Food Marketing Institute has awarded its most prestigious award in government relations, the Glen P. Woodard Jr. Public Affairs Award, to Rose Mitchell, Hy-Vee’s recently retired VP of education and governmental affairs.
She received the award at FMI’s Midwinter Executive Conference in Phoenix.
Mitchell has been a long-time mentor, advocate and educator in her home state of Iowa, in addition to her tenure serving as an industry representative on Capitol Hill in Washington.
At the start of her career path, Mitchell taught English at Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa, but soon opted for a career with Hy-Vee in 1979 as their first in-house corporate trainer. In 1992, she was elected by the Hy-Vee board of directors to VP of education and training, making her the first woman appointed to the position of VP. In 1996, she added public policy to her role, and in 2005, she was promoted to SVP, education and governmental affairs.
Jennifer Hatcher, FMI SVP of government and public affairs, remarked, “In government relations, Rose epitomized the ideal lobbyist for the industry — someone with a solid reputation in both the substance of the issues and access to key elected officials, which made a difference over and over again for FMI and the industry as we tackled priority issues in Washington and in the state capitols.”
Mitchell was active in federal and state politics and policy through her participation in FMI’s Government Relations Committee for nearly two decades. She rounded out her career guiding those policy decisions and plans as the chairperson of the committee.
Hatcher continued, “Rose and Hy-Vee have been critical to FMI and the industry on a host of issues big and small, legislative and regulatory, and federal and state. We would not have had the achievements we did without the skillful work of Rose and the Hy-Vee colleagues she enlisted on three issues in particular: swipe fees, front-of- package labeling and hours of service.”
Hy-Vee Chairman and CEO Randy Edeker remarked in a video testimonial, “Rose has been such an integral part of the governmental affairs portion of our company. She’s a leader, she’s known around the country; she’s someone that politicians recognize and know and respect. And she has a clear voice of the industry.”
Mitchell was the president of the Hy-Vee Foundation for 25 years, which awards $80,000 in educational scholarships yearly. She is chairperson of the Hy-Vee Political Action Committee and oversaw the distribution of PAC funds yearly to state and federal candidates. She served for many years as a member of the Cornell University Advisory Board, Ithaca, N.Y., which had oversight of the Cornell Distance Education Program. She also served on the business advisory committees of the American Institute of Business College (AIB) in Des Moines, and still serves on the same committee for her alma mater, Simpson College.
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