Wakefern, ShopRite and Fairway Market Associates Receive Progressive Grocer’s 2023 Top Women in Grocery Award
Keasbey, NJ (June 28, 2023) – Wakefern Food Corp., the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the U.S., announced seven Wakefern, ShopRite and Fairway Market associates have been selected for Progressive Grocer’s 2023 Top Women in Grocery Award. The award recognizes women who go above and beyond to inspire others, help their peers, and strengthen the retail food industry. Honorees were selected in categories designated as rising stars, senior-level executives and store managers, and include associates whose leadership and expertise contribute to the success of Wakefern, its stores and member-owned companies.
Wakefern honorees include Rachel Caruso, manager, Corporate Labor Relations; Megan Kehrle, senior supervisor, Fleet/Mobile Maintenance; and Catherine Magistrelli, vice president of Dairy-Deli and Frozen.
ShopRite and Fairway Market honorees include Elaine Williams, HR specialist, ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc.; Kameka Curtis, assistant store manager, ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc.; Chelsea Stanton, store manager, ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc.; Elizabeth Stubbs, store manager, ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc.; Amanda Fischer, marketing, business, development and outreach manager, Village Super Market, Inc.; Maria Guarriello, benefits director, Village Super Market, Inc.; and Dehliah Martinez-Wilson, store manager, Fairway Market.
The honorees will be celebrated during an awards ceremony on Nov. 8.
About the Wakefern Honorees:
Rachel Caruso, Manager, Corporate Labor Relations, Wakefern Food Corp.
Caruso implemented new bilingual recruitment strategies and partnered with the logistics leadership team to bolster hiring and retention of warehouse associates, helping to substantially increase retention rates. She also organized COVID-19 booster clinics at all company locations for affiliated personnel, while managing warehouse issues and personnel matters without any labor disruptions. Caruso is the appointed trustee for a number of pension and welfare funds and a member of the Food Industry Association, also known as FMI.
Megan Kehrle, Senior Supervisor, Fleet/Mobile Maintenance, Wakefern Food Corp.
Kehrle successfully managed the maintenance and repair services budget despite industry supply chain challenges. She created best practices that reduced expenses and increased efficiency, and created a capital budget for replacement trailers and mobile and truck equipment. Kehrle is also credited for developing new processes and procedures that allowed her team to track and monitor equipment price increases. She serves as a role model and mentor for women in the field of fleet/mobile maintenance.
Catherine Magistrelli, Vice President of Dairy-Deli and Frozen, Wakefern Food Corp.
Magistrelli, who is responsible for the procurement, business strategy and strategic leadership of Dairy-Deli and Frozen, exceeded her division’s financial objectives and led Wakefern through the transformation of its own-brand fluid milk strategy, ensuring stores provide high quality, value-priced private label milk to customers. Passionate about helping families in need, Magistrelli also volunteers with local charities and food banks. A leader and role model dedicated to the development of women in the industry, she has mentored numerous associates.
About the ShopRite and Fairway Market Honorees:
Elaine Williams, HR Specialist, ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc.
Williams’ district leads the company in mitigating risk through compliance management and by consistently outpacing company-wide compliance goals. Despite a challenging labor and recruitment environment, she ensured ten regional stores met all staffing needs with company-wide job fairs, virtual job fairs, in-store hiring events and on-the-spot interviews. During the pandemic, Williams also led a volunteer program that provided meals for nurses at local hospitals.
Kameka Curtis, Assistant Store Manager, ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc.
While overseeing daily operations and delivering bottom-line results as an assistant store manager, Curtis was selected to join the Store Manager Talent Bench program, helping lead her team during a time of transition. She also worked in various stores, driving sales at each location she visited. As a result of her accomplishments, Curtis was appointed as the store manager at the ShopRite of North Greenbush, NY. Curtis also co-facilitated a skills-building class for her peers that focused on de-escalating associate and customer issues.
Chelsea Stanton, Store Manager, ShopRite of Montgomery, ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc.
Stanton, who was assigned to oversee the perishable departments at the ShopRite of Montgomery, NY, also led associates to set several sales records in the meat, floral, dairy, bakery, deli and cheese departments. Stanton emphasized training and development, enabling the team to promote from within and prepare associates for leadership roles at other stores. Her store also raised more than $28,000 last year in support of the annual Veterans Campaign, finishing among the top ten fundraising stores for the company.
Elizabeth Stubbs, Store Manager, ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc.
Stubbs trained and mentored three new assistant store managers and helped train associates for the company’s newest ShopRite store in Elmsford, N.Y. She increased sales over the prior year in the grocery, health and beauty, produce and floral departments at her location, and was nominated to share her story at the company’s Annual Moment to Connect Series for Hispanic Heritage Month and Women’s History Month.
Amanda Fischer, Marketing Manager, Village Super Market, Inc.
Fischer drove growth with digital, social and in-store signage programs. Her team’s A Few of Our Favorite Things holiday program highlighted exclusive items, generated sales and nearly 50 percent growth, while the Citrus Fest program for specialty citrus drove sales by nearly 150 percent. Fischer championed Next Fairway Find, an event focused on promoting unique vendors in the early stages of building their business and marketing unique products, helping to drive better-than-expected sales and customer satisfaction numbers for two Fairway Market locations. Fischer has also spearheaded a holiday meal bag donation event in Village stores to provide meals to families in need.
Maria Guarriello, Benefits Director, Village Super Market, Inc.
Guarriello created partnerships with accounting, HR, IT and operations to allow for more collaboration and stronger communication among the departments. She reduced payroll’s processing time of new hires, automated pay progression rules and implemented a bookkeeping supervision team to enhance store bookkeeper training, among many other changes designed to help associates. In her free time, Guarriello is an enthusiastic volunteer at her local animal shelter and Humane Society chapter.
Dehliah Martinez-Wilson, Store Manager, Fairway Market, Village Super Market, Inc.
Martinez-Wilson’s store raised the most donations in the company’s milk drive for families in need and was the top-earning location for the Jimmy Sumas Holiday Meal Bag fundraiser. Her team also fundraised more than $20,000 for City Harvest food bank. Martinez-Wilson’s store was the top performer in the company during the last quarter. Two of the three assistant store managers promoted by Martinez-Wilson in the past year also went on to run stores of their own.
From a small, local cooperative that began with eight grocery store owners, Wakefern Food Corp. has grown into the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States. Founded in 1946, the cooperative includes nearly 50 member families who today independently own and operate hundreds of supermarkets under the ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage, and Fairway Market banners in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. For more information, please visit www.wakefern.com.