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Elizabeth Nardi, who has served as New Seasons Market director of operations for the past six years, is leaving the retailer to join Eugene, Ore.-based organic produce distributor Organically Grown Co. (OGC) as its CEO, effective Oct. 4.
Nardi, who leads New Seasons Market’s team members under the retail operations and customer experience umbrellas, worked her way up in the natural grocery trade at the grocer, from an assistant natural foods buyer and front-end manager to store service and general management.
Her roots in the organic movement and grocery trade run deep: Hailing from Vermont, she spent her early career working with the Northeast Organic Farming Association, then the Center for Food Safety, where she lobbied as a grassroots organizer on issues ranging from labeling milk from cows treated with the rBGH growth hormone to the regulation of genetically engineered foods. Afterward, she worked for Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), cosponsor of the National Organic Foods Production Act, on legislative implementation.
Nardi brings to OGC experience in creating and implementing major initiatives and policy shifts at New Seasons Market, while managing through rapid growth. She is known for being a champion for investing in staff and creating a highly engaged, community-connected workplace. OGC Interim CEO Andy Westlund will return to his company’s board of directors and facilitate Nardi’s transition by serving as chair.
OGC worked with Portland-based Notogroup Executive Search to conduct its CEO search.
Based in Portland, Ore., New Seasons Market operates 20 stores, most of them in the Portland metropolitan area. Its subsidiary, Santa Cruz, Calif.-based New Leaf Community Markets, operates seven stores in the San Francisco Bay Area.