During its annual conference dinner on Tuesday night in Gettysburg, the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association honored Nicholas Bertram, president of The GIANT Company, with its Food Industry Trailblazer Award.
As the food retail industry navigated innumerous changes that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic, the best leaders anticipated and adapted to these changes, said Tom Cormier, chair of the PFMA Board of Directors and manager of government affairs for Ahold Delhaize USA. Well before the pandemic hit, Bertram consistently showed vision, innovation and passion, ensuring the success of his team and The GIANT Company. PFMA recognized this leadership by naming Bertram as its Food Industry Trailblazer.
Nick learned to never put himself above any person or any work,” Cormier said. “He has developed a unique culture at The GIANT Company that values and celebrates every member of its 35,000-person team.”
“It’s nice to finally be rebounding. It’s nice to finally have our eye on the future,” Bertram said when receiving the award. “All of us here tonight are blazing some kind of a trail. I think it’s possible. I think it’s one that will be healthier. I think it’s one that will be more inclusive. I think it’s one that will actually invite everybody, and I’m grateful to get the chance to build that with you all.”
Bertram began his career in retail more than 20 years ago at JCPenney. He moved onto Walmart as a part-time stocker. Over his 12 years with Walmart, he quickly assumed leadership roles in store operations, human resources and innovation. Bertram joined Jewel-Osco in Chicago as its senior vice president of retail, then in 2013, began working in executive roles at Ahold Delhaize, the parent company of The GIANT Company.
In 2017, Bertram was appointed president of The GIANT Company, an omni-channel grocer serving families across Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.
“Nick is an exceptional leader at The GIANT Company and in the food retail industry. He continues to pave the way with new innovations in his work, all with a focus on team and family,” said Alex Baloga, president and CEO of PFMA. “We’re thrilled to honor his achievements.”
Bertram is the mastermind behind Marty the robot, proudly steered The GIANT Company to earn Supermarket News Retailer of the Year in 2019, rapidly accelerated its e-commerce business and led the company’s charge in Philadelphia by introducing a successful urban format unique to the city, unveiling a first-of-its-kind, two-level grocery store, Riverwalk, among other innovations.
Last year, Bertram oversaw the unveiling of The GIANT Company’s new brand platform, “For Today’s Table,” which emphasizes how sitting down for a meal connects families and creates stronger communities, ultimately leading to a better tomorrow for us all.
His focus on team and community has led to many accolades, including being named a 2020 Most Admired CEO by The Philadelphia Business Journal.
Bertram is chair for the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Chamber. He is also co-chair of the corporate council and a member of the Foundation Board of Overseers for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
He earned a BBA in marketing from Eastern Kentucky University and an MBA in global management from the University of Phoenix, along with post-graduate programs at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, Harvard and The Wharton School. He loves spending time with his wife and four young boys, hiking, meditating and working out.