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Western Michigan University’s Food Marketing Conference celebrated its 50th anniversary by seamlessly illustrating its awareness of the future direction of food retail and CPG, and introducing the industry to its next generation of talent.
Industry support of WMU’s Food & CPG Marketing Program is too numerous to name, but retailers including Meijer, Kroger, SpartanNash, Bi-Lo Holdings and Jewel-Osco, as well as CPG powerhouses Kellogg Co., Kraft, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble and J.M. Smucker, participated in the two-day program. Current challenges of diversity, shifting demographics and an uncertain economy were honestly discussed, but attendees were also inspired with the optimism, opportunities and styles of leadership that make the retail and CPG industry a great place to work.
Bi-Lo’s Nasshan Joins Hall of Fame
Bill Nasshan, EVP and chief merchandising officer of Bi-Lo Holdings, Jacksonville, Fla., was inducted into the Western Michigan University Food Marketing Alumni Hall of Fame. The award is presented to alumni of the WMU Food/CPG Marketing Program who, through their outstanding achievements, have distinguished themselves as food industry leaders.
Nasshan, who began his career as a clerk at Dominick’s Finer Foods, Chicago, in 1974, was encouraged to attend WMU by his boss, Dominick Di Mateo, founder of Dominick’s. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Food Distribution from WMU in 1980. According to Nasshan, it was at WMU that he “learned how to serve.”
He returned to Dominick’s after graduation. Nasshan has also held positions at Cub Foods and Shaw’s; he joined Bi-Lo Holdings in 2009.
Kellogg’s Jones Receives Trimpe Service Award
Dave Jones, VP of industry initiatives, Kellogg Co., received the Adrian Trimpe Distinguished Service Award, in honor of Adrian Trimpe, the founding father of the Food Marketing Program at WMU. The award recognizes individuals who have contributed significantly to the advancement of the Food & Consumer Goods Program at WMU and around the country. Jones has been a member of WMU’s Food/CPG Advisory Board since 2005, and has served on the Food Marketing Conference Committee, the Industry Relations Committee, and is currently serving his second term as chairman of the Advisory Board. “Dave gives tirelessly to our students, advisory board, and our Food Marketing Program,” says Frank Gambino, director of the Food & CPG Marketing Program at WMU. “He is truly fitting of this recognition.”
Jones lends tremendous industry experience to WMU’s program as well. He joined the Kellogg Co. in 1986 as a sales representative in Tulsa, Okla. He’s held a number of assignments at different locations throughout the country. He was promoted to his current position in 2006 and is accountable for linking customer needs with Kellogg strategies and initiatives across all trade channels.