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    Network of Executive Women Honors 10 ‘Diversity Heroes’

    Spires, Noddle among William J. Grize diversity award winners

    Kings Super Markets' CEO Judy Spires, former Supervalu CEO Jeff Noddle and Frito-Lay North America president Tom Greco were among 10 “diversity heroes” honored at the Network of Executive Women’s (NEW) CPG Retail Diversity Hall of Fame Awards last week at the Buena Vista Palace Hotel in Orlando.

    The ceremony featured an emotional appearance by Lynne Grize, widow of the late Ahold USA CEO Bill Grize, for whom the award is named.

    More than 700 industry executives gave a standing ovation to Grize and the other honorees present: Linda Dillman, SVP of Hewlett-Packard, recognized for her work at Walmart; Jeri Dunn, honored for her work at Tyson Foods; Kay Palmer, CIO of J.B. Hunt; and James White, CEO of Jamba Inc., honored for his work at Safeway. Erby Foster Jr., director of diversity and inclusion for The Clorox Co., accepted the William J. Grize Diversity Award on behalf of Clorox CEO Don Knauss, also honored for his work at The Coca-Cola Company. Two companies were also inducted: Delhaize America, represented on stage by Kristen Hanson, VP for center store category management and Procter & Gamble, represented by Beverly Grant, VP and chief channel officer.

    Lynne Grize accepted the first William J. Grize CPG Retail Diversity Award in honor of her late husband. “Bill believed in diversity and he always thought people were a company’s greatest asset,” she said. “Our family is so proud that he is being recognized with this award.” A seven-minute tribute video featuring Bill Grize and the other honorees was shown to the audience.

    NEW chair Michelle Gloeckler, SVP, home, Walmart US, presented the awards, which recognize “outstanding achievement promoting diversity and inclusion in the consumer products and retail industry, and for passionate support of the Network of Executive Women and its mission.” Each honoree received a trophy depicting Athena, goddess of wisdom, holding the world aloft.

    Attendees posed for pictures on the red carpet, toasted the honorees and the Network’s 10th anniversary, and danced to the “world’s greatest divas” at the Night of A Thousand Stars after party. A silent auction raised an estimated $15,000 for the NEW scholarship program; five of the Network’s seven 2010 scholarship recipients attended.

    The Hall of Fame Awards were part of the Network’s 10th anniversary NEW Leadership Summit, Sept. 19-20, which included pre-event NEW Leadership Academy workshops, keynotes by age wave expert Maddy Dychtwald and mountaineer Alison Levine and a candid conversation with Walmart International CFO Cathy Smith on what it means to be a female leader in the industry today.

    The Summit also featured a dozen concurrent sessions on such topics as “managing brand you,” with Jerry Wilson, SVP and chief customer and commercial officer for The Coca-Cola Co.; tips for balancing work/life with Christy Consler, VP, sustainability and corporate social responsibility for Safeway Inc.; and how to leverage social networking by Steve Knox, former CEO of Procter & Gamble’s Tremor word-of-mouth ad agency. The Summit concluded with an optional corporate athlete workshop Sept. 21.

    Profiles of the awardees plus photos, videos and blogs from the Summit can be found online at the Network’s 10th anniversary “Time Machine” supersite at www.newonline.org/timemachine.

    The Network of Executive Women is the consumer products and retail industry's largest diversity organization, with more than 4,700 members representing 400 industry companies. The Network has 70 national sponsors and 17 regional groups in the United States and Canada

    Above: Ten retail "diversity heroes" were honored at NEW's 10th anniversary Leadership Summit, Sept. 19, in Orlando. Pictured on the red carpet are (top row from left): Erby Foster Jr., representing Clorox CEO Don Knauss; Jeri Dunn, former Tyson Foods CIO; James White, CEO of Jamba Juice; retired Supervalu CEO Jeff Noddle; Beverly Grant, representing Procter & Gamble; Linda Dillman, SVP of Hewlett-Packard; and Tom Greco, president of PepsiCo unit Frito-Lay North America. Front row from left: Lynne Grize, accepting the award for the family of Bill Grize; Kristen Hanson, VP, center aisle, accepting the award for Dehaize America; Kay Palmer, CIO of J.B. Hunt; and Judy Spires, CEO of Kings Super Markets.

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