Release: NJ Food Council Honors Industry Leaders

Night of Distinction 2016 PosterTrenton, NJ… The New Jersey Food Council will host the “Night of Distinction” Reception Wednesday, March 16, at The Palace at Somerset Park, Somerset, New Jersey. The event with its powerful slate of honorees draws over 500 guests including prominent food industry executives.

At the event, Dan Croce, President of Acme Markets; Rafael Cuellar, President & CEO of Cuellar Family Shoprites, Barry Schiro, President, CBA Industries; will be honored with Industry Achievement Awards for their meaningful contribution to advance the mission of the Food Council, for achieving significant food business success and for their history of civic service within the New Jersey food community. In addition, Linda Doherty; President & CEO, New Jersey Food Council will be awarded the Excellence in Leadership for her dedication to the industry and her 23 years of commitment to the New Jersey Food Council.

NJFC Chair, Judith Spires, CEO of Kings Food Markets Inc., stated “This distinguished class of food industry leaders is being recognized for their continued achievements in the ultra-competitive NJ marketplace. We are thrilled with the outpouring of support for this event and the honorees, which is no surprise given these honorees are among the most respected leaders in the industry. We are grateful to have the opportunity to honor them with Industry Achievement Awards at this showcase NJFC event.”

The New Jersey Food Council is the Garden State’s food industry trade association with almost 400 members representing over 1,200 retail food stores, wholesalers, manufacturing and service companies that supply them.

NJFC Announces 2016 Scholarship Program

The New Jersey Food Council’s Education Development Scholarship Program was created with the goal to promote future leaders, create a benefit for NJFC members and their families, and support the food industry.  Scholarships will be available for the Fall 2016 school year and the deadline to submit an application is April 15, 2016.

The available scholarships are listed below, click on the links to view the criteria and application for each.

  • 3 New Jersey Food Council Scholarships – Policy – Application
    • Founders Scholarship Award – $5,000
    • Thomas Infusino Scholarship Award – $5,000
    • Student Award – $5,000


Please help us share this information within your organization and with family members who may be interested in applying for a scholarship.

The NJFC Educational Development Fund is an independent 501 3c fund with tax exempt status.  Not only can the program award scholarships but it can administer member foundations and endowment programs as well. We encourage members to consider these options to invest in the future of the New Jersey Food Council.  If you would like to discuss contributing to the endowment fund by establishing a family or company scholarship, please call Linda Doherty at (609) 392-8899. 


NJFC President & CEO Linda Doherty Honored by The Griffin Report as Woman Executive of the Year

New Jersey Food Council (NJFC) President & CEO Linda M. Doherty was named The Griffin Report’s 2016 Woman Executive of the Year. In their announcement, The Griffin Report stated Doherty has combined professionalism, food industry knowledge and the ability to effectively communicate her thoughts to become a well-respected leader of her organization. Doherty is NJFC’s longest serving President at 12 years.

Judy Spires, CEO of Kings Food Markets and New Jersey Food Council Chair said, “Working side by side with Linda, we have accomplished great milestones under her leadership including implementation of our Leadership Development Program, establishment of our Education Foundation, success  in our gift card litigation and the effective emergency management response to Superstorm Sandy.

Her roots in the organization span almost a quarter century. Prior to her promotion by the NJFC Board of Directors, Doherty served as Executive Vice President and Vice President and also held the position of Director of Communications and Public Affairs for the association. This year, she celebrates her 23rd anniversary with NJFC.

Doherty served on Governor Christie’s Transition Team as a member of the Economic Growth and Development sub-committee. Doherty is former chair of the Food Industry Association of Executives Board of Directors, a national organization of state executives in the grocery and retail industry representing 95 percent of the grocery and food industry in the U.S. Doherty recently served on the Board of Directors of the National Grocers Association and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Clean Communities Council and sits on the board of NJPRO, New Jersey Public Research Organization.

Recently, the New Jersey Star Ledger, the state’s largest newspaper, listed NJFC as the sixth Most Impactful Trade Association in Trenton. Recognizing Doherty’s value to the organization, the NJFC Board of Directors will present her with a special “Excellence in Leadership Award” at its Night of Distinction on March 16 at The Palace at Somerset Park in Somerset, New Jersey.

The New Jersey Food Council is the Garden State’s preeminent trade association representing over 1,500 members serving the retail, wholesale and manufacturing segments of the New Jersey food distribution industry.

Spires Re-Elected Chair, Overflow Crowd Attends Annual Meeting

Judith Spires, CEO of Kings Super Markets Inc., was re-elected as the chairperson of the New Jersey Food Council (NJFC), at the organization’s Annual Membership Meeting, Thursday, January 28, 2016 at the Forsgate Country Club, Monroe Township, NJ.

“It is an honor to be elected to serve a third and final year as the Chairperson of the New Jersey Food Council,” said Spires.  “We have accomplished much together over the last two years and I look forward to continuing to grow the Food Council and position it for the future.”

“We have experienced great momentum with Judy Spires as Chair,” said NJFC President Linda Doherty.  “The Board of Directors is energized and we are planning for another productive year.  We recently hosted a strategic planning session under Judy’s leadership and we look forward to working with members on several new initiatives that will be implemented in the coming year.”

Joining Spires as association officers are Vice Chairman Richard Saker, Saker ShopRites; Associate Vice Chairman Joe McCarthy, Bimbo Bakeries USA; Treasurer Michael Rothwell, Pennington Quality Markets; Secretary Michael Murphy, QuickChek Corporation; and President Linda Doherty, NJFC.

At the Annual Meeting, the NJFC membership also elected the Board of Directors for 2016.  Representing the Retail membership are: Dan Croce, Acme Markets; Rafael Cuellar, Cuellar, LLC/ShopRite of Passaic; Andrew Kent, Glass Gardens; David Maniaci, Nicholas Markets; Frank Mastrangelo, Supervalu, Eastern Division; James McCaffrey III, McCaffrey’s Markets; Colleen Meares, Stop and Shop Supermarkets; Christina Minardi, Whole Foods Market; Joseph F. Pagano, Inserra Supermarkets; Jason Ravitz, Ravitz Family Markets; Peter Rojek, Fairway Markets; Phil Scaduto, Food Circus Super Markets; Leonard J. Sitar, ShopRite of Carteret; Joe Sofia, Wegmans Food Markets; William Sumas, Village Supermarkets; John Wachter, Murphy’s Markets of South Jersey; and Rich Wood, Wawa.

Representing the Associate members are: Lisa Angeles, Kraft Heinz Company; Jody Avallone, Nestle USA; Michael Biase, Mission Foods; Kelly Johnston, Campbell Soup Company; Howie Kent, Krasdale Foods; Rebecca Peifer, Unilever ; Debbie Pregiato, Advantage Solutions; Michael Sullivan, Coca-Cola Refreshments USA; Luis Tejada, GOYA Foods; and Ken Weingartner, C&S Wholesale Grocers.

You can view all of the photos from the event by visiting our Flickr page!