Ever since Progressive Grocer’s Top Women in Grocery program began in 2007, community outreach has been one of the main attributes by which candidates are evaluated. The reason for this is simple: Helping less fortunate neighbors is one of the major hallmarks of a well-rounded life, an existence not just about service to one’s job or even to one’s family and friends, but also to the wider world, starting with one’s own backyard.
Over the years, as the program grew exponentially, we PG editors were continually inspired by examples of Top Women giving back to their respective communities in myriad ways, somehow finding the time amid flourishing careers and busy home lives to feed the hungry, comfort the sick, shelter the homeless, rebuild destroyed neighborhoods in the wake of disasters, teach and provide role models for underprivileged youth, care for unwanted animals, and so much more.
These endeavors have come through programs at their places of work, or on their own initiatives, in either case requiring precious time from their packed schedules. We’ve seen women create their own nonprofits, get their whole teams involved in various charitable efforts, organize massive fundraising events, give their all to vulnerable populations on a regular basis — and still excel at work and nurture their own families every day.
In this area especially, the store managers are in the forefront — their direct line to the communities they serve gives them a particular advantage in identifying populations in need of help, and mobilizing to provide assistance. PG has read with awe of the many food, clothing and toy drives; checkout fundraising campaigns; marathons/walks; and other store-sponsored events to benefit local organizations. These efforts not only help the targeted causes, they also strengthen the bonds between the stores and the loyal customers who shop them.
In this year's class, you’ll see many examples of selfless giving across all three of our categories — Senior-Level Executives, Rising Stars and Store Managers — which this year contain a total of 350 Top Women spanning the grocery and food industries.
The honorees’ sterling community outreach is a reminder that particularly at this time of crisis and uncertainty — but really at any time that anyone, anywhere, is suffering — someone will always be there to light a candle in the darkness.
READ ALL ABOUT THE 2020 HONOREES
Congratulations to all of our 2020 honorees!
View the full list of 2019 winners.