Saker to Lead Statewide Food Industry Trade Association

March 6, 2017
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The New Jersey Food Council’s new chairman, Richard Saker, (left) with Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and former Gov. Donald DiFrancesco at the annual membership meeting.

Middletown’s Richard Saker will lead the New Jersey Food Council, a trade group association which represents 1,200 retail food stores, wholesalers, manufacturing and service companies.

Saker, who is chairman, president and CEO of Saker Holdings Corporation and Saker ShopRites, Inc., will serve for two one-year terms. Judy Spires, CEO of Kings Food Markets, stepped down from the position after three terms.

Saker previously served as the group’s vice chairman. He was installed as chairman by New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno last week.

His father, Joe Saker, was a founder and served as the first NJFC chairman of the board in 1969.

NJFC president and CEO Linda Doherty remarked on the historical precedence of Saker’s chairmanship, which commemorates the first time a next-generation family member has led the statewide trade association.

“The New Jersey Food Council was born in the living room of the Saker family, when Richard’s father Joe Saker and a group of supermarket pioneers recognized the need for the food retail industry to have one common and unified voice in Trenton,” said Doherty in a press release.

“Almost 50 years later, Richard carries his father’s legacy as he takes the helm as the 19th NJFC chairman of the board. Under Richard’s leadership, we are confident the association will continue to grow and promote the interests of food retailers before state and federal government in this dynamic business environment.”

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Richard Saker is owner and operator of 30 ShopRite supermarkets, 29 pharmacies, two liquor stores, and Dearborn Market and Garden Center in Holmdel.

Saker ShopRites is one of the highest average volume per store supermarket chains in the country, employing nearly 9,000 workers.

“I am honored to be selected as chairman of the New Jersey Food Council, which has grown to be one of the most effective business associations in Trenton and one of the strongest food associations in the country,” said Saker, in a statement.  “Now more than ever, it is critical that large grocery stores and small, independent food retailers and our supplier partners work together and speak with one voice on economic growth policies.”

Also joining Richard as officers in 2017 are vice chairman Mike Murphy, who is the senior vice president of QuickChek Corporation and secretary Joe Sofia, the senior vice president of Wegmans Food Markets. Continuing in their roles for another term are associate vice chair Joe McCarthy, the vice president Metro Atlantic of Bimbo Bakeries and treasurer Mike Rothwell, who is the vice president and general manager of Pennington Quality Market.

“With the new Trump Administration in Washington, DC and the upcoming N.J. gubernatorial election in 2017, the food industry faces the potential for both new opportunities and new challenges,” Doherty said, in the press release.   “We are certain the membership will rally behind Richard and the new executive team and provide the support, attention and action necessary to promote the interests of New Jersey’s food retailers.”

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This article was first published in the Feb. 2-9, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times.

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