Food Industry Management Programs

Educating Future Leaders in the Food Industry Since 1958


Program Orientation

January 9 - 10, 2025

Program Dates

January 13 –April 30, 2025

Capstone Education Day

April 29, 2025


Graduation Banquet

April 30, 2025

WAFC Convention
(Palm Desert, CA)

May 3 –May 7, 2025


Invest In Your Future

The transformational Food Industry Management Program (FIM) is designed to cultivate agile leaders equipped with in-demand business skills that drive success.

  • FIM graduates stay 8 years longer at their organizations than non-graduates.
  • FIM graduates are 3 times more likely to advance to a senior leader or executive roles.
  • 52% of FIM graduates are currently in senior leadership or executive roles.

Cultivate robust leadership and management competencies, sharpen your business acumen, and hone critical thinking skills. Explore innovative leadership techniques that empower you to become a confident thought leader, capable of addressing contemporary industry challenges, utilizing persuasion effectively, fostering unity, and identifying organizational opportunities.

*AlixPartners 01/2023 research assessment was completed with a LinkedIn profile scrape of 146 FIM graduates and 821 non-graduates from food industry and consumer goods companies.

Full-tuition Scholarship Leadership Program

The FIM program started in 1958 to groom high-potential future leaders. Each year, a maximum of 35 executives are chosen from a wide range of companies to participate in this elite 16-week certificate program. Individuals selected must have a proven management accomplishment record and significant potential for future advancement. Each executive accepted into the program receives a full-tuition scholarship through the Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC).


Join Industry High-Potentials

Selected participants come from an array of global food industry retailing, wholesaling, manufacturing and supplier companies. Participants come from all departments including corporate office, warehouses, operations, sales, marketing, finance, and human resources. They hold various roles including department or area managers, store directors, district managers, directors and VP’s. Learn to create new opportunities and become a leader with competitive advantage.


“Being a 38-year veteran of the grocery industry and a graduate of the Food Industry Management Program, I can assure you that the FIM Program at USC develops future leaders and changes lives. It is truly an honor for the WAFC to work with food industry leadership with the same passion for developing talent within their companies. Since 1958, the Food Industry Management Program at the USC Marshall School of Business has developed many of the most successful executives in the grocery industry.”

Patrick Posey
Western Association of Food Chains Chief Operating Officer

The Food Industry Management Program
in Partnership with the WAFC

Industry leaders across all segments – retail, wholesale, and CPG and third-party suppliers – unite together to focus on educational opportunities that benefit food industry associates. Potential students from all areas of the food industry are impartially evaluated on their past educational experience, as well as job performance and future industry potential.

A full-tuition scholarship is awarded to each participant admitted into the FIM Certificate program. The scholarships are provided by the Western Association of Food Chains’ (WAFC) Educational Fund, which is supported by contributions from food industry supplier companies.


You Pick Them,
We Polish Them

No two leaders nor organizations are exactly alike even if they are in the same industries. But don't take our word for it. Hear from our past participants and gain insight into the impact of FIM both professionally and personally.

2024 Food Industry Executive of the Year

Greg McNiff

USC Marshall honors Greg McNiff, President and Chief Operating Officer of Starter Bros. Markets, as the 2024 Food Industry Executive of the Year.

Every year the award is presented to an individual food industry executive who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership and commitment to education.

Click on Greg McNiff’s image to access the Press Release.


Food Industry Executive Program

Engage in interactive sessions and learn the latest industry trends while networking with industry peers. In an immersive four days of business curriculum tailored specifically for industry executives, the Food Industry Executive Program (FIEP) delivers innovative knowledge and critical skills essential for executives. Emerge as a seasoned industry leader by leveraging in-demand skills.

FIM 60th and 50th Anniversary Books

A Tradition of Excellence

Click on the commemorative flipbooks to see the industry’s high-potential leaders accepted over the years. Founded in 1958, the USC Marshall School of Business Food Industry Management (FIM) program is scholarshiped by the Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC). Take a look at the many historical milestones