Celebrating Women’s History Month

Celebrating Women's History Month

Celebrating Women's History Month

About Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.” Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as “Women’s History Week.” In 1987, after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.” The 2023 theme for Women’s History Month is “Women Who Tell Our Stories.” (source: womenshistorymonth.gov)

A Story From Colleen

“As I reflected on a story for Women’s History Month, one that I’m so proud to share is that, today, nearly half of the 45+ senior leaders at Wegmans are women. This is a true representation of our commitment to elevating women to achieve at every level of our company, which has been, and will continue to be, a priority for us. These leaders contribute so much to our success, and I could not be happier to collaborate with and learn from the strong, talented women who are helping to shape Wegmans and inspiring future generations.”

Colleen Wegman, CEO and President

Here are a few of the many women leading the way!

Ayana Douglas

Senior Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion and Division Manager for Maryland,
27 years of incredible service

Helping us grow in our commitment as a Great Place to Work and Shop for ALL, Ayana makes sure the diverse stories of our people, customers, and communities are told through her strategic leadership of our diversity and inclusion strategies.

“My advice for any up-and-coming leader is to take a genuine and sincere interest in your people and always be available to listen and learn from them; active listening is leadership, since our people are the eyes and ears and the lifeline to every department and group within our organization. Getting to know your people by building meaningful relationships allows you to uncover those unique and valuable talents within everyone, and as a leader, your ability to nurture and cultivate those talents will only enhance the overall success of your team. In addition, there is no better way to value each individual and extend the highest level of care and respect than to apply the Platinum Rule every day…treat others the way they wish to be treated. Finally, never underestimate the importance and impact of gratitude. A simple ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ can make all the difference when it comes to leading others.”

Patti Vonderahe

Senior Vice President of Creative and Branding,
31 years of incredible service

Patti and her team are responsible for creating the optimistic, inspiring energy that’s distinctly Wegmans across every touchpoint of our brand, from our packaging designs to the look and feel of our stores and our one-of-kind approach to marketing. Under Patti’s vision and guidance, we have grown to become a memorable and visually iconic brand.

“As a leader, focus on each team member and the unique skills that make them individuals. Align those skills with the right position to allow that person to shine, while giving them room to develop and grow, and recognizing and celebrating each role and how they connect to the success of the overall team. Through the diversity of all the skill sets, the group will collectively benefit from each person’s success—creating a holistic, cohesive team that has no boundaries.”

Hilary Tantillo

Vice President of Human Resources – Store Operations,
29 years of incredible service

Hilary leads our Store Operations HR teams, which means she ensures we hire, develop, and retain the best talent across our 100+ stores. She also represents the voice of our people, upholding our commitments to employee advocacy and being a Great Place to Work for ALL.

“Leadership is centered around people, and it begins with a commitment to care for and help others. Seek out ways to spread kindness and positivity; get to know people as individuals, learning about and showing your sincere interest in their lives. Always remember the power of a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, or simple act of caring. Through taking every opportunity to care for others, big things happen; you will lift people up, create trust and connection, and inspire others to be their best.  Lead with your heart in a way so that when others think of caring, they immediately think of you.”

Smita Katakwar

Vice President of Software Engineering,
1 year of incredible service

Smita uses her nearly 15 years of software engineering and retail experience to lead our application development department. She oversees the strategic planning and daily operations to bring our customers a digital experience unlike any other.

“Leaders create a thriving employee community through intentional development of their people. The intentional development starts when both leaders and their team give each other the gift of higher expectations. I suggest all up-and-coming leaders ignite a growth mindset and commit to sustaining trust among team members so that the team loves challenges and relishes achieving goals.”

Carol Duquette

Vice President of Design and Maintenance,
26 years of incredible service

In the Development Group, Carol leads the teams that design our innovative, high volume stores and facilities by balancing customer impact and cost. She also ensures all of our stores and offices are functioning properly to create the best experience for our employees and customers.

“One of the most valuable traits leaders should develop is their listening skills. Every interaction you have with your customers, your teams, your peers, your leaders and your community is an opportunity to get a better understanding of the needs and perspectives of others. Listening isn’t just paying attention to the words, it includes paying attention to the other cues from your encounters, being self-aware and socially aware. Leveraging these strengths leads to better relationships at work and in our personal lives.”

Celebrating Women Suppliers with Nicole

“As president of Wegmans Brand, I’m also fortunate to work alongside our women leaders every day—including my sister, Colleen. Our incredible team of merchants also partner with suppliers nationwide to bring you the best, highest-quality products we’re proud to put our name on. Some of those suppliers are the trailblazing women you see here.”

Nicole Wegman, President of Wegmans Brand

Micah Daniels

Carolina Shrimp

Micah Daniels, along with husband Matt Huth, have been supplying Wegmans with fresh, wild-caught North Carolina shrimp since 2016. They rely on their network of trawler shrimpers known as “day boaters” from North Carolina to Florida to bring in the finest shrimp of the season!

Jeannine Buscher and Sarah Mullins

FedUp Foods

A proud supplier of our Wegmans Brand kombucha, FedUp Foods believes that everyone should have access to healthy, better-for-you beverages. Founded 14 years ago by Jeannine Buscher and Sarah Mullins as a regional brand from Asheville, NC, FedUp Foods is now one of the best in the industry. This woman-owned business is committed to growing partnerships with retailers like Wegmans, while adding meaningful employment in its community, and supporting regenerative practices that have a positive impact on our environment.

Sherry Berkley

Berkley Green

When Sherry Berkley started Berkley Green, a manufacturer of laundry, dish, and household cleaners, her primary goals were to create a sustainable, non-toxic product line and educate consumers on potentially hazardous chemicals used in the industry. “I was looking to partner with a company who had high standards for quality and ethics, which is why Wegmans was the perfect fit.” We’re proud to partner with Berkley Green for our Wegmans Brand dish and laundry detergents.

Wegmans is proud to partner with women-owned and founded businesses.

Making a Difference with Deana

“At Wegmans, we’re passionate about making a difference in every community we serve. Our team focuses on cultivating relationships with vital community organizations, as well as highlighting the great work of our employees, suppliers, and community partners through storytelling. I’m so proud of the many ways we all work together to give back.”

Deana Percassi, Vice President of Community Engagement and Communications

Featured Stories

Spilling the Tea on Wegmans Kombucha

When Jeannine Buscher and Sarah Mullins started making kombucha in their home kitchens nearly 20 years ago, their goal was to create a healthy alternative to soda for their kids. Fast forward to 2023, and their team has expanded to 109 employees brewing the fermented tea for Wegmans and many more.

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Meet Our Test Kitchen Chefs

At Wegmans, we take pride in making great meals easy for our customers. That’s why all Wegmans Brand products and recipes go through our test kitchen, where Andrea Cocilova and Amanda Mendell test every single one before they hit our shelves.

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