WISE has formed a junior board of directors to further its mission of increased diversity and inclusion in-store brands and to provide leadership opportunities to empower our partners and members.  The WISE junior board was created to be a diverse representation of our industry in background, skill set, gender, and ethnicity with the focus on connecting to the next generation of the store brand industry.  Comprised of seven members from WISE partner companies, the junior board is tasked with bringing ideas and strategic solutions forward that will attract and retain young professionals as WISE members.  In addition, the junior board provides valuable board leadership experience to its members.

Leading this group is Phyllis Johnson, Senior Director Own Brands at Catalina.  Phyllis will be guiding the junior board members as they learn more about WISE, the industry and official board procedures.  “I am so excited to be a mentor to the first junior board of directors at WISE,“ Phyllis quotes.  “This talented group is so diverse and extremely passionate about driving diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives for WISE and the store brand industry.  They are the next leaders and it’s an honor to work with them.”

The inaugural junior board members are Nabiha Asfar, Topco; Mayra Buenrostro, Daymon; Lisa Eatherton, John B. Sanilfilippo & Sons; Kristen Jones, Massimo Zanetti Beverage; Charlie New, Whole Foods; Kiana Remagni, Bonduelle; and Miranda Sakschek, Treehouse.  Each member will serve a two-year term with the option for renewal at the end of the second year.  Junior board meetings are held virtually once per month starting in July.  In addition to their junior board seat, the members have also been assigned to serve on a WISE committee.  Ultimately, these delegates will have the opportunity to transition to the WISE board of directors in the future.

“It is a great privilege to be involved in such a dynamic organization such as WISE,” says Mayra Buenrostro.  “Not only do I get the opportunity to network and further my professional development with peers in the private label business, I also get to advocate for diversity and inclusion in our industry.”

Charlie New adds, “The WISE organization is a bedrock of our industry that represents an ever-expanding cause for the diverse community within the private label sector. It is not just an honor to be a part of this board, but an opportunity to an impact an organization that I greatly admire. It’s an opportunity that I, and the many members, will pursue with a passionate spirit and a growth mindset. We are so excited to see what comes from this group of people with big ideas!“

Watch for announcements in WISE World and on our website as the Junior Board gets up and running.  For more information on the WISE junior board, please contact Phyllis Johnson at Phyllis.johnson@catalina.com.