Conant, Wolford to receive G.M.A. awards

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The Grocery Manufacturers Association has selected Richard G. Wolford, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Del Monte Foods, and Douglas R. Conant, president and c.e.o. of Campbell Soup Co., as recipients of the 2011 G.M.A. Hall of Achievement Award.

“G.M.A. Hall of Achievement Award winners have in common a record of extraordinary leadership, a steadfast commitment to the consumer packaged goods industry, and uncompromising personal integrity,” said Pamela G. Bailey, president and c.e.o. of the G.M.A. “Based on these criteria, there could be no more obvious choices for this honor than Doug Conant and Rick Wolford. They represent the best of what our industry and the American business community at large has to offer, and I look forward to thanking them for their service and recognizing their achievements with this award at the Executive Conference this August.”

Mr. Conant became just the 11th leader of Campbell Soup in its 140-year history when he was named president and c.e.o. in January 2001. His 25 years of food industry experience at General Mills, Inc., Kraft Foods Inc. and Nabisco helped him lead Campbell “out of a precipitous decline in market value and significantly enhance the company’s financial profile,” the G.M.A. said. Last September, Mr. Conant announced his plans to step down from the helm of Campbell in July 2011. He has been a member of the G.M.A. board of directors since 2001, and was chairman from January 2008 through January 2010.

Mr. Wolford began his career in the food industry in 1967 when he joined the finance department at Dole Foods. He was eventually named president of Dole Packaged Foods in 1982 and stayed with the company through 1987. Ten years later, working with a private equity partnership, he led the acquisition of Del Monte Foods and joined the company as its c.e.o. Mr. Wolford was elected chairman of the board in May 2000. Last month, Mr. Wolford announced his retirement from Del Monte. Mr. Wolford was chairman of the G.M.A. board of directors from January 2010 through February 2011.

The G.M.A. Executive Conference will be held August 20 – 23, 2011 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Hall of Achievement Awards will be presented as part of the Chairman’s Lecture program on August 21. For more information, visit

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