Colleen Wegman

This entry is part 2 of 8 in the series

wegman2Colleen Wegman: 2012 Northeast Executive of the Year



It is easy to honor Colleen Wegman’s work as president of a company that, time and again, has been named one of the Best Companies to Work for by Fortune Magazine. In addition, in the last few months, Wegmans was named to Ethisphere’s 2012 World’s Most Ethical Companies List and just recently was named as one of the top supermarket choices in Consumer Reports. The company is well liked by its employees and noted for its diversity.

Headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., Wegmans is a privately held, family-owned company founded in 1916 by the Wegman family. Danny Wegman is chief executive officer and Colleen Wegman, his daughter, is president. Robert Wegman, Danny’s father, was chairman until his death in April 2006. Wegmans operates 79 stores: 47 in New York state, 14 in Pennsylvania, seven in New Jersey, six in Virginia, four in Maryland and one in Massachusetts. The company employs more than 42,000 people. In 2011, its annual sales were $6.2 billion and the company was on Forbes Magazine’s annual list of the “Largest Private Companies in the U.S.” ranking No. 55. Wegmans has been named one of the “100 Best Companies to Work for” by Fortune Magazine for 15 consecutive years. In 2012, Wegmans ranked No. 4 on the list.

Colleen first joined Wegmans in 1991 and since that time has held a number of assignments, including store manager and director of e-commerce. She was also responsible for the development of Wegman’s Nature Marketplace departments and has served as senior vice president of merchandising. She is a 1994 graduate of the University of Colorado and in 2000 received an MBA from the Simon School at the University of Rochester. She has served as a director of the Food Marketing Institute. As president she oversees the day-to-day operations and is involved with the long-range planning of the company.

One of World’s Most Ethical Companies

In March, the Ethisphere Institute, the leading business ethics think-tank, recognized Wegmans as one of the 2012 World’s Most Ethical (WME) Companies. Out of a record number of nominations for the award, Wegmans secured a hard-earned spot on the list by implementing and maintaining upright business practices and initiatives that are instrumental to the company’s success, benefit the community, and raise the bar for ethical standards within the industry.

“A strong ethical foundation is a competitive advantage, and Wegmans recognizes the important role corporate responsibility plays in improving its bottom line,” said Alex Brigham, executive director of the Ethisphere Institute. “As more and more organizations strive for this honor each year, Wegmans’ inclusion as a World’s Most Ethical Company for 2012 demonstrates its industry-leading commitment to ethics and dedication to integrity.”

The methodology for the WME ranking includes reviewing codes of ethics, litigation and regulatory infraction histories; evaluating the investment in innovation and sustainable business practices; looking at activities designed to improve corporate citizenship; and studying nominations from senior executives, industry peers, suppliers and customers.

 Consumer Reports Supermarket Ratings

Consumer Reports subscribers rated Wegmans, Trader Joe’s, Publix and Fareway tops among 52 of the nation’s major grocery stores. The survey determined that most consumers have several shopping choices, and some supermarkets gave customers much of what they want. National grocers Costco and Trader Joe’s, along with Fareway Stores (Midwest) and Wegmans, said Consumer Reports, offer quality meat and produce, a clean shopping environment, and very good or exceptional prices. All but Costco also earned the highest possible marks for service, defined as employee courtesy and checkout speed.

Diversity Successes

  • In 1991, President George H.W. Bush awarded the American Business Press Points of Light Award to Robert Wegman for the Work Scholarship Connection.
  • In 2003, the National Youth Employment Coalition recognized the Work Scholarship Connection with its PEPNet award, a recognition given to the strongest youth programs in the country.
  • In 2005, Wegmans received the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce FAME award in recognition of the kindness and consideration displayed to customers and employees with disabilities.
  • In 2006, Wegmans received the Champion of Diversity award from Supermarket News for programs and strategies that advance diversity in the workplace.
  • In 2007, Wegmans received the FMI People Maxx award for its youth leadership program.
  • In 2008, Wegmans received the Youth Latina Leadership Award from Latinas Unidas for its youth leadership intern program and was one of 15 companies awarded a Corporate Honorary Award