Peggy Davies resigns as WISE board chair

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Peggy Davies, the founder of Women Impacting Storebrand Excellence (WISE), has resigned as the board chair of the organization. A statement from WISE said she needs to devote her full energy to her new role as acting president of the Private Label Manufacturers Association

Jen Linke, vice president of private brands, Federated Group, replaces Davies as the chair of the board. Linke has served as the chair of the professional development committee for WISE since its very beginning, has spearheaded the WISE webinar series, introduced WISE Connect and helped secure high profile annual meeting speakers over the years. 

Lexi Ward, senior director of IT, TreeHouse Foods, will now chair the professional development committee and anchor some of the programming roles Linke performed. 

Davies stepped into leading the PLMA following the death of Brian Sharoff, remembered fondly by many who worked with the iconic figure for 40 years. In 2012, Davies founded WISE as an organization to promote diversity and inclusion in the store brands industry. Under her tenure, the nonprofit grew to align with 50 partner companies and 300 members.

She also carries with her three decades of private label industry experience in executive positions with Daymon and Wegmans Supermarkets in Rochester, N.Y. She also has worked on the manufacturer side, serving as vice president of private label sales for Comstock Michigan Fruit and Agrilink, which became Birds Eye Foods, and in the ingredients business with McCain Foods.

“From its very beginnings, the WISE organization has been blessed with the ability to attract great talent,” said Davies. “Through the years, the board and committee members have been an amazing group of passionate, dedicated volunteers, and this will continue to be so well into the future. The industry has been empowered by their strategic focus and drive to make an impact. I leave the organization in truly exceptional hands. It has been a joy to contribute and to lead this strong and devoted team.”

Annually, Store Brands works with WISE to present the Top Women in Store Brands awards, honoring nine deserving women in the industry. There are a few days left to nominate someone for the 2020 awards.