By: Angelyn Pinter, Senior Manager, Education, FMI

The food industry is brimming with success-oriented professionals who perpetually strive to be better. Nowhere is this reality more evident than in FMI’s Future Leaders eXperience, a one-of-a-kind virtual training program for food industry practitioners who aspire to positions of leadership in their companies. I have the honor of facilitating this unique program and witnessing the evolution of each participant. Just this year, the Future Leaders eXperience produced 266 graduates who received the program’s Food Retail Leader Certificate. Each of these professionals bring back to their companies enhanced leadership skills and a determination to take their teams to the next level.

Future Leaders graduates add immense value to organizational culture and productivity, which is why so many food retail and supplier companies sponsor their employees’ enrollment in the program. These companies understand that the future of the food industry will require savvy leadership, empathetic communication and industry-leading innovation – the kind fostered in each of the six online sessions of the Future Leaders eXperience.

SPAR International strongly recommends the programme to its middle managers. One such manager explained her biggest takeaway, saying, “The delivery of the programme makes you pause, think, analyze and question yourself. Identifying its application in your everyday work shows how you can improve.” To celebrate its Future Leaders graduates, SPAR International spotlights their achievement on the company’s social media channels and in its online magazine.

Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) also makes the program a core part of its success strategy. During its talent and succession planning meetings, AWG identifies top performers that will benefit from participating in the Future Leaders eXperience. “By participating in the program, we have talent that is more engaged and invested in AWG, our members, and our success,” said AWG’s senior human resources manager, Kristin Ruckman-Stitz. “We also benefit by having talent that is readily available and better prepared to move into key positions in support of our business.”

Since 2018, over 200 The Kroger Co. associates have completed the Future Leaders eXperience. “We are so proud of these associates and what they do every day to make Kroger a great place to work and shop,” says Ryan Grad, leader of talent management at Kroger. “This program has helped accelerate growth and career development for associates across our company.” This year, Kroger celebrated its 64 program graduates by hosting a virtual celebration, where attendees could network, discuss key learnings and reflect on their achievement.

FMI’s Future Leaders eXperience provides the lessons and training necessary to enhance critical leadership competencies and increase employee impact. With so many benefits, it’s no wonder why companies like SPAR International, AWG and Kroger have made the program a key component of their talent development strategy. To learn more about the program and how you can take part, check out the Future Leaders eXperience microsite or watch the video below.