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Louise Wendling and Mother Parkers co-CEOs to be honoured by Retail Council

Awarded Canadian Grand Prix Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award in June

The Retail Council of Canada will be honouring three grocery veterans at its annual Store Conference in June.

Louise Wendling, former country manager and chair of the board of Costco WholeSale Canada, is the 2016 recipient of RCC’s Lifetime Achievement Award, while Paul Higgins Jr. and Michael Higgins (pictured), co-CEOs of Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee, are the inaugural recipients of the Canadian Grand Prix Lifetime Achievement Award.

The three are past winners of the Golden Pencil, the Canadian grocery industry’s most prestigious award.

The RCC’s Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a family or individual in retail who has demonstrated outstanding business success and community service throughout his or her career. Past winners have included Bob Peter, president and CEO of the LCBO, and Rita Estwick, director of security strategy at Canada Post.

“Over the course of 28-career with Costco, she has garnered an enormous amount of respect from her colleagues across the country,” said Diane Brisebois, president and CEO of RCC.

Wendling began her career in retail 38 years ago with the Hudson’s Bay Company. She and two other former Hudson’s Bay managers founded Price Club Canada, which later merged with Costco. Wendling became head of Costco Canada in 2011.

She received the Golden Pencil award in 2014.

The Grand Prix Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes senior executives who have demonstrated outstanding service and commitment to Canada’s grocery industry.

“Over the course of their careers, Paul and Michael have pushed the envelope to drive sustainable growth, champion innovation and exceed customer expectation, earning the respect of their peers and industry partners ever step of the way,” said Brisebois

Paul and Michael are the third generation to steer the family-owned and managed business, which was founded in 1912. They’ve overseen the development and expansion of the Mother Parkers brand, as well as the private label tea and coffee brands of many of North America’s grocer and restaurant chains.

Paul and Michael were awarded the Golden Pencil award in 2012. Their father founded the award in 1957.

Wendling and Higgins will be presented their awards at th Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards Gala on June 1.

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