SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Food Marketing Institute on Monday presented Ric Jurgens with its most prestigious honor, the Sidney R. Rabb Award for excellence in serving the consumer, the community and the industry.
Jurgens retired as chairman and chief executive officer of Hy-Vee, West Des Moines, Iowa, last year after 43 years with the company.
“On so many occasions Ric shared with me his view that if we can make a difference in this life, we should,” said Leslie G. Sarasin, president and CEO, FMI. “Ric believes strongly in making a difference, ever pushing us to think progressively, but in pragmatic ways that are respectful of the past and informed by his extensive industry experience. His dedication to FMI is immeasurable.”
She cited in particular his focus on health and wellness at Hy-Vee.
“No one has been more of an industry leader in the area of health and wellness than Ric Jurgens,” Sarasin said. “He does this by what he has instituted at Hy-Vee — with such innovations as having a dietitian in every store — but also in the very way he lives.
“I think the industry accolades that most touch Ric’s heart are not the awards and recognitions he has accumulated, but the letters he receives from customers thanking him for things he has done that have made a difference in their lives,” Sarasin continued. “And it is not hyperbole to say his commitment to health and wellness is known from the streets of Des Moines all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, D.C.”
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Jurgens was strategically involved in the negotiations with government agencies regarding the FMI/Grocery Manufacturers Association joint industry initiative Facts-Up-Front nutrition labeling system, and last year fielded a call from the White House while at the lecture during the 2012 FMI Midwinter Conference.
In addition to serving on the board of Hy-Vee for 18 years, Jurgens has also served on the boards of FMI, the FMI Foundation and Topco Associates.
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