Honoree Year: 2015
School of Business
Area of Impact:
Consumer Goods or Services
Stew Leonard Jr. (’77), is president and CEO of Stew Leonard’s Supermarkets and Stew Leonard’s Wine Stores. With four supermarkets and nine wine stores, Stew Leonard’s was listed as one of Fortune magazine’s Top 100 Business to Work For 10 years in a row, from 2001 to 2011. The supermarket also boasts the world’s largest dairy store and is in the Guinness Book of Work Recordsfor having “the greatest sales per unit of any single food store in the United States.” It currently has annual sales of nearly 400 million USD and has about 2,000 employees.
Leonard has a deep dedication to social responsibility through his organization Stew Leonard III’s Children’s Charities, which focuses on water safety and swimming lessons for thousands of underprivileged youth each year, as well as healthy eating for children. Leonard and his wife, Kim, have released a series of children’s books about water safety that feature the character Stewie the Duck.
In 2012, the couple released an app version of the children’s book with Stewie the Duck. A program featuring the character has been used by firefighters in Rialto, California, and by employees at a children’s hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, to teach children about water safety.
Leonard is also a nationally recognized speaker in the grocery and wine industry. Stew Leonard’s Wines was recognized by Wine Enthusiast Magazine as the Retailer of the Year in 2011 and 2013. He is featured as one of the top orators at the prestigious Washington Speakers Bureau.
Leonard is also an active alumnus of Ithaca College’s School of Business, frequently speaking and presenting, as well as a substantial donor to the Professions Program. He is also in the early stages of developing, with business school leadership, a formal internship program at Stew Leonard’s for business school students.