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    NGA Bestows Industry Service, WGA Women of the Year Awards

    Steve Holdiman, Barbara Wiest are recipients

    The National Grocers Association (NGA) has recognized Steve Holdiman with the NGA Industry Service Award and Barbara Wiest with the Woman Grocers of America (WGA) Women of the Year Award.

    Currently senior director, industry development at Deerfield, Ill.-based Mondelez International, in which capacity he works with food industry associations across all channels, Holdiman brings a strong background in the wholesaler/independent channel to his current position, having worked in the independent channel for 23 of his 41-plus years in the food industry. He began his career as a retail sales trainee with the Nabisco Biscuit Co. in 1973, in Lansing, Mich. Holdiman eventually went on to hold numerous customer and retail roles within Nabisco, before joining Kraft Foods.

    "Steve has been an active supporter of the independent supermarket industry and has played a key role in fostering meaningful relationships between independent retailers and manufacturers," noted Peter J. Larkin, president and CEO of Arlington, Va.-based NGA, explaining why Holdiman was chosen to receive the Industry Service Award.

    Wiest began working at Chicago-based IGA in 1981 as administrative assistant to the VP of communication. She worked her way up through the ranks, taking on a variety of positions, the most recent of which is VP of administration and communications. During her time at IGA, she has played a major role in some of its most important milestones, among them the planning and execution of the organization's 60th-anniversary celebration event at Chicago's Grant Park, with more than 10,000 people in attendance; participation in the development of the IGA Red Oval Family, which created an exclusive partnership between IGA and manufacturers and service providers, enabling IGA retailers to receive benefits otherwise unavailable to independent retailers; participation in the development of the "Hometown Proud" tagline in 1988, and planning and rolling out the ensuing national advertising campaign; taking part in the development and realization of many successful signature marketing events and fundraising activities; and oversight of the planning and development of all IGA Global Summits/Global Rallies and executive conferences from 1985 onward.

    "Barbara is a proven leader who has led IGA to much success during her tenure at the organization, and is well deserving of this award," observed Larkin.

    Added IGA President and CEO Mark Batenic: "Barbara began her career in the grocery industry 33 years ago, at a time when women had very little opportunity for working their way up the ladder. And yet, working long hours and proving herself a diligent taskmaster willing to take on any job, she did -- and she did it as a single parent raising a young daughter alone. Perhaps most impressive, however, was Barbara's impact on IGA’s retail family. With her very visible role in IGA events and marketing, Barbara led by example, and did her part to encourage women to become more involved in the businesses they owned with their husbands. Now these women and women like them are running very successful IGA businesses, and doing so with the some of the industry's most innovative ideas to attract shoppers. We at IGA like to think that Barbara, a pioneer in this industry, had a key role in inspiring women to be more active and involved in the grocery community."

    The winners will receive their awards at the 2015 NGA Show during the Chairman’s Dinner and Gala, slated for Tuesday, Feb. 10.

    NGA is the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale grocers comprising the independent sector of the food distribution industry.

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