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Ahold Delhaize’s Kathy Russello named ‘Trailblazer’

Photo of Kathy Russello

Kathy Russello of Retail Business Services, the services company of Ahold Delhaize USA, is the 2018 Top Women in Grocery Trailblazer, named by Progressive Grocer and Network of Executive Women.

Russello will be recognized at the upcoming Top Women in Grocery gala celebration on Nov. 8 at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago.

“In honor of Kathy’s tireless involvement in community engagement and working to create diversity and inclusion in her role at Ahold Delhaize USA, we are extremely proud to honor her as our 2018 Top Woman in Grocery Trailblazer,” said Kat Martin, senior editor of Progressive Grocer.

As the pinnacle award in Progressive Grocer’s Top Women in Grocery awards program, the Trailblazer is bestowed upon an individual who leads by example and has demonstrated a commitment to building up the next generation of female leaders in the grocery retail industry. “Given her exemplary career as a human resources professional, we can clearly see the impact Kathy has made on supporting representative leadership. Kathy not only lifts up, but she also gives back,” Martin added.

“Throughout her career, Kathy has been a strong advocate for the development of women in the supermarket business,” said NEW President and CEO Sarah Alter. “With an unwavering commitment to creating a workplace where everyone can succeed, she’s an example of how one individual can spark real change.”

As executive vice president, people, systems and services for Retail Business Services, Russello and her team provides people, systems and services to the Ahold Delhaize USA’s local brands human resources teams, such as benefits administration and systems support. Her team is also responsible for human resources functions, such as talent planning, learning and development, associate relations and diversity and inclusion.

Previously, Russello played an integral role in the U.S. merger between Ahold USA and Delhaize America, working to ensure more than 200,000 associates across multiple companies were prioritized as the Ahold Delhaize USA customer-centric portfolio of companies was created.

With more than 30 years of human resources and grocery retail experience, Russello began her career in store operations with Mayfair Supermarkets in Elizabeth, N.J. In 1995, she joined Ahold USA and provided human resources support for the New York area for Edwards and Stop & Shop. Throughout her career, she has continued to take on progressively challenging leadership positions within human resources and labor relations.

Russello is passionate about the grocery retail business and is a strong advocate for people, who she believes are the heart of the business, and their ongoing development. Additionally, she is a longtime champion of community engagement. She currently serves as president of the Ahold Delhaize USA Family Foundation and previously served as a volunteer for the New Jersey Food Bank.