New Jersey Food Council with Senator Vin Gopal
General Business

Future Food Industry Leaders Meet with Senator Vin Gopal

Members of the New Jersey Food Council Leadership Development Program participated in the “Getting Politically Active” session at the Statehouse. Participants met with Senator Vin Gopal to discuss political leadership, the legislative process, and the need for this next generation to become involved in the New Jersey public policy area. The day included a tour of the Statehouse.

This is the second session of this year’s NJFC Leadership Development Program created to provide both orientation and skill development to future leaders of various segments of the New Jersey food distribution industry. The program combines elements of mentoring, organizational education, leadership training, policy trends, and guided experiences to prepare the industry’s up-and-coming professionals for future leadership roles. To date, six graduates of the program have been elected to the NJFC Board of Directors. This year’s class of eight was chosen by selective criteria and includes, James Bischoff, Bimbo Bakeries; Orela DeCurtis, Bimbo Bakeries; James Gleason, Stop & Shop Supermarkets; Katie Murphy, C&S Wholesale Grocers; Dr. Juan Salinas, Perfect Life Nutrition; Zachry Veltri, Wawa; Michelle Vitale, Coca-Cola; and Daniel Wolk, Stop & Shop Supermarkets.

NJFC President Linda Doherty stated, “This program serves as a gateway for aspiring young business leaders, offering invaluable exposure to the intricacies of both state and federal government. By fostering hands-on experience, it equips participants with the essential skills needed for advancement within their respective organizations, while also nurturing their ability to advocate for the future prosperity of the food industry.”

The program consists of five sessions meant to introduce these future leaders to business and public policy at both the State and National levels. Sessions include meetings with elected officials, regulatory agents, policymakers, NJFC Committee leaders and top NJ food industry members. President Doherty remarked, “This program mirrors the dynamic essence of the food industry, emphasizing the multifaceted skill set required for effective leadership in the interconnected realms of government and food commerce. Notably, it has already paved the way for several alumni to ascend to the NJFC Board, empowering them with enhanced readiness to confront the formidable challenges presented by the rapidly evolving landscape of the food sector.”

The New Jersey Food Council is the Garden State’s food industry trade association representing over 1,400 retail food stores, wholesalers, manufacturing and service companies that supply them.

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