Grocery Industry Icons & Innovators
VP, Corporate Affairs
Mars Wrigley North America
Jessica is currently serving in the newly created role of Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Head of Global External Communications for Mars Wrigley. In this role she sits on multiple senior leadership teams, ensuring the global Corporate Affairs strategy supports and aligns with the business strategy, the Corporate Affairs function is optimized and upskilled, and that Brand and Corporate PR efforts are best-in-class.
Jessica oversees global communications for Mars Wrigley, with direct responsibility for corporate reputation, brand communications, internal communications, issues management, social impact, and operations for the consumer care/call-center. She leads the Freedom to Operate team, working closely with the global public affairs team on policy issues. Additionally, she leads all Corporate Affairs work across Mars in the US and Canada and serves as Vice Chair of the Mars Wrigley Philanthropic Foundation.
In her first year, she has led the Corporate Affairs function to Mars’ best-ever showing in Super Bowl advertising, with the world’s first Zoom Super Bowl Ad Premier plus a wildly successful category PR effort for Extra Gum – which resulted in a Sunday Magazine Feature in The New York Times and a full airing on the Today’s Show.
Prior to Mars, she was at Kroger as Chief Corporate Affairs Officer. The role encompassed Chief Communications Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer. Jessica sat on the Executive Leadership Team, was responsible for the Public Responsibilities Committee of the Kroger Board of Directors and served as President of both Kroger foundations – including one that was named a Fast Company’s “World Changing Ideas” of 2020.
She is incredibly proud to be a part of the team that developed the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Plan, which sets out to end hunger in communities and eliminate waste by 2025. The effort has won multiple accolades, including debuting at #6 on Fortune’s Change the World List in 2018. In addition to Zero Hunger | Zero Waste, Jessica co-led Kroger’s culture work including the evolution and branding of Kroger’s Our Purpose & Promise. She was also co-Executive Sponsor for Kroger’s first ever agency of record search, which culminated in Kroger’s new logo design and completely refreshed master brand efforts. Additionally, she was a part of the team that developed Restock Kroger, the company’s strategic plan to create shareholder value by serving America through food inspiration and uplift.
Jessica has 25 years of experience as an executive in the food industry and retail, including as Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Swiss-multinational Syngenta. There she sat on the global team while also running the Washington, DC office. Before that she worked for both Cargill and Monsanto. She graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College as a Russian Area Studies major and lived in the Former Soviet Union for several years in the 1990s. She has an MBA from the Wharton School and a Masters in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania. She has an executive certificate in International Trade Issues from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and has done leadership course work at IMD in Switzerland. She speaks both Russian and French.
Jessica has served in numerous leadership positions within the food, retail, and agriculture industries. She was named a Top Leader in Communications for 2020, to the “40 Under 40” in her field and a PR News’ “Top Women in PR.” In 2017 she was among the “Top Women in Grocery” and on Diversity Magazine’s “Most Powerful Women in America” list. In 2018 she was named one of the food industry’s “Women of Influence” and as a 2019 “Game Changer” in the retail space due to Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social impact plan.
When she isn’t hiking or biking with her three ‘tweens and likely-to-be-canonized husband, Jessica can be found tackling her backlog of New Yorkers, teaching Sustainable Branding to masters students at Northwestern University and discussing the future of democracy in an increasing polarized world as a member of the Budget & Audit Committee of the Board of the National Endowment for Democracy.