Regional President, Northeast – Whole Foods Market
Born in Totowa, New Jersey, Christina Minardi’s career in the food industry started at an early age. Raised in the family-owned and operated Minardi’s Bakery of Paterson, she developed the essential tools and knowledge to ready her to become an effective leader, run a profitable operation, and create a desirable environment that was enticing for people to be involved with. Fast forward 25+ years, and you’ll find Ms. Minardi utilizing the same skill set to evoke passion and success into the more than 6000 employees of Whole Foods Market’s Northeast region, where she currently serves as Regional President, overseeing the operation of 24 stores and a handful of others still in the development stage.
Now a resident of Wayne, NJ, Ms. Minardi has been the Regional President of Whole Foods Market’s Northeast Region since 2006. Her career with the company started as an Associate Store Team Leader at Fresh Fields (prior to Whole Foods Market acquisition) in Millburn, New Jersey in 1995, where she began learning about the business and interworking of a successful supermarket. Her success in Millburn led to her selection as Store Team Leader to open the first Whole Foods Market location in New Jersey (Edgewater, NJ; 2000). By 2002 her ascent through the company continued when she was named Regional Vice President, a distinction she would hold for four years until being named the first female Regional President in Whole Foods Market’s history. The promotion put Ms. Minardi at the helm of one of the busiest and highest-grossing regions for the rapidly growing nationwide leader in natural and organic supermarkets.
During Ms. Minardi’s rookie year as Regional President at Whole Foods Market, the Northeast was named as the Global All Star Region for the company, chosen among the company’s twelve regions, distinguishing the Northeast as one of the most powerful, most productive and most profitable in the company.
Ms. Minardi’s advocacy for women in business has been nothing short of phenomenal during her career. Under her guidance, the Northeast region is home to a higher percentage of female Store Team Leaders than in any other regions in the company. Under her guidance, the Northeast region has become one of the most diverse, forward thinking and game changing regions for the company, leading the charge on several initiatives, including the company’s most recent to provide healthier options and nutritional information to its shoppers.
Since 2006, the leadership team in the Northeast has grown from approximately 20 people to more than 100, further demonstrating Ms. Minardi's focus on growth and the addition of jobs amidst a faltering economy and declining job-rate. Ms. Minardi’s focus on the success of team members was instrumental in her development of the Whole Foods Market career coach program. The program was created to provide regional leadership as a liaison to the region’s stores to ensure that ground-level team members are given every opportunity to rise through the ranks of their store and develop skills to be put to use in store, regional and global leadership positions.
From a business perspective, since taking over the Northeast region, stores have grown at a rate three times faster than before her introduction. During 2011, new stores in Fairfield, CT and Yonkers, NY opened, with additional plans for future stores in 2012/13/14. In terms of volume, the Northeast region is home to six stores that rank in the top 10% of the company. Ms. Minardi plays an active role in the design and construction process of each Whole Foods Market location, ensuring that the look, feel and environment of the store fit well with the needs and demands of the area it services.
In addition to in-store activities, the Northeast region boasts one of the best charitable arms in the company, providing financial support to scores of area charitable organizations including The New Jersey Food bank, City Harvest, The Bowery Mission, The Connecticut Food Bank among several other local community initiatives, educational programs and area organizations throughout New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.
Recent awards for Ms. Minardi include being selected as one of New York Moves Magazine’s “25 New York Power Women of 2009, ” sharing the honor with the likes of Hollywood star Virginia Madsen, famed food writer/blogger Julie Powell, Today Show correspondent Hoda Kotb, and several other influential community figures throughout New York City. Also in 2009, Ms. Minardi was named a Tribute to Women and Industry (TWIN) Honoree by the YMCA of Bergen County, New Jersey.
Ms. Minardi holds an Associate’s Degree from Berkeley College of New Jersey. In her personal life, Ms. Minardi lives in Wayne, NJ where she is an avid cook and loves to share her skills in the kitchen with family, friends, and most importantly, her 5 year old daughter, Jordan.
Ms. Minardi will be honored at the 13th Annual Bowery Mission Gala. Find out more.