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FMI recognizes food retailers for service

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Woodward, Hoover award winners honored

MIAMI – On Monday morning the Food Marketing Institute presented two awards meant to recognize how the voice of food retailing can be a force in government advocacy and a champion in the communities grocers serve.

“These legacy-makers leveraged their voices to shape a more prosperous future for our industry and the communities in which they do business,” FMI president and CEO Leslie Sarasin said of the winners of the trade association’s Glen P. Woodard and Herbert Hoover awards. “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.”

FMI Bartels

Rob Bartels

Rob Bartels, president and CEO of  Martin’s Super Markets Inc., won the FMI’s Glen P. Woodward award.

Glen Woodard Jr. set the standard for government affairs advocacy, according to FMI, which said that his public policy efforts live on in the work of executives like Bartels, who heads a family-owned business with a proud 70-year history. FMI pointed to his efforts in 2017, when a tax bill making its way through Congress threatened to put small businesses at a disadvantage relative to large corporations. Bartels stepped forward and became a powerful voice for independent operators, the association said, noting that Bartels has long represented the interests of food retailers on Capitol Hill and in his home state of Indiana, serving in the leadership of the Food Marketing Institute since the early 2000s.

Robert Ling Jr., the retired former president and CEO of Unified Grocers Inc., won FMI’s Herbert Hoover award.

Robert Ling Jr.

The award is named for the humanitarian who FMI said demonstrated the link between the food industry and outreach. His dedication to service lives on through such award winners as Ling, who 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, according to FMI. Described as a thoughtful and creative leader, Ling is credited with having built strong relationships with Unified Grocers’ members, vendors and associates. Ling also led the merger of Unified Grocers with Supervalu, a move that allowed the combined company to offer a range of value-added benefits to its independent grocer companies, helping them better compete in an evolving marketplace.

The Glen P. Woodward and Herbert Hoover awards were presented Monday morning at the FMI’s Midwinter Executive Conference in Miami. On Saturday, the association recognized three other industry executives with leadership awards. Mondelēz International chairman Irene Rosenfeld was presented with the William H. Albers Award, which recognizes a leader committed to trade relations and consumer service. Oscar Gonzalez, co-president and COO at Northgate Gonzalez Markets, was honored with the Robert B. Wegman Award, which since 2012 has been given in recognition of innovation and imaginative strategies. And FMI awarded this year’s Sidney R. Rabb Award to Jerry Garland, the former president and CEO of Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc.



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