By: Leslie G. Sarasin, President and CEO, Food Marketing InstituteTop Women In Grocery Awards

Progressive Grocer’s Top Women in Grocery awards program honors outstanding female leaders within the retailer and supplier communities in three sectors: Senior-Level Executives, Rising Stars and Store Managers. This program, now in its tenth year, provides important recognition of the hard work and innovation these outstanding women bring to the food retail industry.

Female leaders from many of FMI's member companies have received the recognition of Top Women in Grocery this year. I salute all of them.  I’m especially honored to celebrate two of my exceptional colleagues who were honored this week at the Top Women in Grocery awards program -- Jennifer Hatcher, chief public policy officer & senior vice president of government relations, and Hilary Thesmar, PhD, RD, CFS, chief food and product safety officer & vice president, food safety program.  These two outstanding members of the FMI team were  recognized for their outstanding contributions to the progress of our industry. 

TWIG 2016 ClassJennifer Hatcher oversees FMI's legislative and regulatory public policy efforts at the federal and state levels that affect the supermarket industry. During her tenure at FMI, she has focused specifically on public policy issues having an impact on payments, emerging technologies, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, WIC, financial services and legal reform. When we say FMI has a impactful voice on Capitol Hill, we can all rest assured that Jennifer and her team are that informed voice representing the industry’s interest. 

In her role for FMI, Dr. Hilary Thesmar provides leadership for all food safety programs for FMI’s retail and wholesale members as well as support for members on food safety training programs, recall plans and management, crisis management, research, and overall safety and sanitation programs. She is the backbone of our food safety program and her dedication to improving food retail food safety is unsurpassed.

The dedication to excellence and to serving our broader industry exhibited by these two women inspires me and offers aspirational goals for the next generation of female food retail experts. I congratulate them both for this well-deserved recognition as Top Women in Grocery. 

Photo Credit: Stagnito Events