University of Southern California

USC Marshall Honors Safeway EVP as Executive of Year
Renda to Receive Top Award From Food Industry Management Program
February 17, 2009 • by Evy Jacobson

The Food Industry Management Program at the USC Marshall School of Business will honor Larree Renda, Executive Vice President, Chief Strategist and Administrative Officer of Safeway Inc., as the "Food Industry Executive of the Year" at its annual graduation banquet in April.

"Larree Renda has been instrumental in propelling the food industry forward with her dedication to education and diversity," said Professor Thomas Arnold, the program's director. "She has brought innovation, intellect, and most of all, leadership to Safeway and to the entire industry. We're delighted to award her with our highest honor."

The award is presented annually to a food industry executive who has shown extraordinary leadership while producing exceptional business results.

Renda, who has been twice named to Fortune magazine's list of the "50 Most Powerful Women in Business," is responsible for all retail strategies and a wide range of administrative functions at the $42.3 billion company's 1,738 stores, helping to make it one of the most profitable supermarket retailers in the U.S. She is also the chair of the Safeway Foundation, which supports the company’s commitment to serve its communities, supporting local non-profits and national organizations like the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Easter Seals, the Muscular Dystrophy Association and breast cancer charities.

In 2008, Renda became the first woman to be inducted into the California Grocers Association Education Foundation Hall of Achievement for her contributions to the industry's advancement. She began her Safeway career in 1974 at the age of 16. Renda progressed through Safeway's retail ranks and earned the distinction of being the youngest store manager, district manager and retail operations manager in Safeway's 80-year history. She was the first woman and youngest person promoted to Senior Vice President in 1994, and subsequently became Safeway's first female Executive Vice President in 1999.

The Food Industry Management Program at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business marked its 50th anniversary in 2008. Each year, a maximum of 35 students are chosen from a wide range of companies in the food industry to participate in the elite 14 week program. Each student accepted into the program receives a full tuition scholarship from the Western Association of Food Chains. Individuals selected must have proven records of management accomplishments with significant potential for future advancement.

Arnold, who has directed the Food Industry Management Program for the past 11 years, will present the award at the annual banquet, which will be held on the USC campus on April 22, 2009. For banquet information, please contact the Food Industry Management Program office at 213-740-5585.

About the USC Marshall School of Business
Consistently ranked among the nation's premier schools, USC Marshall is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world's leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,700-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 123 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide community of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.