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FMI Honors 7 Food Industry Executives

Executive Leadership Award recipients unveiled at 2023 Midwinter Executive Conference
AFS CEO Bob Obray Main Image
AFS CEO Bob Obray was posthumously recognized by FMI with the Herbert Hoover Award for Humanitarian Service.

FMI – The Food Industry Association has named its 2023 Executive Leadership Awards recipients: Rick Brindle, Elizabeth Chace-Marino, Ron Edenfield, Bob Obray, Art Potash Gordon Reid and Joe Sheridan. The seven executives, who, in the words of the trade association “have exemplified food industry excellence through first-rate company leadership, community impact and customer service,” were honored at FMI’s Midwinter Executive Conference Awards luncheon, in Orlando, Fla., sponsored by Unilever. 

[Read more: "FMI Names Winners of 2022 Gold Plate Awards"]

“The recipients of the 2023 Executive Leadership Awards constitute a masterclass in food industry leadership,” said Leslie G. Sarasin, president and CEO of Arlington, Va.-based FMI. “Their time-tested skills and cultivated expertise promoted food industry growth and gracefully elevated the industry’s profile, even when faced with the toughest economic environment in 40 years.” 

The awards are as follows:

Herbert Hoover Award for Humanitarian Service: Bob Obray, CEO, Associated Food Stores (AFS), Salt Lake City (posthumous)​

Esther Peterson Award for Consumer Service: Elizabeth Chace-Marino, Manager of Government Affairs at Ahold Delhaize USA Inc., and Gordon Reid, President of Stop & Shop, Quincy, Mass. 

William H. Albers Award for Industry Relations: Rick Brindle, VP, Industry Development, Mondelēz International, Deerfield, Ill. 

Robert B. Wegman Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence: Art Potash, CEO, Potash Markets​, Chicago 

Glen P. Woodard Jr. Award for Public Affairs: Ron Edenfield, Chairman, Wayfield Foods Inc.​, Atlanta 

Sidney R. Rabb Award for Statesmanship: Joe Sheridan, President, Wakefern Food Corp.​, Keasbey, N.J.

In other FMI Midwinter news, Dan DelGiudice, VP of partnerships at Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.-based Hyer, won the second-annual FMItech Pitch Competition live at the conference. Six finalists presented their food retail technology startup solutions and event attendees voted on the winner, with the on-demand labor app selected as the attendee favorite. 

“Retailers have been accelerating their investments across a wide range of technologies and are seeing many initiatives pay off by enhancing overall capabilities,” noted FMI VP, Industry Relations Doug Baker. “We know from our research that most food retailers and suppliers expect their technology expenses to increase in coming years. This competition aligns with our members’ needs for creating operational and financial efficiencies in addition to enhancing the grocery shopping experience for their consumers.”

Contestants submitted three-minute video nominations that were reviewed by the FMI Technology Council Committee.

Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize that operates more than 2,000 stores across 23 states under the Food Lion, Giant Food, The Giant Co., Hannaford, and Stop & Shop brands, as well as e-grocer FreshDirect, is No. 10 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in the United States. Wakefern, which comprises almost 50 members that independently own and operate 360-plus supermarkets under the ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage and Fairway Market banners in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, is No. 25 on The PG 100. AFS, which serves nearly 450 independent retailers across the Intermountain West, is No. 73 on PG’s list. 

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