ELIZABETH, NJ - Joseph Sheridan, President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Wakefern Food Corp., the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States, is a proud native of Elizabeth, New Jersey. Sheridan was born and raised in Elizabeth and also attended Rutgers and Kean University, where he received his Bachelors of Science in Marketing and Marketing Management. “My Elizabeth roots provided me with a solid foundation for a successful college career,” stated Sheridan in an interview. “My early and secondary education in Elizabeth kept me grounded and genuine, and it gave me an appreciation for people. I still consider myself to be Elizabeth strong.”
Sheridan has been with Wakefern Food Corp. for over 35 years, continuously adding to its core values of integrity, innovation and teamwork. “We are still brick and mortar kind of stores serving roughly 5 million customers weekly, however with the new age of technology, I do believe there needs to be a balance between digital and human efficiency,” stated Sheridan. With its nearly 300 ShopRite and PriceRite stores and warehouses, Wakefern continues to strive toward quality and meet its customers’ needs.
When asked about his ties to Elizabeth, Sheridan stated, “the people of Elizabeth are constant, principled and that is something that the Wakefern culture continues to adhere to by appreciating people individually and as a whole.” With over 50,000 employees in their ShopRite stores, Wakefern gives people of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to be a part of something that is bigger than themselves, a culture of responsible work ethic. Wakefern also has many local stores and a warehouse located in Elizabeth, all helping add to the city’s economic growth.
Sheridan, having grown up in Elizabeth himself, understands the diverse fabric of the city. “I am very proud of growing up in Elizabeth,” stated Sheridan, “I am very proud of graduating from a local university and I find that the people of Elizabeth hungrier for opportunity and are more motivated. Growing up in Elizabeth and attending Kean University makes me a part of the Elizabeth story.”What I would tell the young people of Elizabeth just starting out in the world is to make sure their story is something that they will be proud to tell – as I am.”
Wakefern’s story continues its roots in the city of Elizabeth with the construction of the new warehouse facility that is replacing the original Elizabeth warehouse from the 1950s. The new location is expected to be complete in November 2013 and fully operational by May 2014. With Sheridan and Wakeferns’ decision to keep the warehouse in Elizabeth, approximately 345 jobs have been saved. Those are jobs that the residents of Elizabeth desperately need, which add to the longstanding relationship between Wakefern and Elizabeth.
As Elizabeth Mayor J. Christian Bollwage has previously remarked, “Wakefern has been a great partner with the city of Elizabeth for more than fifty years, this exciting expansion opens a new chapter in our relationship and demonstrates our commitment to job creation and Elizabeth’s business community.” There is no doubt that Joseph Sheridan, President and COO, along with the whole Wakefern Corp. is a clear demonstration of the commitment to keep the city of Elizabeth strong and flourishing.