The National Grocers Association (NGA) and the Alabama Grocers Association presented David Mitchell, president of Albertville, Ala.-based wholesaler Mitchell Grocery Corp. with the Spirit of America Award at the Alabama Grocers Association’s Food Industry Finest Event on Oct. 23. Mitchell was recognized for his lifetime commitment to the independent supermarket industry.
“David began working for the Mitchell Grocery Corp. when he was a teenager, and since then has been dedicated to the independent supermarket industry, providing leadership at the local and national level to advance the interests of hardworking grocers,” said Greg Ferrara, president and CEO of Arlington, Va.-based NGA. “We are honored to present David with this award and look forward to working with him, and his family, for years to come.”
“David’s leadership has been instrumental in scoring legislative wins, such as healthy food financing to SNAP expansion and E-WIC, for independent grocers in Alabama, ensuring that retailers throughout the state are able to compete and provide quality products and services to their communities,” added Ellie Taylor, president and CEO of the Birmingham-based Alabama Grocers Association.
A third-generation leader of his company, which was founded in 1945 and now serves more than 200 independent supermarkets in the Southeast, Mitchell began working in the family business at 12 years of age, pulling orders and unloading trucks. After graduating from college, he began a full-time career as director of operations at Mitchell Grocery Corp., rising to the position of president in 1995.
Mitchell sat on the Alabama Grocers Association board of directors from 1993 to 2000, serving as chairman in 1997, when he played a key role in achieving full implementation of the EBT program in Alabama. He has also been a member of NGA’s board of directors, advocating strongly on the national level for independent supermarkets.
Another recent recipient of the Spirit of America Award was Wettlin Treppendahl, president and CEO of Woodville, Miss.-based Treppendahl’s Super Foods, who was honored in September.