WSL Future of Health Event

Six are honored with Executive Leadership Awards at event

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

PHOENIX — The Food Industry Association (FMI) recognized six luminaries from the food retailing and supplier communities with its 2020 Executive Leadership Awards, presented at the association’s Midwinter Executive Conference here.

“The food industry is a people business,” FMI president and chief executive officer Leslie Sarasin said. “In our operations, there are three necessary virtues that make the food industry a noble enterprise: customer service, community support and an investment in people. All of our honored leaders possess these virtues and have established industry-influencing legacies of enriching the lives of those in the communities they serve.”

The following individuals were celebrated for excellence in trading partner collaboration, entrepreneurial enterprises, investments in the community and statesmanship:

Kevin Davis, president and co-CEO of Bristol Farms, received this year’s Sidney R. Rabb Award.

“True customer service is about the way you make shoppers feel when they come in your store, it’s experiential, not a list of offerings,” he said, arguing that without its people, the food retailing industry is simply made up of buildings. “As leaders, it’s our job to support employees with the right training and resources so they can provide the best services to customers.”

Davis is widely recognized for his commitment to education, community philanthropy and business sense, according to FMI, which notes that he has grown Bristol Farms from three stores to a multiformatted, specialty grocer operating 21 high-end, unique and successful stores. Davis was awarded FMI’s Robert B. Wegman Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence in 2016.

Al Carey, former North America CEO at PepsiCo Inc., was honored with the William H. Albers Award. Carey, who led the North America Beverage and Frito-Lay North America snacks units until his retirement in March 2019, is being recognized for “sparking collaboration between brands and retailers, as well as frontline associates that trickled directly down to the consumer,” according to FMI.

“I’ve spent my whole career servicing customers and stores, and there’s no doubt these stores will have to change the way they service customers in this digital age,” Carey commented. “Therefore, suppliers and retailers will have to collaborate more to reach today’s consumer.”

Mark Skogen, president and CEO of Festival Foods, received this year’s Robert B. Wegman Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence. He is credited with always pushing for new and innovative in-store experiences to better serve the customers.

“There are more ways to interact with guests in the digital age, but it’s still about being good to people and meeting and exceeding their needs,” Skogen said.

Henry Johnson, retired former president of W. Lee Flowers & Co., received this year’s Herbert Hoover Award for the humanitarianism and passion for philanthropy that was embedded in his leadership at W. Lee ­Flowers.

“Our stores still follow a ‘hometown proud’ motto; we’re proud of where we live, we’re proud of the communities we’re in, and we want to make them better,” Johnson remarked.

H-E-B president Craig Boyan received this year’s Glen P. Woodard Jr. Award for Public Affairs. Boyan is credited with exemplifying leadership that extends beyond his company and its operating territory in Texas all the way to Capitol Hill. Boyan is a proponent of H-E-B’s involvement in FMI’s annual Washington, D.C., fly-in, discussing important issues like payments and tax reform with members of Congress so that they hear and understand the influence the industry wields.

Natalie Menza-Crowe, director of health and wellness at Wakefern Food Corp., was honored with this year’s Esther Peterson Award for Consumer Service.

“What’s most energizing being in food retail is that you’re truly helping people and changing lives,” Menza-Crowe said.

Menza-Crowe, who joined ShopRite in 2005 as its first corporate dietitian, is credited with creating dynamic programs that educate and inspire consumers and associates to embrace the importance of healthy eating to make balanced nutritional ­decisions.

She oversees ShopRite’s retail dietitian program, encompassing about 110 stores and addressing the health and wellness needs of shoppers at the most crucial point in their purchasing decision — right in the aisles.


You must be logged in to post a comment Login