Food retailers honored at FMI
The Food Marketing Institute presented several awards to food retail leaders who serve as beacons of their communities and advocates in government.
In presenting the Glen P. Woodard Award and Herbert Hoover Award, FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin said: “These legacy-makers leveraged their voices to shape a more prosperous future for our industry and the communities in which they do business. Their roots in their respective businesses are as deep as their commitment to service; their words and actions will resonate for many years to come.”
The Glen P. Woodard, Jr. Award was presented to Rob Bartels, president and CEO, Martin's Super Markets, Inc.
"As President and CEO of Martin's Super Markets, a family-owned business with a proud 70-year history, Rob embraces competition and he has earned the trust and loyalty of his customer base. In 2017, when a tax bill was making its way through Congress that could leave small businesses at a disadvantage to large corporations, Rob Bartels stepped forward. He became a powerful voice for the independent operator. Rob has long represented the interests of food retailers on Capitol Hill and in his home state of Indiana, serving in a leadership capacity with Food Marketing Institute since the early 2000s. An ardent advocate for the shopper, Rob has demonstrated both with lawmakers and with shoppers that he has the ability to respond with empathy," FMI said in a statement.
The Herbert Hoover Award was presented to Robert Ling Jr., president and CEO, Unified Grocers, Inc. (retired)
"The great humanitarian, Herbert Hoover, demonstrated the link between the food industry and outreach. His dedication to service lives on through Hoover award winners, including 2018’s Bob Ling. Bob has made it his business to understand food retail – both the issues that face the industry and opportunities that allow it to better serve its customers. A thoughtful and creative leader, Bob has built strong relationships with Unified Grocers’ members, vendors and associates. Always looking for innovative ways to empower communities, Bob also led the merger of Unified Grocers with SUPERVALU. The combined company offers value-added benefits and serves a broad range of independent grocers, helping them better compete in an evolving marketplace," FMI said in a statement.
Other award winners included:
- Oscar Gonzalez, co-president and COO of Southern California’s Northgate Gonzalez Market, received FMI’s Robert B. Wegman Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence.
- Jerry Garland, former president and CEO of Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc., was presented with the Sidney R. Rabb Award for Statesmanship.
- Irene Rosenfeld, chairman of Mondelez International, received the William H. Albers Award for Industry Relations.
FMI advocates on behalf of the food retail industry, which employs nearly 5 million workers and represents a combined annual sales volume of almost $800 billion. FMI member companies operate nearly 33,000 retail food stores and 12,000 pharmacies.