Recognizing Unsung Heroes in Food Retail

FMI Connect award programs recognize store-level managerial, culinary and wellness employees and programs that contribute to improving the company and the communities they serve.

Store Manager Awards: Now in its fifteenth year, FMI's Store Manager Award program represents our desire to elevate the importance of store-level leaders who are the cornerstone of company success. It is their unrelenting dedication, enthusiasm and creativity that drive our industry forward. This year, four winners were selected from 10 finalists drawn from the plethora of deserving nominations. Please join us in congratulating our 2014 Store Manger Award Winners.

Category A (1-49 Stores): Larry Hack, Martin's Super MarketsCategory B (50-199 Stores): Kate Allred, Lowes Foods, LLCCategory C (200+ Stores): Randy Kruse, Hy-Vee, Inc.

Category D (International): George Katsifolis, Delhaize Group  

Supermarket Chef Showdown: The second live competition among 24 supermarket chef finalists took place on the exhibit floor at FMI Connect. This program recognizes the behind-the-stove talent that inspires and enables customers in the aisle to broaden their culinary horizons. As supermarkets become a destination for mealtime solutions, these are the men and women who proactively meet changing consumer needs:

Grand Champion and Healthy Meals Category Winner: Rachael Perron, Kowalski's Markets Greek Grain Salad with Dilled Feta DressingFamily Meals Category Winner: Keoni Chang, Foodland Super Market (2012 Grand Champion) Korean-Style Hillshire Farm Dogs with Kimchi Slaw and Alexia Garlic Sweet Potato FriesEthnic Meals Category Winner: Andrew Kintigh, Hy-Vee, Inc. Moroccan Style Chickpea and Kale Stew with Date Gremolata

Desserts Category Winner: Michael Brady, FRESH by Brookshire's Grocery Banana BeignetsMini Meals Category Winner: Erin Horton, Orchard Fresh Mediterranean Chicken Meatballs 

RDBA Dietitian of the Year: The inaugural presentation of the Dietitian of the Year award reflects the industry's focus on establishing supermarkets as health and wellness destinations. Retail dietitians have become an integral part of the retail experience, serving as the health and wellness link that connects consumers' needs with store offerings. FMI supports the Retail Dietitian Business Alliance (RDBA) in promoting the influence and business opportunities that retail dietitians, such as our 2014 award winner, provide.

Stephanie Schultz, MSM, RDN, CD, director of Health and Wellness at Skogen's Festival Foods

Steve Smith, president and CEO, K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc., and Cathy Polley, RPh, vice president of health and wellness, FMI, flank the award winners.
Category A (1-49 Stores): First Alternative Co-opCategory B (50-199 Stores): Weis Markets Healthy Bites ProgramCategory C (200+ Stores): Publix Aprons Simple Meals Program

Gold Plate Awards: As supermarkets proudly take on the responsibility of feeding families and enriching lives, FMI and The FMI Foundation are honored to support outstanding store-level programs. Gold Plate Award winners demonstrate the innovative programs that empower shoppers to create family meals as a regular occasion. The Gold Plate Awards program is part of a larger initiative, Let's Put Our Plates Together, which provides suggestions and resources for retailers to promote family meals. Congratulations to our 2014 Award Winners.

Interested in submitting a nomination for our 2015 awards?
Visit for more information on FMI's recognition
programs and details on submitting nominations.

FMI Connect Summer Webinar Series
This summer, FMI conducted a series of webinars built from presentations and insights presented at FMI Connect. All webinars are available on-demand at

Creating and Maintaining Buzz around your Health and Wellness Program
Stephen McCauley, food industry marketing communications consultant from Porter Novelli, shares best practices among existing health and wellness programs and offers suggestions on how programs should be measured to ensure leadership support, gain momentum and make a significant impact.

Key Steps to Business Social Media Success
Michael Sansolo, president of Sansolo Solutions, presents learnings from the newest piece of an eight-part retailer-designed report investigating what shoppers are doing, what they like and what they feel is lacking in social media communications.

Women 2020: The Future of Women's Leadership in Retail and Consumer Goods
Joan Toth, president and CEO for the Network of Executive Women, outlines the benefits of women in leadership and discuss ways to engage men to build a female-friendly leadership culture. Toth also shares findings from the Network's landmark "Women 2020" report.

U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2014 Overview
Laurie Demeritt, CEO of The Hartman Group and Susan Borra, senior vice president, communications and strategic planning at FMI, share insight into why individual food shoppers make the decisions they do, and how their attitudes and piecemeal behaviors translate into large-scale shifts that affect supermarket revenues and growth.

How to Create a Local Event that will Attract a Member of Congress
Brad Finch, president and CEO of Congressional Management Foundation, walks participants through the steps to inviting legislators to your store where they can learn about industry issues and have a powerful personal experience conveying the value of your organization in their district or state.

Front of Line: How Grocers Can Get Ahead for the Future
Sabina Saksena, managing director of retail and consumer practice at PwC, presents results from a customer survey where data indicates that the grocery industry's future is centered on a simple, yet targeted, shopping experience.