Big night for Food Council as it celebrates four honorees (Food Fella: Special online edition)

The New Jersey Food Council held its annual Night of Distinction on Thursday at The Palace at Somerset Park in Somerset to honor four members and their achievements in New Jersey’s food industry.

The council’s members range from consumer package goods giants like Unilever to Coca-Cola, and include almost all of the Garden State’s food retailers, from ShopRite, Stop & Shop, Wegmans and more.

This year’s class of honorees were:

  • Jeff Brown, CEO and president, Brown’s Super Stores: Achievements opening food stores in food deserts and the inner city in Philadelphia;
  • Herman Dodson, executive director, Chase Bank: Strong ties and relationships with the food industry and successful lending by Chase;
  • Joe Parisi, chief operating officer, King’s Food Markets: From a young teen pushing carts at Pathmark, worked his way up to the COO at King’s;
  • Donna Zambo, vice president and chief marketing officer, Allegiance Retail Services LLC: Also had her start at Pathmark, as a coder for customer comments and feedback, to now a sharp, marketing-minded executive creating new ideas and synergies for growth at the co-op.

The evening kicked off with opening remarks by both Linda Doherty, president of the Food Council, and Richard Saker, its chairman.

This evening is usually referred to as the “who’s who” of the grocery industry here in New Jersey.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the New Jersey Food Council, and a big gala to celebrate this milestone is slated for Dec. 5 at The Chateau in East Brunswick.