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Food Lion Names 2016 Store Manager of the Year

Food Lion has crowned Wendy Thompson its 2016 Ralph W. Ketner Store Manager of the Year. Thompson, store manager of a Food Lion store in Lumberton, N.C., was chosen from a group of more than 1,000 store managers across the company.

“It is such an honor to receive this award and be able to bring it home to my store and my region,” said Thompson. “2016 was an extraordinary year for my team and my peers. They endured and persevered through life-changing moments and came out better than ever. They make me a better person each and every day, and this award is for them.”

Thompson received the award on Feb. 16 at Food Lion’s headquarters in Salisbury, N.C., surrounded by her family and colleagues, as well as associates and leaders from across the company.

“The annual Store Manager of the Year event is one of my favorite days of the year, and I can't think of a better way to honor [late Food Lion co-founder Ralph W.] Ketner than naming this prestigious award after him," noted Food Lion President Meg Ham. “Our store managers bring to life our brand, our strategy and everything we do for our customers. Wendy does a tremendous job leading her team of associates and serving the community every day, especially during the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Whether it was her customers or her own store associates, Wendy was there for her associates and neighbors during this difficult time. We're so proud Wendy is a member of our Food Lion family, and we thank her for everything she does each and every day.”

Also Food Lion's 2016 Southern division winner, Thompson has been a Food Lion associate for 22 years, the last 14 of them as a store manager. The other 2016 Division Store Manager Excellence Award recipients were Jeff Estes, Mooresville, N.C.; Leslie Johnson, Durham, N.C.; Brandon Phillips, Elkin, N.C.; and Matthew Webber, Falling Waters, W. Va.

In Thompson’s honor, the company will donate $1,000 to Robeson House Inc. and $1,000 to Borderbelt AIDS Resource Team, two local feeding agencies that her store teams with year-round for food donations and other associate volunteer projects. Food Lion will also donate $1,000 to each of the feeding agencies served by the divisional winners’ stores.

The Ralph W. Ketner Store Manager Excellence Awards recognize exceptional store managers who enrich the lives of Food Lion's customers, associates and the communities they serve, successfully lead the business, and support and inspire others. The award was renamed this year to honor Ketner, who died in May 2016.

Food Lion has more than 1,000 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states, and employs more than 63,000 associates. The chain is a company of Delhaize America, a U.S. division of Netherlands-based Royal Ahold Delhaize Group.

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