Stater Bros., Price Chopper execs honored at FMI Connect
CHICAGO – The Food Marketing Institute recognized two supermarket industry leaders with awards at the FMI Connect event here. Stater Bros. Markets executive chairman Jack Brown received FMI’s 2016 Glen P. Woodard Jr. award for public affairs, and Price Chopper Supermarkets/Market 32 manager of consumer trends, nutrition and lifestyles Maureen Murphy received the Esther Peterson Award for Consumer Service.
FMI president and CEO Leslie Sarasin commended Jack Brown as one of the most ardent supporters of the organization’s Political Action Committee and for encouraging his company to be involved in the political process.
“Since his first meeting at the Super Market Institute in 1962, and attending his first convention that same year, Jack has been invested in the association and its mission to advocate on behalf of our industry,” Sarasin said. “Jack is a decorated businessman, worthy not only of the Woodard Award, but also of our respect for his service to both country and local community.”
Brown began his career 65 years ago as a box boy at Berk’s Market Spot Grocery Store in his hometown of San Bernardino, Calif., and he later earned the title of CEO in 1981 at Stater Bros., returning to work five miles from where he grew up. Brown is well regarded for his dedication to, and institutional knowledge of, the supermarket industry. Touted as the largest private employer in the community, Stater Bros. under Brown’s leadership has been a recognized advocate for the community and underserved populations in Southern California and for contributing to charitable causes.
Before his days in grocery, Brown served aboard the U.S.S. Interceptor and the U.S.S. General J.C. Breckinridge in the U.S. Navy. Since his honorable discharge in 1962, Brown has remained committed to the Armed Forces and U.S. Military Operations.
Brown has received a number of awards in the food retail industry, including the FMI Rabb Award in 2005, as well as accolades from both California Grocers Association and the Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC). He has been honored as “retailer of the year” by the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles, and holds several honorary doctorate degrees. Brown has also been recognized for his statesmanship and patriotism, represented by his receipt of the Horatio Alger Award, Semper Fidelis Award and even the Patriot Award in 2011 by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.
Brown has been dedicated to grassroots advocacy as a director of Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC) since 1981, and he also served as its chairman. Brown is notably vested in FMI’s governance, participating in roles from FMI’s board of directors (1988 – present) to vice chair of the FMI Finance Committee (1989-1991) and Executive Committee (1989-1991 and 2001-2002), to consistently donating to its Foundation and Political Action Committee.
Murphy was recognized for her work on behalf of consumers.
As manager of consumer trends, nutrition and lifestyles at Price Chopper/Market 32, Murphy oversees the retailer’s health and wellness, nutrition, meal and party planning and food and lifestyle programs. Her responsibilities include supervising the work of the corporate nutritionist, and often serving as corporate spokesperson for food, nutrition and lifestyle initiatives.
The award is named for Ester Peterson, who served as special assistant for consumer affairs under U.S. Presidents Johnson and Carter, and pioneered the role for the food industry as vice president for consumer affairs at Giant Food Inc.
“Like Esther, Maureen Murphy’s name is synonymous with trust: She is an advocate for the consumer and always puts them first,” Sarasin said. “I maintain the highest regard for what she has accomplished for both PriceChopper and her profession.”
“Every company needs an individual who is a voice of the customer, and Maureen is that person,” Price Chopper/Market 32 Vice Chairman of the Board Jerry Golub said. “Her ability to use her background as a nutritionist and bring that to bear in addition to the knowledge of customer trends has also been extremely helpful to us.”