Linda Doherty

This entry is part 14 of 69 in the series

Linda Doherty, New Jersey Food CouncilLinda Doherty

New Jersey Food Council
President and Chief Executive Officer

Years with company:  20 years

Education degrees:
Bachelor of Arts in Communications, Rutgers University


Professional/volunteer organizations:

  • Former Chair of the Food Industry Association of Executives Board of Directors, a national organization of state executives in the grocery and retail industry representing 95 percent of the grocery and food industry in the United States.
  • Board of Directors of the National Grocers Association, the Food Policy Institute at Rutgers University, The Food Innovation Center, NJ DARE, and the Clean Communities Council.
  • Named to the Board of NJ Food Processors Association as a strategic partner.
  • Serves on the NJ Child Labor Law Enforcement Advisory Board in the NJ Department of Labor.
  • Member of the NJ Society of Environmental and Economic Development (NJSEED).
  • Senior Executive Council Member of the Trenton Rescue Mission.
  • Served on NJ Governor Chris Christie’s Transition Team as a member of the Economic Growth and Development sub-committee.
  • Honored with the 2012 Food Marketing Institute’s Donald H. MacManus Association Executive Award for her extraordinary leadership in public affairs.
  • Honored by the national Grocery Manufacturers Association with the prestigious “Excellence in Government Affairs” Award for her work on food retailer and supplier issues.
  • Sector representative on the Infrastructure Advisory Committee, a part of the Governor’s Domestic Security Preparedness Task Force.

Mentors and how have they assisted you in your career:
My mom has been my strongest advocate and greatest influence because every life lesson she taught me is transferable to a business career. And she taught me never to accept no as an answer!

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?  Do you have a defining moment of your career to date?
It is a humbling honor to lead one of the most effective Boards of Directors of a food trade association in the country and work side by side with our determined membership to advance our mission. The most defining moment was bittersweet as the same day I learned the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the unprecedented NJFC gift card litigation, Superstorm Sandy was unleashing her fury on our members, destroying stores and displacing workers – immediately went into emergency management operations at the State Bunker and totally forgot to inform the membership of the significant victory until almost a week later. Certainly put things in perspective!

Most challenging part of your job:
Balancing the bureaucracy of government and politics with reasonable business-minded professionals.

Advice for upcoming younger executives:
Besides the obvious of finding a mentor, listen to all sides, ask lots of questions, take everything in like a sponge, make connections and build a network of contacts.  If you go to a meeting or event, make sure you leave with at least five new business contacts and follow up with each one with a brief note so you stand out and will be remembered.

Spending time with my family and rooting for the New York Giants!