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The Network of Executive Women (NEW), the consumer products and retail industry’s largest diversity organization, has introduced NEW Canada. The new group, launched Nov. 17 at the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors (CCGD) Ontario Conference in Toronto, is the network’s first outside the United States.
According to NEW Canada committee members Stacey Kravitz, customer VP at Kraft Canada, and Arlene Minott, senior manager, employer of the community at Walmart Canada, both of whom spoke at the conference, NEW Canada will further the network’s mission to attract, retain and advance women in the industry.
Explained Kravitz, “NEW Canada will offer industry-specific best practices on diversity, recruitment and retention, and foster networking and connections virtually and through conferences and regional events, as well as provide workshops, webinars and other tools to help companies develop future leaders, meet their diversity goals and implement business strategies.”
The group will expand via regional groups based in Toronto and, eventually, other areas of Canada. Backed by their U.S. counterparts, Canadian regional committees comprising retailers, manufacturers and industry partners will concentrate on best practices as local and national needs dictate.
“As the first region outside the United States, NEW Canada will pave the way for future international expansion,” noted NEW executive director Joan Toth. “Through active and passionate committee members, the startup process has been a thoughtful one, with support from Walmart and other key NEW sponsors and industry suppliers. We appreciate the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors for giving us the platform to launch NEW Canada and to gain support from all of the major chains in Canada.”
The first meeting of NEW Canada took place in late June at Don Mills, Ontario-based Kraft Canada. Sixteen companies are represented on the NEW Canada committee. Committee officers include co-chair for programs Karen Young, general manager Canada for Nestle Waters Canada; secretary Lori Galati Aguiar, director of human resources for the Clorox Co. of Canada; and treasurer Mira Tordorovitch, director of customer finance for Kraft Canada, in addition to event planning subcommittee chair Janine Johnston, director of human resources for Acosta, and public relations subcommittee chair Gabby Norbrega, principal of Breakthrough Communications.
“The conference theme, ‘Winning Together: Insights into Action,’ aptly framed the launch of NEW Canada,” observed Michelle Scott, CCGD’s VP for events and Grand Prix. “The focus of the conference was getting to the heart of the issues that are shaping the industry and working in collaboration to find win-win opportunities. This is very much the promise NEW Canada offers, taking the insights we are constantly gaining about the opportunities of diversity and leadership and working together as an industry to address them.”
Chicago-based NEW has more than 3,000 members from more than 400 companies and 70 corporate sponsors in 16 regions.