Cathy Burns, featured speaker at Fresh Connections: Retail
Cathy Burns is CEO of the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), based in Newark, Delaware. She joined PMA on December 1, 2013, and is responsible for a number of strategic PMA initiatives, including those focused on increasing consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables; development of PMA Board of Directors and staff; and applying expertise and exceptional insights as a retail leader to opportunities to help PMA members more effectively engage and communicate with consumers. PMA is the leading trade association representing companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain.
Prior to joining PMA, she served as president of Food Lion, Harveys and Reid’s, and was a member of the Delhaize America Executive Committee. Her responsibilities there included banner operations, including store financial performance, merchandising, pricing, customer service and marketing.
Burns has more than 25 years of experience in the grocery industry. She previously served Food Lion as Chief Operating Officer, senior vice president of retail operations-north, and senior vice president of fresh merchandising, distribution, and quality assurance. Burns joined Food Lion in 2002 from its sister banner, Hannaford Supermarkets, where she was vice president of fresh merchandising. She began her career at Hannaford as a part-time service clerk. She completed the grocer’s retail training program and held assistant store manager, perishable manager and store manager positions.
She chairs the Board of Governors for Children’s Miracle Network and the Board of Directors for Duke Children’s Hospital and Health Center. In addition, she is a past Board member of the Coca Cola Retailing Research Council and the Network of Executive Women (NEW).
Burns was named a 2007 Top Woman in Grocery by Progressive Grocer, was awarded The Packer’s 2008 Produce Marketer of the Year award, named one of Supermarket News’ Power 50 in 2009 and was named one of Mass Market Retailer’s Most Influential Women in Mass Market Retailing in 2010.
Burns holds bachelor’s degrees in management and marketing from the University of Maine and completed coursework in strategic retail management at the College of William and Mary.
She enjoys spending quality time with her family, which includes her husband, Ty and their two daughters, Alexis and Maia. Their interests include cycling, surfing and photography.