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Lynn Marmer, group VP, corporate affairs for The Kroger Co., was also honored during the event as the first-ever recipient of the prestigious Trailblazer Award from Progressive Grocer and the Network of Executive Women (NEW).
As a natural extension of its Top Women in Grocery awards program, PG launched the Trailblazer award this year in tandem with the Network of Executive Women (NEW), to pay tribute annually to a single food industry executive whose leadership, vision and influence have had profound influences on breaking new ground for women in the retail food industry.
“As The Kroger Co.’s first female officer, Lynn Marmer has been a true architect of change in the food industry and is overwhelmingly deserving of this very special award of recognition from PG and NEW,” said PG’s editorial director, Meg Major. “In appreciation and well-deserved acknowledgment of her tireless efforts to advance women through the ranks at the nation’s leading supermarket chain, coupled with her commitment to advancing worthwhile causes on behalf of the company and the many local communities it serves, we are both pleased and very proud to honor Lynn Marmer as our first-ever Trailblazer.”
A staunch supporter of PG’s Top Women in Grocery awards program since its inception, as well as an early, vigorous advocate of NEW’s mission and admirable programs to develop women leaders, Joan Toth, NEW president and CEO, said: “The Kroger Co. has always been a strong supporter of NEW and our mission to attract, retain and advance women in the retail and consumer goods industry. We are honored that Lynn Marmer has personally advocated our mission and has actively worked hard to ensure that Kroger is developing its women leaders.”
When appointed to her current position of group VP, corporate affairs in 1998, Marmer became Kroger’s first female corporate officer. She’s also a member of the retailer’s executive management team and oversees a broad and diverse scope of responsibilities, including corporate sustainability, external communications, social responsibility, media relations, government, community and consumer affairs, and corporate contributions on behalf of The Kroger Foundation.
Having joined the Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. in 1997 as a senior attorney in the legal department, Marmer is the executive sponsor of the nation's leading supermarket chain's women’s associate resource group, EDGE: Engage, Develop, Grow and Empower.
Prior to joining Kroger, she was a partner in the Cincinnati law firm of Dinsmore & Shohl. Marmer has been involved in community building and education for many years, including serving on the Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education for eight years, chairing the finance committee and serving as board chair.
A past PG Top Women in Grocery winner, Marmer has also been one of the YWCA Career Women of Achievement, one of the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio’s Women of Distinction and one of the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Women of the Year. Marmer earned a B.S. in education, an M.A. in urban planning and a law degree from the University of Cincinnati. She was editor-in-chief of the UC Law Review and upon graduation was accepted into the honorary scholastic society the Order of the Coif.
Marmer is on the board of directors of Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization, vice chair of the Port Authority of Greater Cincinnati, and a member of the Cincinnati Zoo and Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce boards. Her other community leadership positions have included being a member of the Historic Conservation Board of the City of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation, the Cincinnati Business Committee Education Task Force, the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission, FreeStore/FoodBank, the Summit Country Day School Board of Trustees (chair), and the Cincinnati Recreation Commission. She was elected to two terms on the Cincinnati Board of Education (1994-2002) and served as president, VP and finance committee chair.