Food Industry Management Program



FIM Class of 2016




The Food Industry Management Program at USC is designed exclusively for high-potential individuals of proven ability. The Western States Chain Grocers Association (WSCGA) established the “Food Distribution Program” at USC in 1959. Since founding the program the WSCGA has since changed their name to the Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC) and has continued to support the Food Industry Management program with scholarships in excess of $21,000,000. The program has seen over 1700 students enter, and graduate as a part of a movement towards growing the food industry and making it a better place in which to work.




      • January 6: Orientation Day
      • January 9: FIM Program and Classes Begin
      • January 26: California Club Dinner (Students & Spouses)
      • February 21: Donor Luncheon
      • May 1: Education Day - Capstone Project Presentations
      • May 2: Graduation and Dinner; FIM Program Ends 
      • May 6-10: Capstone Presentation(s) at WAFC Conference - Palm Desert 



2016 Capstone Teams

Each year the FIM class present their capstone projects to food industry executives, scholarship donors and faculty. The capstone project is an opportunity for students to apply what they have learned over the 16 week program and strategically tackle a real world issue facing the food industry of today.

For previews of the 2015 and 2016 capstone group presentations, please see the links below. 


2015 Capstone Group Presentations

2016 Capstone Group Presentations 


View the Alumni & Marshall Partners Events Calendar for all of our upcoming events.




FIM 2016 Executive of the Year

Nestle USA 

Each year the USC Marshall School of Business selects a FIM alumni as the program’s Executive of the Year, a food industry executive who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership and commitment to education.  These executives believe that education will open doors and create opportunities for their employees to become future leaders, and they actively support organizations who help them provide access to such education. 

Historically, the award has been presented to an individual. This year USC has chosen Nestlé – which celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2016 – as the first corporation to be honored with the Executive of the Year award.


FIEP 2016  Executive in Residence

Pat Posey

The Food Industry Executive Program (FIEP) at USC’s Marshall School of Business selects an annual Food Industry Executive in Residence,  an executive who has undergone a stellar success-story after completing the program. 


Cynthia McCloud, Director of Food Industry Management Programs

Cynthia McCloud joined the Marshall School of Business as the Executive Education Director, Food Industry programs in July 2014.  Cynthia graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Southern California, and later completed her MBA from the University of California, Irvine.  She is also a 1990 graduate of the USC Food Industry Management program.  Cynthia built her career in sales and marketing specializing in the food retail and manufacturing industries in both the U.S. and also in several international markets where she managed teams in France, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, India, Singapore and Australia.  Over the years, she has held roles at several SFO startups, MarketTools, Catalina Marketing Europe, Catalina Marketing U.S. and started her career at The Vons Companies in Southern California. 

Cynthia has a successful track record of building highly-effective collaborative teams, developing future leaders through self-reflection/assessment/motivation/education, and creating strong innovative solutions through technology to compete more aggressively in an industry that is changing faster than ever before.  She also has deep experience in loyalty marketing and is passionate about working with her retail and manufacturer associates to continue building awareness in the food industry around health & wellness.

In her spare time, Cynthia enjoys running, hiking and traveling with her husband, and spending time with her grandchildren.  She also works closely with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation where she helped build the CF ShelbyUSA team and is determined to help the organization find a cure for this deadly childhood disease.


USC Marshall School of Business FIM Contact

Cynthia McCloud, Director of Food Industry Programs

3660 Trousdale Pkwy ACC 216 Los Angeles, CA 90089-0442

T: 714.815.0000 


Advisory Board

      • Julia Buchanan
      • Aaron Jones
      • Jennifer Fisher 


Western Association of Food Chains

All tuition for FIM paid for by scholarships from WAFC 


The Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC) is a non-profit organization comprised of senior executives from major food retail and wholesale companies in 14 western states, whose sole mission is to provide advanced education for food industry employees. Founded by Los Angeles area retailers in 1921, WAFC has partnered with the University of Southern California on the Food Industry Management (FIM) Program since 1958. 

Through the generous donations of supplier companies and individuals, WAFC established and has provided a world class educational program with scholarships for the food industry's future leaders. The partnership between WAFC and USC has produced some of the top executives in the industry including: Karl Schroeder, President, Safeway Northern California Division; Mike Provenzano, President and CEO Pro's Ranch Markets; Sue Klug, President Albertsons Southern California Division; Jim Lee, President Stater Bros. Markets; and Kevin Davis, CEO, President & Chairman Bristol Farms.