The National Grocers Association said Tuesday that it would present Steve Holdiman with its NGA Industry Service Award and Barbara Wiest with the Woman Grocers of America Women of the Year Award.
The winners will be honored at the 2015 NGA Show during the chairman's dinner and gala, Feb. 10.
A longtime industry veteran and a passionate supporter of the independent supermarket industry, Holdiman has worked in the independent channel for 23 of his 41 plus years in the food industry. He currently serves as senior director, industry development at Mondelez International where his responsibilities involve working with the food industry associations across all channels. Holdiman began his career in the food industry as a retail sales trainee with Nabisco in 1973. He has held numerous customer and retail roles within Nabisco and Kraft Foods.
"Steve has been an active supporter of the independent supermarket industry and has played a key role in fostering meaningful relationships between independent retailers and manufacturers," said Peter J. Larkin, president and CEO of NGA, in a statement. "We are proud to honor Steve with this award and recognize his years of dedication to the industry."
The NGA Industry Service Award is awarded to an individual whose years of service in the food industry have contributed to better working relations and understanding between retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers.
The WGA Women of the Year Award, given to a recipient who exemplifies the true characteristics of a leader with passion for the independent grocery industry, will be presented to Wiest, VP of administration and communication, for IGA.
"Barbara is a proven leader, who has led IGA to much success during her tenure at the organization, and is well deserving of this award," Larkin said.
Wiest began working at IGA in 1981 as administrative assistant to the VP of communication. She worked her way up through the ranks of IGA in a variety of positions. Over the years she has played a pivotal role in some of IGA's most important milestones, including planning and orchestration of the 60th anniversary celebration event for IGA in Chicago's Grant Park with more than 10,000 people in attendance; participation in the development of the IGA Red Oval Family that created an exclusive partnership among IGA and manufacturers and service providers so as to provide benefits to IGA retailers otherwise unavailable to independent retailers; participating in the development of IGA's "Hometown Proud" signature tagline in 1988 and planning and executing the national advertising campaign that followed; participating in the development and execution of many of IGA's most successful signature marketing events and IGA fundraising activities; and overseeing the planning and development of all IGA Global Summits/Global Rallies and executive conferences from 1985 to today.
"Barbara began her career in the grocery industry 33 years ago, at a time when women had very little opportunity for working their way up the ladder. And yet, working long hours and proving herself a diligent task master willing to take on any job, she did — and she did it as a single parent raising a young daughter alone. Perhaps most impressive, however, was Barbara's impact on IGA's retail family," said Mark Batenic, president and CEO, IGA.
"With her very visible role in IGA events and marketing, Barbara led by example, and did her part to encourage women to become more involved in the businesses they owned with their husbands. Now, these women and women like them are running very successful IGA businesses, and doing so with some of the industry's most innovative ideas to attract shoppers. We at IGA like to think that Barbara, a pioneer in this industry, had a key role in inspiring women to be more active and involved in the grocery community."
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