Cherie Phipps


Cherie Phipps currently serves as the Director of the Retail Management Certificate Program, an accredited community college program designed specifically for the retail sector. In her role, she oversees the program curriculum, and works closely with community colleges and retailers across the nation to cultivate leadership and prepare workers for advancement in all levels of management.

Since its inception, the scaling of the Retail Management Certificate has been fully endorsed and supported by the Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC), a non-profit organization led by top executives in the retail grocery industry, with a pure mission to Advance the Food Industry through Education and Leadership.

Cherie began her career in the retail industry career as a “curtesy clerk”, bagging groceries for Safeway. As her career progressed, Cherie held positions in Retail Management, Labor Relations, and Human Resources where she focused on Leadership Development and Succession Planning with various grocery companies.

Cherie simultaneously attended college, eventually earning bachelor’s degrees in both Psychology and Sociology, a minor in business, as well as an MBA, Organizational Leadership, and a credential in Food Industry Management, both from University of Southern California (USC).

Since 1999, Cherie has been the catalyst behind the design and delivery of the community college-level Retail Management Certificate Program. A few years ago, four of the WAFC’s partner colleges were awarded a $12 million dollar federal grant to enhance the program, and expand nationally to the entire retail sector.

This past Spring 2016, the Retail Management Certificate and WAFC partner companies were spotlighted for a 2nd time at the White House for significant efforts to build education depth in our industry.

Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC)
Established in 1921, the Western Association of Food Chains is a non-profit organization comprised of retailers and wholesalers in the Western United States representing over 7,500 supermarkets and $200 billion dollars in annual sales. The WAFC’s primary mission is to provide educational and leadership opportunities for food industry associates that help advance employees into successful careers.

The WAFC’s most far reaching educational program is the Retail Management Certificate, an accredited community college program that provides the core skills and knowledge to move into a management role in the retail industry. The WAFC’s education efforts are guided by their board of directors, which includes many of the food industry’s top leaders. WAFC company employees are strongly encouraged to earn the Retail Management certificate and receive special benefits upon completion. To learn more about the program visit or WAFC at


October 4, 2016
I Am Retail Summit
Reunion Ballroom FH
9:00 a.m.  -  4:15 p.m.