The Women's Foodservice Forum (WFF) has renamed its annual Trailblazer Award as the Fritzi Pikes Woods Trailblazer Award in honor of the group's late president/CEO Fritzi Pikes Woods. And for the first time, WFF presented the 2014 award posthumously, to Woods.
The Trailblazer Award, sponsored by General Mills, is presented annually to an individual who is dedicated to improving the foodservice industry through support of gender diversity, the creation of new pathways for women in their company and the industry at large, and the implementation of opportunities for women at all levels of their organization.
"Fritzi Pikes Woods was an immensely respected leader, and was my dear friend and WFF partner," said WFF Chair and Darden Restaurants Chief Development Officer Laurie Burns. "She served as a mentor to so many in the foodservice industry. She was devoted to furthering the cause for gender-balanced executive teams. By remaining this award in her honor, we commit to follow her trail."
"The industry lost an icon, the board lost a sponsor, the staff lost an advocate and I lost a friend," added WFF interim CEO Hattie Hill.
Woods led the WFF as president and CEO for three years before she passed away unexpectedly last fall. She had been working with the administration of President Obama to advocate on behalf of women in executive roles, and served as a board member for Jamba Juice, Ignite Restaurant Group, National Restaurant Association, BUCA and Lone Star New Market, among others.
Prior to joining WFF, Woods was Executive Chair of the Board, CEO and President of Primesource Foodservice Equipment, which at its profitable sale in 2012 was the tenth largest foodservice equipment company with customers in the U.S. and 46 other countries. She also held senior executive positions in sales and marketing and finance with the Dallas Morning News and Motorola.
"General Mills is honored to support Fritzi Pikes Woods and her legacy with this year's Trailblazer Award," said Bethany Quam, president, convenience and foodservice for General Mills.