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Progressive Grocer: 2022 GenNext Awards Honors Young Professionals Reimagining Grocery

September 15, 2022

A chance to reimagine the future of grocery is at hand, and it begins with the 2022 class of Progressive Grocer’s GenNext honorees.

This year’s GenNexters, all under the age of 40, are showcasing the most promising talent in the food and consumables industry, and it is PG’s honor to shine a light on these fresh faces with such promise.

Our honorees come from the retailer, supplier and solution provider companies that make up the grocery industry, and they are making a push to define the future of food retail in America. The new capabilities and technologies they have worked on are making a big mark on an array of diverse fields in grocery, from omnichannel marketing to fraud investigations to digital fulfillment to curbside pickup to sustainable food supply chains. Each honoree’s vision is unique, but they all show a deep commitment to inspiring and serving shoppers and their communities.

The grocery industry is facing tremendous challenges, including inflation, supply chain snags and the endless complexities of digital transformation. But it’s also grappling with a persistent labor crisis that shows no sign of fading away. So it’s comforting to know that there’s a pipeline of leaders emerging to help companies overcome the obstacles associated with all of this change.

There has never been a more exciting time to be an emerging leader in the grocery industry. While no one can predict the future, we know that this next generation of innovators has the power to design a post-pandemic future that is more customer-centric, more inclusive, more sustainable and more profitable. PG believes that it has never been more important to support the people across the industry who are committing their lives to making a difference in grocery. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the GenNexters shaping the future of this essential industry. Congratulations to all of this year’s honorees below.

Joseph Puchala

Director, Forecasting Center of Excellence, The Kroger Co., Age 35

Puchala created a Forecasting Center of Excellence from scattered and fragmented teams across the business. These efforts led to expertise being centralized and provided the ability to consult on best practices for the rest of the organization, while also building world-class forecasting solutions. Puchala built tools and teams that directly led to Kroger having better store demand forecasts and, subsequently, better on-shelf availability. While winning in forecasting innovation, Puchala has made a significant investment in his community and the technology industry by forming the Men 4 Equality group within Women’s Edge at Kroger to increase men’s engagement in workplace diversity and inclusion.

Click here to read the full Progressive Grocer article.

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