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FMI MIDWINTER: Industry Leaders Honored


The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) honored its own at its annual Midwinter Executive Conference, awarding industry veterans for their leadership, innovation and partner relations.

Ed Crenshaw, former Publix Super Markets CEO and current chairman of the board, received FMI’s highest honor, the Rabb Award. Joe Colalillo, president of ShopRite of Hunterdon County and chairman and CEO of Wakefern Food Corp., received FMI’s Wegman Award for exercising entrepreneurial leadership in the design of retail strategies and imaginative merchandising.

And FMI honored The Hershey Co. by giving two of its veterans an award celebrating excellence in trading partner relations and consumer and community service, the FMI William H. Albers Award: J.P. Bilbrey, president, CEO and chairman of the board; and Tom Joyce, retired VP of global customer and industry affairs.

The awards were presented Saturday at FMI’s annual conference, held this year at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess resort in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Crenshaw: Building a Legacy

FMI acknowledged Crenshaw for a 42-year career marked by excellence in serving the consumer, the community and the industry. In helping to present the award, Publix CEO Todd Jones said, “It’s a reflection of our company culture and the legacy that you have built. You’ve weathered recessions and fluctuating market trends; you’ve taught us how to be humble; you’ve been a mentor in our careers, a supporter of our communities, and built solid business relationships; and perhaps most importantly, you’ve given us your time and invaluable counsel.”

Crenshaw started as a stock clerk and has held management, buying and store operations positions until he earned the titles of EVP of retail in 1994, president in 1996 and CEO in 2008. Crenshaw’s reputation for exceptional leadership is well-regarded in the business and trade communities.

“Publix is consistently recognized as one of the top companies to work for 19 consecutive years, and it’s Ed’s remarkable leadership that has nurtured Publix’s reputation for two decades,” FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin remarked. “He has truly been integral to the strategic development of FMI policies and positions – from the development of industry resources, its health care agenda, labeling issues and its political action committee – all while keeping the needs of the consumer in a clear line of sight.”

Colalillo: Champion of Ideas

Sarasin commented on Colalillo’s honor, saying, “Joe is a champion of new ideas – he has consistently embraced new industry initiatives that empower businesses to better serve the consumer. For instance, Joe was a leading proponent of the food-safety training program, SafeMark, ensuring all of his employees were trained and certified. Joe is a straight-talking, honest broker of goods and services, and he inspires our industry to maintain its relevance by his keen commitment to doing what is right for the customer.”

Colalillo is generous with both his time and counsel, serving on multiple boards and board-level committees, including the FMI Board of Directors and the Food Safety Committee. He has been recognized in the past for launching consumer-facing technologies, initiating seafood sustainability programs, cultivating associate engagement and implementing health and wellness solutions in ShopRite stores. Colalillo is also a member of one of FMI’s non-competitive share groups that exchanges new ideas to better their businesses, the industry and the communities they serve.

A fellow share group member, CEO of Dorothy Lane Market and the 2013 Wegman Award winner, Norman Mayne, said, “I can’t think of anyone more deserving than Joe to receive an award that is named in the honor of an industry icon, Robert Wegman.”

The Colalillo family owns and operates three ShopRite stores located in Flemington, Greenwich, and Clinton, New Jersey, and together, these stores employ more than 1,100 associates.

Bilbrey and Joyce: Setting Standards

Representing one of Hershey’s leading customers, Kroger EVP of Retail Operations Fred Morganthall paid tribute to Bilbrey and Joyce’s collaboration approach to business: “As individuals, you have each made significant contributions to our industry; but together, you formed a standard-setting team for retailer-supplier relations.”

Sarasin added, “In food retail circles, the name The Hershey Company has become synonymous with trusted partner; the dependable quality of its products being matched by the reliable caliber of its leadership and its steadfast nurture of the retailer relationship. Each in his own unique way and collectively, J.P. and Tom have made sure the Hershey commitment to community support and trading partner excellence isn’t something just described with words but instead is a tangible reality experienced each day.”

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