Wakefern Appoints Melissa Sungela to Executive Team
Epsen Fuller Group Led the Search for Vice President, Financial Operations and Tax
New York, NY (May 2016) – Wakefern Food Corp., a highly successful and innovative $15+ billion supermarket wholesale and retail organization, has tapped new leadership with the appointment of Melissa Sungela as Vice President, Financial Operations and Tax. Rick Cannellos, CFO & Senior Client Partner for Epsen Fuller Group conducted the executive search, which sought a strategic and successful finance leader with a strong accounting and tax foundation in a large diversified supermarket, grocery or retail corporation.
Operating as the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States, Wakefern is the merchandising and distribution arm of ShopRite, PriceRite, and Fresh Grocer. Together with its 50 member companies, Wakefern employs more than 70,000 people, making it one of the largest employers in New Jersey. Wakefern also participates in a buying consortium with other leading wholesalers bringing products to additional supermarkets throughout the northeastern United States, Ohio, and Bermuda.
“We were searching for a financial executive with deep and relevant financial experience, technical accounting acumen, and an established track record as a leader and valued business partner who could lead cross-functional teams in a large fast moving organization,” says Rick Cannellos. “Melissa brings a diversified background of financial accounting and reporting, strategic, business integration, and operational management skills, and in-depth GAAP accounting expertise, combined with the ability to build collaborative relationships with top executives, key stakeholders, internal finance and business associates across the company.”
Prior to joining Wakefern, Ms. Sungela was Vice President, – Corporate Controller of Coty, Inc. where she led the $4B international beauty company through its IPO. Previously, she served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Controller & Chief Accounting Officer for The Great A& P Tea Company Inc. A CPA, Ms. Sungela began her career with KPMG, spending time in their national offices on key assignments.
In her new role, Ms. Sungela will report to the Chief Financial Officer and will work closely with the executive leadership team and operating committees in directing the accounting, financial reporting, consolidations, tax functions, and related systems and processes of the company.
About Wakefern Food Corp.
Wakefern is the nation’s largest retailer-owned cooperative and comprised of 50 member companies who own and operate retail supermarkets under the ShopRite, The Fresh Grocer, Price Rite and Dearborn Market banners. These family-owned businesses, with retail locations in 10 states, make up the Wakefern cooperative and reach into the New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia markets. wakefern.com
About Epsen Fuller Group
Epsen Fuller Group, epsenfuller.com, is a Top-20 executive search and leadership consulting firm headquartered in New York, and with offices in New Jersey and San Francisco as well as in major markets and business centers throughout the world, providing instant access to a world-class executive talent pool driving the global economy.
For nearly 20 years, clients have trusted Epsen Fuller Group to deliver top leadership talent around the world. Using a proven, data-driven Performance Based AssessmentSM process, Epsen Fuller delivers a dynamic experience, outstanding service, and exceptional value in Executive & Board Search as well as Leadership & Executive Coaching, Board Governance, and Private Equity Advisory services.