2018 Top Women in Store Brands announced

Nancy Cota and Kim Giryluk

It’s time to announce the honorees of the 2018 Top Women in Store Brands (TWISB).

First, a little bit about the TWISB program. It was created by Women Impacting Storebrand Excellence (WISE) in conjunction with Store Brands magazine to provide well-deserved recognition to female executives who have achieved exceptional success and bring a passion for store brands to their day-to-day activities. The categories of recognition cover functional expertise areas, as well as achievement areas not linked to a specific functional expertise area.

This year, two awards were given in the Lifetime Achievement category. No awards were given in the Sparkplug category.

Here are this year’s honorees:

• Nancy Cota, vice president of own brands, product management, innovation and brand management, Albertsons Companies — Lifetime Achievement.

• Kimberly Giryluk, vice president of research and development, Lassonde Pappas and Co. — Lifetime Achievement.

• Leah Lambrakis, vice president of research and development/innovation, Simmons Pet Food — R&D/QA Award.

• Vicki Smith, ERP business architect/finance, TreeHouse Foods — Human Resources/Information Services Award.

• Crystal Butler, director of product and category development, Encore Associates — Marketing/Merchandising Award.

• Stephanie Harris, chief regulatory officer and legal counsel, Food Marketing Institute — Operations Award.

• Kasey Sheffer, director of private brands management, Retail Business Services/Ahold Delhaize USA — Sales Award.

• Robin VanDenabeele, director of private brands development, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market — Innovation Award.

• Heidi Knapp, senior logistics analyst/exclusive brands, Whole Foods Market — Supply Chain-Procurement Award.

To select the TWISB honorees, a committee consisting of representatives from WISE and Store Brands reviewed in-depth nominations submitted by representatives within the store brand industry. The committee carefully evaluated the nominations, assessing each nominee’s accomplishments to determine the honorees in all of the categories.

The TWISB honorees will be recognized during WISE's annual meeting and luncheon on Sunday, Nov. 11, at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare hotel in Rosemont, Ill. The event coincides with the opening day of the Private Label Manufacturers Association’s Private Label Trade Show.

The TWISB honorees also will be featured in a special feature story within the October 2018 issue of Store Brands.