Shopper Marketing - May 2017 - 32
HALL OF FAME PROFILE
Chief Information Officer, Wakefern Food Corp.
hile there's room for debate as to the reasons why, there's little doubt that women are,
in fact, underrepresented in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields.
And Progressive Grocer magazine's commendable efforts to promote "Top Women
in Grocery" notwithstanding, the same can be said for the retail food industry. As Cheryl Williams,
chief information officer at Wakefern Food Corp. and a Path to Purchase Institute/Shopper
Marketing Hall of Fame inductee for 2017, will tell you, "Being in technology and in the grocery
industry - well, you know I'm used to being the only woman in the room."
But judging from Kantar Retail's latest PoweRanking, many people are very lucky she was there
at all. While Kantar ranks Wakefern as the nation's 29th largest retailer by sales, the industry execs
whose opinions drive the PoweRanking raised Wakefern all the way up to No. 9 for its use of digital
platforms. Clearly, when it comes to tech, this member-owned cooperative is punching well above
its weight class.
Since joining the company in 1996 as manager of retail systems, Williams has been a constant
in the company's climb to technology excellence. While holding various titles such as director of
applications development; VP, marketing; VP, digital commerce and innovation; and now CIO, she
has overseen a host of advances including the "ShopRite from Home" e-commerce platform, mobile
apps, digital couponing and the "Price Plus Insights" data sharing program, among many others.
In March, Williams - along with Chris Witte, VP, shopper & category development, Tyson Foods;
and Herbert Smith, VP, off-premise customer development & category management, E. & J. Gallo
Winery - was honored at the Institute's 24th annual induction ceremony, held in conjunction with
the Shopper Marketing Effie Celebration in New York. Williams was interviewed in late February at
Wakefern's headquarters by the Institute's Bill Schober.
y SHOPPER MARKETING MAY 2017