Get to Know Erin Heintz, Wegmans’ New Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Erin Heintz, Wegmans’ New Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Erin Heintz joined Wegmans in February 2023 and earlier this year, following the retirement of her predecessor, Steve Van Arsdale, assumed the role of General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. She brings with her more than 17 years of experience, including as a litigator in private practice and most recently as General Counsel at Rochester Regional Health.

In her role, Erin is responsible for managing all legal affairs for Wegmans. She leads an internal team of seven, as well as a network of attorneys outside of Wegmans who perform legal work for the company. She also serves as a trusted advisor to the Wegmans leadership team.

We recently spent some time getting to know Erin, learning more about what drew her to a career in law, and her impressions of her first year at Wegmans.

What made you pursue a career in law?

When I was a little girl, I used to watch legal shows on TV with my Dad. Matlock was our favorite. There were no lawyers in my family, both my parents were in healthcare. I remember being drawn to advocacy and fighting for your client. I decided that I wanted to be a lawyer at a young age and I stuck with it.

Have you had any influential role models in your career?

My most influential role models have been my parents.

My mother is a nurse practitioner in neurosurgery at URMC. She was a registered nurse when I was younger. When I was around 10 years old, she went back to school to get her master’s degree while working full time and taking care of our young family. She has the most unbelievable work ethic, which resulted in her fulfilling her dream of becoming a nurse practitioner. Even though she worked incredibly hard to advance her career, I never felt her absence. She would go from assisting with brain surgery all day, to attending my soccer game, to putting a homecooked meal on the table. To see her grow her career and her influence, while still being such an incredible mom, has always been inspiring to me and has helped shape who I am as a professional and a mother.

My father was a hospital administrator for most of my life. As a kid, I would often go to see him at work. I would walk around the hospital with him and he would always know every employee’s name. It didn’t matter if it was the person cleaning the floors or the most successful surgeon, he treated them with equal respect. Every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas he would work in the hospital cafeteria and serve meals to employees who had to work the holiday. Who he was as a person greatly impacted who he was as a leader, which is something that I have always admired about my dad and has greatly influenced my leadership style.

If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would it be and why?

Either one of my kids. There is nothing I love more than spending time with my husband Jeff and our two sons, Liam and Everett. I would love to see the world through their eyes. Something as simple as seeing how their day goes from start to finish, would be incredible. At 4 and 7 years old, I get so little detail from them!

As you celebrate one year of incredible service at Wegmans, what stands out as being most unique here?

A couple of things. The tenure of employees is amazing and continues to astonish me. It says a lot about our company and our culture in a really positive way.

The other thing that really strikes me is the true commitment to our Who We Are values from the top down. Decisions here are based on doing what’s right, and there is a consistency to it that demonstrates how deep the values run, and that is very impressive.

We have five ‘Who We Are Values’ – care, high standards, make a difference, respect, and empowerment. Is there one that resonates most with you?

High standards resonates most with me. For me, high standards and work ethic are the two things I feel have driven my success in my career.

We work at Wegmans, so of course I have to ask about food. What’s your go-to comfort food?

I don’t know that it’s a comfort food, but it brings me comfort. My favorite food is cheese. Many times, I’ll choose a comfort food based on, ‘can I put cheese on it?’ So, it’s more of a favorite food, but definitely cheese. All kinds.

What’s your favorite Wegmans Brand product?

Oh my gosh, there are so many. Well, in my kitchen, I can’t be who I am as a cook without my basting oil. But, if I was stranded on an Island, then Wegmans Cremeux de Bourgogne soft ripened cheese, with crostini.