June 10, 2015 – CHICAGO –
Food Marketing Institute (FMI) presented Cheryl Macik, director of consumer affairs for Wakefern Food Corp., with its Esther Peterson Consumer Service Award, recognizing her dedication as a shopper advocate and her influence in serving and retaining Wakefern’s loyal customer base across its ShopRite and Price Rite banners.
Wakefern President and COO Joe Sheridan described Cheryl as, “My wing person whenever there’s a time of crisis; she does it with patience, she does it with vigilance and she sees it all the way through. Cheryl makes sure that our policies reflect the current state of the consumer dynamic.”
Macik started at Wakefern more than 30 years ago as a frontline representative in what was then a fledgling consumer affairs department. Today, she serves as director of the department, overseeing a staff of 30, including ShopRite’s Customer Care Center and consumer research team. Under Cheryl’s direction, Wakefern’s Customer Care Center responds to nearly 200,000 customer contacts annually.
“In the nearly three decades that Cheryl has worked for Wakefern her commitment to providing an exceptional level of customer service has never waned. In everything she does she is committed to delighting our customers. It’s her passion and resilience that is an inspiration to her team,” said Karen Meleta, Wakefern’s vice president of consumer and corporate communications. “Cheryl has always represented the voice of the customer in the internal decision-making and discussion here at Wakefern, her influence has been far-reaching.”
Macik has played a pivotal part in advancing consumer-centric programs over the last three decades, with a constant focus on consumer education, advocacy and health and wellness. Notably, Macik was instrumental in developing a protocol that utilized ShopRite’s loyalty card database to notify customers of a product recall; a procedure that has become an industry standard. She also recognized early on that supermarkets had an opportunity to impact and influence consumer’s well-being through their food choices, and Cheryl was instrumental in hiring Wakefern’s first corporate dietitian and today, that same dietitian now heads an extensive retail program with more than 115 dietitians in ShopRite stores.
“Cheryl takes a practical approach that gets her a lot of respect from our owners and Wakefern staff,” Joe Colallio, Wakefern Chairman and CEO, said. “She doesn’t just look at it from a corporate perspective but looks at the impact our decisions have at a retail level as well. She helps our membership focus on what’s happening in our stores and how it affects our customers.”
Leslie G. Sarasin, FMI president and CEO, remarked on Macik’s award, “Cheryl is the consummate needed bridge between the food retail industry and the consumers it serves. True to the spirit of Esther Peterson, Cheryl works tirelessly to ensure the customer’s voice is heard clearly by the industry and that the industry responds in an open, understandable and friendly fashion.”
Cheryl received her bachelor’s degree in Consumer and Family Science at Rutgers University and briefly taught at the elementary school level before arriving at Wakefern. She is a former YWCA Tribute to Women in Industry award winner and in 2014 received Griffin Report’s Food Industry Women of Influence award. Cheryl is a member of the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals and formerly served as Chair of FMI’s Consumer Affairs Committee.