Fruit Tree Family Grocer Wins NGA Foundation’s First Diversity in Leadership Scholarship

May 10, 2021

PepsiCo endowment pays executive development program tuition for Fruit Tree Farm’s Charles Choi

Washington, D.C. – A second-generation Korean American whose work is driving the growth of his family’s independent supermarket business has been selected to receive the first PepsiCo Diversity in Leadership Endowment scholarship from the National Grocers Association Foundation (NGAF).

Charles Choi, managing director of Long Island, N.Y.-based Fruit Tree Farm, affiliated with the Associated Supermarket Group (ASG), was selected to attend the foundation’s annual Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP) at Cornell University, scheduled for June 6-10. The $5,000 scholarship will cover the cost of program registration ($2,850), with the remaining funds available as a travel stipend.

“Charles is a modern entrepreneur who understands the art and science behind merchandising as well as today’s consumer preferences,” said Michelle Mendoza, ASG VP of marketing and customer experience, who nominated Choi for the scholarship. “As the supermarket industry is transforming and the American consumer palate has an appreciation for diversity in food, Charles is at the forefront of this transformation.”

The son of Korean immigrants, Choi is following in his family’s footsteps. During the last three years, his responsibilities have increased, and he has applied his strong business acumen and approachableness to the growth of Fruit Tree’s supermarkets.

“We are honored to support Charles’ professional development efforts through this year’s ELDP event, which will provide him with additional tools to drive his family’s business even further,” said Maggie White, NGA Foundation Director.

NGAF partnered with PepsiCo to create the Leadership Endowment following the completion of the 2020 ELDP program, which due to the pandemic was successfully executed virtually. This endowment will award one scholarship each year to a deserving woman or minority ELDP candidate that covers the cost of attending the program.

See full NGA press release HERE