The National Grocers Association (NGA) presented two industry leaders with top awards during the 2018 NGA Show in Las Vegas: Chris Coborn, chairman, president and CEO of St. Cloud, Minn.-based Coborn’s Inc., received the Thomas K. Zaucha Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, and Kristi Magnuson Nelson, president and CEO of Grand Forks, N.D.-based Hugo’s Family Marketplace, garnered the Women Grocers of America’s (WGA) Woman of the Year Award.
Coborn, a second-generation leader of an employee-owned business, has held such prominent industry roles as a past NGA chairman and current chair of the board of Elk Grove Village, Ill.-based Topco. Two key factors of the company’s success under his leadership have been aggressive expansion and the risk-taking that accompanies it. Currently, Coborn’s operates 54 supermarkets and 70 convenience, liquor and other retail stores across the Midwest.
“Chris exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit of this award as he has looked for ways to expand his business, develop new formats, and provide a terrific value proposition in the marketplace to better serve his customers and community,” said Peter Larkin, president and CEO of Arlington, Va.-based NGA.
Since 2009, the prestigious Thomas K. Zaucha Award, presented by Deerfield, Ill.-based Mondelēz International and named for NGA's first president and CEO, has been given annually to recognize an independent grocer demonstrating persistence, vision and creative entrepreneurship.