GroceryAid bolsters top team

Jane Hill and Mandi Leonard

GroceryAid has made two key appointments to its leadership team. Jane Hill (pictured left) takes up the new position of fundraising director while Mandi Leonard (pictured right) will replace current welfare development director Cathy Mercer, upon her retirement in April.

Mercer has spent most her career in the industry and became a trustee of the National Grocers Benevolent Fund in 2000. She joined the charity full time in 2005, subsequently taking on the role of welfare development director. During this time, Mercer significantly increased the breadth and depth of welfare services on offer, notably introducing the successful Helpline in 2010, which now assists more than 8,000 people per year. Steve Barnes, GroceryAid chief executive said; “Cathy has done a wonderful job over almost two decades for our beneficiaries and will be missed.”

Her replacement, Mandi Leonard, joins GroceryAid from The Salespeople’s Charity where she has been charity manager for more than 14 years. “I am looking forward to bringing my knowledge and experience to GroceryAid and helping the team continue to grow the level of awareness of the Charity to those within the sector to ensure that everyone who needs support in a time of difficulty knows that they can access that help, free of charge, based purely on their service within the industry,” commented Leonard.

Jane Hill’s appointment as fundraising director is a new position for GroceryAid. Hill has more than 25 years’ experience heading up events teams as well as client director roles. She has worked in the grocery industry before, having spent four years at IGD as part of the senior team working with industry colleagues in a wide variety of roles.

“This is such an exciting opportunity, I’m very much looking forward to my return to the food industry and building some fantastic relationships within our supporting companies,” she said. “GroceryAid are already doing such great things I can’t wait to be part of it.”

The new recruits will work alongside corporate services director Tim Straker and chief executive Steve Barnes to continue to grow the resources of GroceryAid, ensuring that all those working in the grocery industry can turn to the charity for support when in need.

“I am delighted that Jane and Mandi will be joining the team,” added Barnes. “Both have fantastic track records and will be assets to the charity. Their expertise and insight will be hugely valuable as we head into a period of both challenge and opportunity for the industry’s trade charity.”