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GMA to Honor Campbell’s Conant and Del Monte’s Wolford with Hall of Achievement Awards at 2011 Executive Conference

GMA Press Contact

Roger Lowe

office: 202-295-3954

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) President and CEO Pamela G. Bailey today announced that retired Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Del Monte Foods Richard G. Wolford and Campbell Soup Company President and CEO Douglas R. Conant have been selected to receive the 2011 GMA Hall of Achievement Awards.

“GMA Hall of Achievement Award winners have in common a record of extraordinary leadership, a steadfast commitment to the consumer packaged goods industry, and uncompromising personal integrity,” said Bailey.  “Based on these criteria, there could be no more obvious choices for this honor than Doug Conant and Rick Wolford.  They represent the best of what our industry and the American business community at large has to offer, and I look forward to thanking them for their service and recognizing their achievements with this award at the Executive Conference this August.”

Doug Conant became just the 11th leader of Campbell Soup Company in its 140-year history when he was named president and CEO in January 2001.  His 25 years of food industry experience at General Mills, Kraft and Nabisco helped him lead Campbell out of a precipitous decline in market value and significantly enhance the company’s financial profile. Under his leadership, the company also earned the 2010 Catalyst Award for helping women develop and advance their careers at Campbell.  In September 2010, Conant announced his plans to step down from the helm of Campbell in July of this year.  His long-standing commitment to the CPG industry is evidenced by his service to the GMA Board of Directors as an active member since 2001 and as chairman from January 2008 through January 2010.  Conant also chaired GMA’s Government Affairs Council, is a past chairman of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) and is a member of the Consumer Goods Forum.

Rick Wolford’s distinguished career in the food industry began in 1967, when he joined the finance department at Dole Foods. He was eventually named president of Dole Packaged Foods in 1982 and stayed with the company through 1987. Ten years later, working with a private equity partnership, Wolford led the acquisition of Del Monte Foods and joined the company as its CEO. He was elected chairman of the board in May 2000.  In March of this year, Wolford announced his retirement from Del Monte after nearly 15 years of exemplary leadership.  Wolford also has a record of dedicated service to the industry, having served as chairman of the GMA Board of Directors from January 2010 through February 2011.  Prior to his board chairmanship, he served vice chairman of the board and as chairman of the Industry Affairs Council for five years.  He was also a member of the board of the Consumer Goods Forum.

“It has been my pleasure to work with Doug and Rick.  I join their colleagues on the GMA board in being personally thankful for their leadership and tireless engagement as members of the board; the association has benefited greatly from their sage advice and counsel,” noted Bailey.

The GMA Executive Conference will be held August 20 – 23, 2011 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  The Hall of Achievement Awards will be presented as part of the Chairman’s Lecture program on Sunday, August 21. For more information, visit www.gmaexecutiveconference.com.

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Based in Washington, D.C., the Grocery Manufacturers Association is the voice of more than 300 leading food, beverage and consumer product companies that sustain and enhance the quality of life for hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe. 

Founded in 1908, GMA is an active, vocal advocate for its member companies and a trusted source of information about the industry and the products consumers rely on and enjoy every day.  The association and its member companies are committed to meeting the needs of consumers through product innovation, responsible business practices and effective public policy solutions developed through a genuine partnership with policymakers and other stakeholders. 

In keeping with its founding principles, GMA helps its members produce safe products through a strong and ongoing commitment to scientific research, testing and evaluation and to providing consumers with the products, tools and information they need to achieve a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.  The food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry in the United States generates sales of $2.1 trillion annually, employs 14 million workers and contributes $1 trillion in added value to the economy every year.