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Publix Super Markets Charities has promoted Kelly Williams-Puccio to the position of executive director of the foundation. In her new role, Williams-Puccio will determine the strategic direction of the foundation, managing giving policies and processes, and maintaining the charitable legacy of late Publix founder George Jenkins, still known affectionately to company associates as “Mr. George.”
Williams-Puccio began her Publix career in 1979 as a cashier in Boca Raton, Fla. In 1989, she became manager of personnel records for the Southeast grocer’s Miami Division, and six years later, she rose to the position of human resources investigations manager. She has been director of associate relations since 2000.
“Giving back to our communities is an important part of our culture,” said Barney Barnett, vice chairman of Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix, which is privately owned and operated by its 151,000 employees, and has 1,049 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee. “It’s a core value Mr. George instilled in us 82 years ago.”
Williams-Puccio’s husband, John, is manager of welfare benefit plans for Publix. The couple and their four daughters live in Lakeland, where Williams-Puccio is board chair for Polk County Junior Achievement and active in the Girl Scouts.