Keasbey, NJ (Feb. 10, 2017) – The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) has recognized ShopRite of Hunterdon County President Joseph S. Colalillo for his work as an entrepreneurial and industry leader who helps businesses better serve consumers. Colalillo, a second-generation grocer, owns and operates five ShopRite stores in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and also serves as Chairman and CEO of Wakefern Food Corp., the largest U.S. retailer-owned cooperative in the country and the merchandising and distribution arm for ShopRite stores.
“Joe is a straight-talking, honest broker of goods and services and he inspires our industry to maintain its relevance by his keen commitment to doing what is right for the customer,” said FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin. “Joe is a champion of new ideas and he has consistently embraced new industry initiatives that empower businesses to better serve the consumer.”
Sarasin presented Colalillo with FMI’s Wegman Award at the institute’s mid-winter executive conference late last month. FMI is a leading advocate for the food retail industry and the award recognizes entrepreneurial leadership in the design of retail strategies and imaginative merchandising.
Colalillo’s commitment to the supermarket industry is rooted in tradition and a passion for the business.
Founded nearly 70 years ago by Colalillo’s father, Joseph A. Colalillo, ShopRite of Hunterdon County today owns and operates ShopRite stores located in Flemington, Greenwich, and Clinton, NJ; and Yardley and Bethlehem, PA., and employs more than 1,800 associates. In addition to his role as president of the family business, Colalillo has also served as chairman and CEO of Wakefern Food Corp. since 2005.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by FMI, and I am accepting this award on behalf of all our associates who work in our stores and help make ShopRite of Hunterdon County a successful company,” said Colalillo. “I’m proud to be part of the grocery industry and to work closely with other members and Wakefern staff in our cooperative to create the very best supermarkets we can for our customers.”
Colalillo serves on the Board of Directors for FMI and he is a past chair and a current member of FMI’s Food Safety committee. He also serves on FMI’s Member Services, Independent Operator and Strategic Planning committees.
He has been recognized in the past by FMI for launching consumer-facing technologies, initiating seafood sustainability programs, cultivating associate engagement and implementing health and wellness solutions in ShopRite stores. Colalillo is also a member of one of FMI’s non-competitive share groups that exchanges new ideas to better its businesses, the industry and the communities which they serve.
A past member of the New Jersey Food Council’s Board of Directors, Joe received the Food Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 for his contribution to the food industry and service to the community. He has also served on the Board of Directors of Choose New Jersey, an organization formed in 2010 to recruit new businesses to the state.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University. Colalillo and his wife Jeannie have four children.