Collette Remsen, a transportation specialist at our Fred Meyer distribution center in Clackamas, Oregon, has a passion for building teams and helping her community. From serving as a beach captain for SOLVE, an environment and stewardship group, to organizing an entire festival dedicated to reducing waste and ending hunger, Collette is no stranger to giving back in a big way. And that’s why she was named one of our 2019 Zero Heroes.


“For me, it’s easy. Everyone is so passionate and excited to be a part of it, coming together for the cause. The hard part is getting all the permits!” says Collette.


The permits Collette refers to are required for organizing the Oregon Mermaids Family Festival, Oregon Northwest Merfest, which she and her husband put on every year. The festival is free for the community to attend and is dedicated to reducing waste, keeping the oceans clean and ending hunger. They rent an entire city block for the festival and organize 55 vendors—bringing community members together.


“There aren’t a lot of instances outside of work where you see people coming together and working as a team,” says Collette. “To see everyone coming together, getting excited together and working toward the same goal—that’s what keeps me going.”


This year, the festival had to be adjusted significantly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Collette has worked hard to make sure the spirit and the impact of the event are preserved.


When restrictions are lifted, the festival will occur without vendors this year, but the SOLVE “Keep it Pretty Rose City Clean Up” and food drive and will still take place.


Zero Hunger | Zero Waste is our social impact plan focused on ending hunger in our communities and eliminating waste across our company by 2025, and Collette’s passion for this initiative began long before the social impact plan was created. She’d already been working toward eliminating waste and ending hunger in her community for years.


“To have a huge company like Kroger focus energy toward these goals—that’s exactly what we’d been trying to get out there,” says Collette.


To learn more about our Zero Hunger | Zero Waste efforts and how you can help us achieve these goals like Collette, click here.