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Nestle's scholarship program spawns trade advisory committee.

Nestle has been sending 15 chain and wholesale executives to Cornell University's Food Executive Seminar each year since 1982, based on an annual industrywide competition among industry executives. We started this Food Executive Scholarship Program to improve the dialogue with our customers, and it has been very effective in doing this. Now, we are taking another step to address this need even more specifically.

We have just formed the Nestle Advisory Committee, which will be made up of some of the past attendees of the Food Executive Seminar. The members will serve three-year terms, with one-third of the members' terms ending each year.

The unique aspect of this new committee is the basis for selection. A few other manufacturers have organized meetings or panels designed to address mutual problems and opportunities. But for obvious reasons, these groups or panels are made up of industry executives who have good personal relationships with the manufacturers' management.

The make-up of the Nestle Advisory Committee will help it be quite different and, we hope, even more productive as it uses only those who were selected by their companies to attend the Cornell Seminar.

We are hopeful that the random selection of people previously unknown to us, coupled with their obvious interest in increasing their knowledge and skills through advanced education, will result in greater objectivity and more provocative involvement in the issues we address.

The rapid changes in our business dictate more direct and frequent dialogue on many issues. Some topics to be considered currently are: case packs, new product introductions, unsalable merchandise policies, shelf planograms, in-store merchandising trends, and the like. The Advisory Committee will enable both sides to better understand the pressures and the needs of their counter-parts and, therefore, be more responsive to such needs.

This new Trade Advisory Committee is the logical outgrowth of our Scholarship Program, which will begin its fourth year when 15 more industry executives attend Cornell in the summer of 1985. Based on past results, we expect an even greater percentage of industry executives to participate in the 1985 competition. 1984 Contest Results

More than 50% of all of the chain and wholesale operators in the country participated in this year's competition. The 15 winning organizations were judged on how close the entries came to the industry consensus.

The Nestle scholars for 1984 and their companies are. Bob G. Crow, The Kroger Company, Margaret Dodd, Preston-Safeway; Thomas A. Healey, DeMoulas Super Markets; Thomas R. Heine, S.M. Flickinger Co.; Jeffrey Heinen, Heinen's; Sonney King, Vons Grocery; Donna Martin, King Soopers; Keith I. Nielsen, Jewel Foods; William Robert Oates, The Creasey Company; Mark J. Schnuck, Schnuck Markets; Haven Simmons, Smith's Management Corp.; David D. Springer, Super Food Services; Archie Unterseher, Nash-Finch Company; John Venditte, Grand Union; and Eugene Wood, Fleming Foods.

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Title Annotation:Food Executive Scholarship
Author:Stinnett, Carl V.
Publication:Progressive Grocer
Date:Sep 1, 1984
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