CGA Educational Foundation Raises $375k for Industry Students at Awards Gala

CGAEF honored executives from Safeway Northern California and Kimberly-Clark

The California Grocers Association Educational Foundation (CGAEF) inducted Karl Schroeder, president of Safeway Northern California Division, and Denny Belcastro, vice president of industry affairs and customer development for Kimberly-Clark Corporation, into the prestigious Hall of Achievement on Thursday, March 14, 2024 in Alameda, California. 

This year’s awards gala took place aboard the USS Hornet, a historic decommissioned aircraft carrier and museum docked in the San Francisco Bay. In addition to honoring Karl and Denny, attendees raised more than $375,000 during the awards gala which will help fund the Foundation’s signature college scholarship and tuition reimbursement programs to support future grocery industry leaders in their pursuit of higher education.

Karl and Denny, both respected leaders within the grocery industry, are outspoken proponents of industry education, mentorship, and professional development. Having gone back to school to complete the University of Southern California Food Industry Management Program and ultimately earn his bachelor’s degree from the University of San Francisco years later, Karl has mentored hundreds of his own staff and encouraged their continued education. Denny has long supported grocery industry organizations, including California Grocers Association, offering his expertise, career development guidance, and industry funding for scholarships and continuing education opportunities.

“Karl and Denny are the embodiment of influencers in the grocery space. Both have dedicated their careers to developing their teams through mentorship and the encouragement of education, thus lifting all ships in the industry,” CGAEF President Ron Fong said.  “This honor is a testament to their tremendous impact on the industry and influence on creating the next wave of industry leaders.”

Recipient of CGAEF’s fifth annual $10,000 Legends of the Industry Scholarship, Rosita Szatkowska, addressed the crowd during the event to share how the industry’s support will help her fulfill her education and career ambitions. Szatkowska, who previously struggled with homelessness and addiction, now oversees thousands of employees as a District Manager for Albertsons. Simultaneously, Rosita is pursuing a degree in Business Administration from Brandman University.

The Hall of Achievement recognizes grocery leaders for their tremendous contributions to the grocery industry and within their local communities.