Barbara Berger

This entry is part 3 of 69 in the series

Barbara Berger, Food CityBarbara Berger

Food City Markets
President and Owner

Years with company: 30 years

Education degrees and professional/volunteer organizations:
Undergraduate degree with a B.S. in accounting.
I currently serve on the Board of Directors of the Food Industry Alliance.

Mentors and how have they assisted you in your career:
I was very fortunate to have two mentors during my employment at Food City. My dad Robert Katz, who was president of the company until his death in 1996, and my husband Jeffrey Berger, who at that time was executive vice-president and head buyer. I am solely responsible for negotiating our collective bargaining agreements, the skills of which I acquired from my dad’s mentoring. My analytical skills and much of the knowledge of all the departments in our stores originated from my husband.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? Do you have a defining moment of your career to date?
I am most proud that our company has been able to achieve success for the past 60 years by catering to the individual neighborhoods of each store. I have had much satisfaction from the improvements I have made in our perishables departments working hand-in-hand with the many loyal employees that work for Food City.

Most challenging part of your job:
The most challenging part of my job is negotiating a fair and equitable collective bargaining agreement during these times of increasing costs and being surrounded by non-union competition.

Advice for upcoming younger executives:
We will continue to need new innovative individuals to rise from the ranks and continue to move the food industry forward. In order to do this a strong formal education is a must.

I spend much of my leisure time with my family, playing tennis, doing Pilates and traveling.