2021 Ray Foley Memorial Scholarship Winners Announced

The Convenience Distribution Association (CDA) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 CDA Distributors Education Foundation (DEF) Ray Foley Memorial Scholarships.

In June 1983, the CDA Distributors Education Foundation (DEF) Ray Foley Memorial Scholarship was created in memory of the late National Candy Wholesalers Association executive vice president, Ray Foley. The DEF awards four $5,000 scholarships annually to applicants from distributor member companies in honor of Mr. Foley.

Ray Foley Memorial Scholarship applicants must either work for a CDA distributor member company or be the spouse, son or daughter of a CDA distributor member. CDA uses an anonymous judging process to select scholarship recipients. All applicants must be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate or graduate program in an accredited college or university. The scholarship winners are chosen based on academic achievements, volunteer activities, recommendation letters and a personal essay.

Elias Asmar is the son of Elias J. Asmar, outside sales at Gummer Wholesale, Inc., Heath, OH.

Elias' proudest accomplishments started in the classroom, having scored in the 98th percentile of the ACT, being a member of the National Honors Society and scoring in the top 5% of the class of 2021. He is president of Rho Kappa and the captain of the Academic Challenge team as well as being a member of the Model United Nations competition team. The youngest of three children and the son of immigrant parents, Elias has acquired a vast amount of knowledge from many cultures and has a passion for learning and helping others. As a tutor, a parent describes Elias as “a natural leader who serves as a role model.”

Elias is studying biology/pre-med at Cleveland State University.

Katie Murski is the daughter of Tim Murski, stocker at Grocery Supply Company, Sulphur Springs, TX.

Katie, a junior at Texas A&M University, is a member of several organizations at A&M, including serving as the co-director of the Future Agriculture and Life Sciences Leaders and the treasurer for the Texas A&M Polish Association. She is also a business calculus tutor at Texas A&M and serves as a teaching assistant for a course through the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Veterinary Medicine. Katie’s manager says she “possesses the qualities to succeed at anything she chooses to do in life.” She has put in several thousand hours of volunteering at Star Hill Veterinary Clinic where she now works part time to make her dream of becoming a veterinarian a reality. She continues putting all her effort into every aspect of her life because turning this dream into a reality is something that she has been passionate about for the last 13 years.

Katie is studying biomedical sciences at Texas A&M University.

Grace Myhre is the daughter of Dana Myhre, transportation lead at Cash-Wa Distributing Co., Inc., Kearney, NE.

Grace has been involved in volleyball, basketball, the National Honor Society and Link Crew throughout her high school career. During volleyball, she was a three-year varsity starter and recorded over 2000 assists and was awarded Academic All State as a senior. During her junior and senior years, Grace was selected to be a part of Link Crew, having been nominated by teachers who believed she is a good example to her peers. A coach of Grace’s notes, “Whether it be in academics or athletics, Grace’s peers look to her for guidance. On or off the court, Grace has the ability to rise to the occasion and lead a group through situations others may avoid.”

Grace is pursuing a nursing degree and playing volleyball at the College of St. Scholastica.

Alec Tare is senior warehouse manager at National Convenience Distributors, Farmingdale, NY.

Alec has been working for Harold Levinson Associates (HLA), a division of National Convenience Distributors (NCD), for 10 years. Although he does not have a direct role in the HR department, he works with HR every day, developing cross functional policies and strategies to lead the distribution center’s 300 warehouse associates and 25 operations managers. Eventually, Alec would like to combine his knowledge of supply chain, warehouse operations and transportation with his human resources degree to transfer into a human resources leadership role in convenience. A Villanova program director says Alec “uniquely represents the convenience distribution industry through his work in our program.”

Alec is pursuing an M.S. in Human Resource Development from Villanova University.

Those who qualify for the CDA DEF Ray Foley Memorial Scholarship are encouraged to apply for 2022, with applications being accepted starting in March 2022. Learn more at For questions, please contact Kimberly Kissel, CAE, Director of Education at