Foundation Inducts Three Execs Into Hall of Achievement

Rob McDougall, Donna Tyndall and Bruce Wyatt Inducted Into CGA Educational Foundation Hall of Achievement

Executives recognized for lifelong commitment to industry, community

More than 650 friends, family and industry peers celebrated the induction of three grocery industry executives into the California Grocers Association Educational Foundation Hall of Achievement on March 9, 2016, in Costa Mesa, Calif.

Rob McDougall and Donna Tyndall, Gelson’s Markets, and Bruce Wyatt, Flowers Baking Company, join a prestigious group of Hall of Achievement inductees who have been recognized for their many contributions to not only the grocery industry, but the communities they serve.

“This year’s inductees are true icons of our industry. It is with great pleasure that we recognize Rob, Donna, and Bruce for their lifelong commitment to the grocery industry,” said CGAEF President Ron Fong. “Each inductee has a tremendous story to tell. Each have traveled different paths to reach this point in their careers. They are all deserving of this prestigious award.”

Led by this year’s event chairs Hee-Sook Nelson, Gelson’s Markets, and Jerry Whitmore, retired, Nestle DSD, the event raised more than $500,000 – funds that support the Foundation’s college scholarship and tuition reimbursement programs.

“The Foundation is extremely grateful to the many companies and individuals that have donated to this very worthy cause,” Fong said. “The funds raised from this event will help support the Foundation’s many worthwhile industry programs.”

The evening featured an inspiring speech by Abagail Gillmore, daughter of a Gelson’s Markets employee and a CGAEF scholarship recipient. Following her presentation, guests bid on live auction items and participated in a Fund-A-Need supporting CGAEF’s college scholarship and tuition reimbursement programs.

The CGA Educational Foundation was created under the direction of the California Grocers Association Board of Directors in 1992. Its mission is to provide financial assistance to advance the educational goals of CGA member company employees and their dependents and offer educational programs to advance the grocery industry. For more information regarding CGAEF programs and for a complete listing of past Hall of Achievement honorees, visit

About our honorees

Rob McDougall, President & CEO, Gelson’s Markets

Rob has been in the grocery industry for more than 40 years. In January 2012, he assumed leadership of Gelson’s Markets, a chain of 18 Southern California supermarkets founded in 1951 that prides itself on quality and unmatched customer service

A Southern California native, Rob began his grocery career at age 16 as a bagger with Vons and worked his way through various positions including Produce Manager, Store Director and Produce Supervisor. Rob later moved to Michigan to work for D&W, a small upscale chain of markets. He left D&W as its Chief Operating Officer to return to his Southern California roots

Rob joined Gelson’s Markets in 2007 and quickly leveraged his previous experience to steer Gelson’s to a greater inclusion of organic and local products. While broadening his responsibilities, Rob has overseen key initiatives such as new designs for Gelson’s produce departments, a move into enhanced gluten free itemization, increased private label products, expanded selection of organics, and an investment in healthy selections

Rob serves on both the Unified Grocers, Inc and Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC) Board of Directors. He is a past director of the Fresh Produce Council and actively supports the grocery industry through the Food Marketing Institute and the California Grocers Association

Rob has been married to his wife Leah for 37 years and has twin adult sons, Shaun and Robert. Rob and Leah are also the proud grandparents of 11 grandchildren ranging in ages from 12 years to three months. In his off time Rob’s passion is to spend time with his family.

Donna Tyndall, Senior Vice President of Store Operations, Gelson’s Markets

Donna began her career with Gelson’s Markets 41 years ago as a clerk’s helper at the first Gelson’s location in Burbank.  While attending UCLA, she continued to work in a variety of positions including checker, clerk, and office cashier.  After graduating from UCLA, she entered management as the company’s first female manager.  She worked her way up to Store Manager and was later promoted to Supervisor of Operations.

After three years in store supervision, Donna assumed the position of Director of Grocery Buying and Merchandising, and was promoted to Vice President in 1998.  Her responsibilities then included Grocery Buying, Merchandising, Distribution, and Marketing.  Six years later she was promoted to Senior Vice President of Store Operations, and served in that position since 2004.

Donna has a bachelor’s degree from UCLA, and in 1989, graduated from the Food Industry Management Program in the Graduate School of Business at USC where she was selected by her peers as the “Student of the Year.”  In 2007, she was recognized by Progressive Grocer as one of the “Top Women in Grocery” in the United States, and was honored by the Food Industries Sales Managers Club (FISMC) in 1998 and 2009 at its annual “Women in the Industry” luncheon.

Donna is involved in a wide variety of grocery industry causes.  She served on the CGA Board of Directors for six years from 2006 through 2012.  She supports several charitable organizations including the City of Hope Food Industries Circle, the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), Olive Crest, and the California Conference for Equality and Justice (CCEJ).  In 2003 she was recognized by the MDA with the Dennis Day Memorial Award and in 2010 she received the Humanitarian Award from CCEJ.

Donna is married to Mike Ketcham.  They reside in Sherman Oaks with their two dogs, and together enjoy golfing, traveling, gardening and reading.

Bruce Wyatt, Vice President Sales, Flowers Baking Company

Bruce Wyatt is Vice President of Sales in Southern California for Flowers Baking Company, headquartered in Thomasville, Georgia.

Bruce began his retail career at a young age working in his family’s direct store delivery retail milk business in Knightstown, Ind. After moving to Apple Valley, Calif., Bruce worked as an independent distributor for Bell Brand Chips and Archway Cookies. In 1981, he went to work for Oroweat Baking Co., eventually becoming Regional Manager for Retail Sales. In 2008, he went to work for Hansen Beverage Company, Corona, Calif., as Director of Sales. Two years later, Bruce began his second career in the baking business accepting his present position with Flowers Baking Company.

That same year, Bruce was elected Headlite of The Illuminators, an organization of vendors and suppliers dedicated to developing and enhancing key relationships within the grocery industry.

Bruce is a member of the CGA Supplier Executive Council, a former board member of the Food Sales Managers Club and has been involved in numerous charitable organizations including Olive Crest, City of Hope, Boy Scouts of America, California Conference for Equality and Justice, Muscular Dystrophy Association and Soccer for Hope Foundation.

Bruce and his wife, Kelli, live in San Clememte, Calif., and have two sons, Jackson and Christopher.