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Meijer preparing to award two $10,000 scholarships

BY Michael Johnsen

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — For the third consecutive year, Meijer team members and their children will have a chance to receive up to $10,000 to further their college education with the Fred & Lena Meijer Scholarship, a competitive scholarship administered by Grand Rapids Community Foundation.

“Our dad always believed that continued education and lifelong learning were invaluable,” stated Doug Meijer, co-chairman of the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer. “My brothers and I are pleased to continue providing this scholarship opportunity for Meijer team members and their children.”

The Fred & Lena Meijer Scholarship is a private scholarship fund that was established at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation in 1975 originally for children of Meijer team members. In 2010, the scholarship program was expanded to include Meijer team members themselves and awards were increased from $500 to $1,000. The Meijer Foundation funded the scholarship in 2011 with a significant endowment to the Community Foundation, and enhanced the scholarship in 2012 to $2,500, while also providing two $10,000 scholarships: one each in Fred and Lena Meijer’s names.

Last year, the program awarded $315,000 in scholarships, furthering the college educations of 120 Meijer team members and their children. Of that amount, two recipients were awarded $10,000 scholarships and 118 others throughout the retailer’s five-state footprint received $2,500 scholarships. While administered in Grand Rapids, the scholarship is open to all team members regardless of where they reside.

The Fred & Lena Meijer Scholarship is awarded by the Grand Rapids Community Foundation based on financial need, academics and community involvement. A written essay of aspirations and educational goals is also part of the application process.

“We enjoy working with Meijer to provide scholarships for its team members and their families,” Grand Rapids Community Foundation president Diana Sieger said. “The opportunities that higher education offers can change a person’s life, and the scholarships can help make that happen.”

The scholarships are available for use at any accredited college, university, vocational, technical or specialized educational institution nationwide. The number of scholarships awarded each year is determined as a percentage of the total number of applicants as set by the federal government.

To qualify for the scholarships, Meijer team members must have one year of continuous service by the April 1 application deadline, and may be full- or part-time students. Dependents of Meijer team member must be full-time students with a minimum of 12 credit hours.

 

 

 

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Giant Carlisle president to retire

BY Michael Johnsen

CARLISLE, Pa. — Ahold USA on Friday announced that Rick Herring, president of the Giant Carlisle Division, has made the decision to retire, effective Feb. 14.

Herring has had a successful career at Ahold companies for nearly 25 years and has made many contributions to the Ahold organization.

“We would like to thank Rick for his numerous contributions to our companies, as well as for his leadership, dedication and years of service," stated James McCann, Ahold USA COO. "We wish him all the best in this next phase of his life and career.”

Bhavdeep Singh, EVP operations, Ahold USA, will oversee the Giant Carlisle Division on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is named.

The Giant Carlisle Division, headquartered in Carlisle, Pa., operates nearly 200 supermarkets in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia under the banner of Giant/Martin’s. The division employs more than 31,000 associates.

 

 

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NRF forecasts 4.1% rise in retail sales for 2014, online to grow

BY Marianne Wilson

WASHINGTON — Retail industry sales — which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants — will increase 4.1% in 2014, up from the preliminary 3.7% growth seen in 2013, according to the National Retail Federation. The association’s 2014 economic forecast, released Thursday, calls for online sales to grow between 9% and 12%.

A number of factors contributed to NRF’s 2014 economic forecast, including:

  • Economic growth is expected to be above its long-term historical average. Early estimates for growth in the economy as measured by real GDP could fall between 2.6% and 3%, a noticeable improvement from the estimated 1.9% rate for 2013, and the fastest pace in the past three years.
  • The labor market is expected to continue its modest recovery averaging approximately 185,000 jobs per month, helping decrease unemployment to near 6.5% or lower by the end of 2014.  
  • Inflation as measured by the CPI is predicted to inch higher to as much as 1.7% in 2014.
  • The housing sector is expected to continue to improve in 2014, and stronger household and business confidence should spur more consumer spending overall.

“The economy remains susceptible to buffets as we are already witnessing in the New Year, thanks to harsh winter weather, domestic and global financial issues,” NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz, said. “While we are careful not to ignore the challenges, we are optimistic and hopeful that future disruptions will be limited, allowing employment and business investment to grow all the while giving retailers and their customers the confidence in the economy they need.”

 

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