgate Country Club, Monroe Township, NJ.

The New Jersey Food Council is the Garden State’s preeminent trade association representing almost 400 members serving the retail, wholesale and manufacturing segments of the New Jersey food distribution industry.