SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The ninth annual Friends of the Industry Dinner here was packed with awards for retail leaders.
The event, held during the Food Marketing Institute's Midwinter Executive Conference, featured awards by SN and by sponsors of the dinner. Dan Bagan, senior vice president of Penton Media, SN's parent company, presented SN's Champion of Diversity Award to Delhaize Group (including Food Lion, Hannaford Bros. and Sweetbay); the Community Service Award to K-VA-T Food Stores; and the Marketer of the Year Award to Stephen Vowles, senior vice president of marketing for Ahold's Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover chains.
The Friends Dinner unveiled its new “Founders Award” by recognizing four retailers. Those awards were for Jack Brown, chairman and chief executive officer, Stater Bros. Markets (presented by Mike Gorsche, partner, Accenture); William E. Crenshaw, president, Publix Super Markets (presented by John Lewis, president, the Nielsen Co.); Ric Jurgens, chairman, CEO and president, Hy-Vee (presented by Vince Burke, vice president of business development, Hallmark Cards); and Peter Lynch, chairman, president and CEO of Winn-Dixie Stores (presented by Paul Cooke, vice president and director of industry relations, Nestlé Purina PetCare).
The Friends Dinner drew some 400 top food industry executives, representing 50 FMI-member retail/wholesale companies as well as trade associations. This year's dinner's co-sponsors raised about $100,000 for FMI member companies and associations for scholarships and educational activities, said Bill Kies, principal, Kies Consulting, Chicago, who co-founded the dinner and now manages it. He said the event is on track to surpass the $500,000 mark in aggregate contributions next year.
Primary sponsors of the dinner included Accenture, Catalina Marketing, the Clorox Co., Comag Marketing Group, Crossmark, Driveline Retail, Diageo, Georgia-Pacific, Hallmark, Hershey Co., J.M. Smucker Co., Kies Consulting, Kimberly-Clark, Kraft Foods, Musco Family Olive Co., the Nielsen Co., Nestlé Purina PetCare and Nestlé Waters, PepsiCo, Source Interlink Cos., Spar Group and Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co.