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Summit to present red-carpet Hall of Fame Awards

Thursday, August 11, 2011  
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The Network of Executive Women will honor the first-ever inductees into the NEW CPG Retail Diversity Hall of Fame, Monday, Sept. 19, at a red carpet awards ceremony at the NEW Leadership Summit 2011  in Orlando.

Ten honorees will be recognized for their outstanding achievement in driving diversity and inclusion in the consumer products and retail industry: Linda Dillman of Hewlett-Packard, honored for her work at Walmart; Jeri Dunn of Bacardi, honored for her work at Tyson Foods; Tom Greco of PepsiCo; Don Knauss of The Clorox Company, also recognized for his work at Coca-Cola; Jeff Noddle, retired CEO of SUPERVALU; Kay Palmer of J.B. Hunt; Judy Spires of Kings Super Markets, formerly with Acme Markets; and James White of Jamba Juice Company, honored for his work at Safeway. The Network will also induct two companies: Delhaize America and Procter & Gamble.

"These honorees were early advocates of gender diversity and inclusion in cpg/retail and have shown true leadership in providing women and underrepresented groups real opportunity for career advancement,” said Joan Toth, president and CEO of the Network of Executive Women. "Their actions provided early evidence of the business case for the power of workplace diversity.”

Honorees will receive the William J. Grize CPG Retail Diversity Hall of Fame Award, honoring the late Ahold USA CEO. Grize, a grocery industry legend who died in January 2010 at the age of 63, began his career at Stop & Shop in 1967 as a part-time clerk. He rose through the ranks and was named chief operating officer in 1994 and president and CEO in 1996. Spearheaded by Grize, Stop & Shop established diversity initiatives to ensure jobs were open to all members of the community. In 2000, he was named president of Ahold USA Inc., after the Dutch food retailer acquired Quincy-based Stop & Shop and other U.S. chains. Recognized for his passion for people, Grize believed corporate man­agement had both a civic and business obligation to provide diversity. In 2005, the year Grize retired, the Food Marketing Institute awarded him with the Sydney R. Rabb Award for exceptional service to the community, consumers and the industry. Lynne Grize will accept the award on behalf of her late husband.

Linda Dillman, senior vice president of global information technology for Hewlett-Packard, will be honored for her work at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. In 2003, Dillman, then Walmart’s executive vice president and chief information officer announced the retailer’s 100 biggest suppliers would be required to adopt its radio-frequency ID tag system on all case and pallet ship­ments, causing a paradigm change in supply-chain man­agement. Named to Fortune’s "50 Most Powerful Women in Business” each year from 2003 to 2007, Dillman strives to move other women up the corporate ladder. She was instrumental in advancing the Network’s mission and establishing NEW Northwest Arkansas in 2004.

Jeri Dunn, who retired as chief information officer of Bacardi-Martini this year, will be recognized for her work at Tyson Foods and early support of the Network’s mission and growth in Northwest Arkansas. "[Many companies] are los­ing out in two ways: not getting diver­sity of talent within their organization by promoting women and not taking advantage of having women — their target audience — as representatives on their executive teams,” she said.

As senior vice president of sales for Frito-Lay North America, Tom Greco helped redesign key jobs and attract a more diverse pool of candidates. Now executive vice president and chief commercial officer of Pepsi Beverages Co, Greco continues to drive diversity and inclusion. The cpg executive is working to increase the number of women on the executive career track, pushing for the continuous support and ac­countability of senior leadership.

Don Knauss, chairman and CEO of The Clorox Company, will be honored for his work at The Coca-Cola Co and early support of the Network. During his ten­ure Coca-Cola, Knauss provided seed money to the small group of women and men who helped create NEW. He continues his commitment to promoting workplace diversity and equity at Clorox, where social responsibility tops the corporate priority list.

Jeff Noddle, retired chairman and CEO of SUPERVALU, was an early champion of corporate diversity and inclusion. "Throughout my corporate career, I tried to do what I felt was right, and I could never come up with a reason why women shouldn’t have all the same opportunities and standards as men,” he said. "I knew some of the old ways of evaluat­ing people had to be pushed along to break old customs. I decided to be an advocate in that regard.”

Kay Palmer, CIO and executive president of J.B. Hunt Transport Services, is working to attract and retain more women and other minorities to the IT field. A member of the executive board of directors for the Information Tech­nology and Research Institute at the University of Arkansas, Palmer helped create the Technology Awareness Program (TAP), designed to expose under-represented popula­tions to the field while they’re still in high school. Palmer, along with Dillman and Dunn, helped establish NEW Northwest Arkansas.

Judy Spires, CEO of New Jersey-based Kings Super Markets, started her career as a cashier at Acme Markets while still in high school. Thir­ty-five years later, she led the 125-store chain. Spires has been widely lauded for providing opportunities for women in the food industry, including sponsor­ing company-based diversity groups, mentoring associates and developing Acme’s Women’s Initiative Network. She played a key role in NEW’s 2006 expansion in Greater Philadel­phia.

James White, chairman and CEO of Jamba Juice Company since December 2008, will be honored for his work at supermarket giant Safeway Inc., where he served as senior vice president of consumer brands from 2005 to 2008. White is well known for his ability to create a diverse, high-performing work team to establish a workplace where all employees can develop their talents to the fullest. While at Safeway, White was a key player in the launch of the Network’s Northern Cali­fornia region.

Delhaize America, operating under the names of Food Lion, Bloom, Bottom Dollar Food, Hannaford, Harvey’s, Reid’s and Sweetbay, is a retail diversity standout. The company has five women executives on its senior leadership team and three of its four operating banners are led by women. Delhaize America’s commitment to professional development is exhibited by its Food Lion banner’s "Women and Women of Color” strategy, which focuses on attracting, retaining and developing diverse talent.

Under the leadership of CEO and Chairman Robert McDonald, Procter & Gamble’s diver­sity and inclusion are deeply rooted in the company’s purpose, values and principles. P&G management team brings together individuals from differ­ent backgrounds, cultures and thinking styles who provide different talents, perspectives and life and career experi­ences. Company leaders fully recog­nize that diversity and inclusion give P&G a sustained competitive advantage for continued growth. The cpg giant’s diversity and inclusion mission statement sums up the company’s vision: "Everyone val­ued. Everyone included. Everyone performing at their peak.”

The NEW Leadership Summit 2011will celebrate the Network's 10th anniversary and focus on "advancing women and building business -- the next 10 years.” Some 1,000 industry leaders and emerging leaders are expected to register for the Summit, which kicks off Monday, Sept. 19, with special meetings and a pair of bonus pre-event NEW Leadership Academy workshops.

General sessions on Tuesday, Sept. 20, will include keynotes by age wave expert Maddy Dychtwald and mountaineer Alison Levine. An executive roundtable on building business and advancing women will feature Walmart International CFO Cathy Smith and other industry leaders. A dozen concurrent sessions will focus on topics such as "managing brand you" with Jerry Wilson, senior vice president and chief customer and commercial officer for The Coca-Cola Company; tips for busy career women with Christy Consler, vice president, sustainability and corporate social responsibility, Safeway Inc.; "tough talks and high-stakes conversations;” social networking for business; and breaking out of a career rut.

An optional half-day Corporate Athlete® workshop will be offered Wednesday morning, Sept. 21.

Register before Aug. 18 and receive a $100 discount off the $745 regular fee.

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