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Tracy Pawelski, Ahold USA's VP of external communications and community relations, is leaving the company on May 15.
Over the last 10 years, Pawelski has been responsible for leading media relations, external communications and community relations across the company, first at the Giant/Martin’s division and for the past five years at Ahold USA. Pawelski played a leadership role in the company’s responsible retailing efforts, served as VP of the Our Family Foundation and supported the divisions and their local charitable efforts. Starting in 2011, Pawelski also oversaw the consumer affairs department.
Pawelski leaves a legacy of good work and good will. Among the achievements logged during her time with the company, Pawelski supported the launch of the charitable meat donation program across all business units, and implemented key aspects of the company’s recall communications protocol, including an industry best practice of calling customers when they have purchased a product which was subsequently recalled.
A past Progressive Grocer Top Women in Grocery, Pawelski's influence in the grocery industry is widely recognized. For six years, she served as the chair of the FMI Communications Committee and is also a past YWCA Woman of Excellence award recipient.
Shortly following her exit from the Carlisle, Pa.-based Ahold division, Pawelski will embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey called El Camino de Santiago – or The Way of Saint James – with her daughter. The ancient pilgrimage begins in the French Pyrenees and treks 500 miles across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela.
Until Pawelski's permanent replacement is announced, Chris Brand, public and community relations manager for Giant/Martin’s, will manage the work of the Ahold USA external communications and community relations department, in addition to consumer affairs.
Ahold USA operates roughly 770 supermarkets in 14 states and is comprised of four retail grocery divisions – Stop & Shop New England, Stop & Shop New York Metro, Giant Landover and Giant Carlisle – as well as Peapod, the nation's leading online grocery service.