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FMI Midwinter
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Friends Dinner marks anniversary and milestone

The annual Friends of the Industry Dinner celebrated an anniversary and a charitable donations milestone during the FMI Midwinter Executive Conference in Miami.

Friends Dinner co-founders Mike Gorshe and Bill Kies.Friends Dinner co-founders Mike Gorshe and Bill Kies.

This year’s dinner was the 15th annual gathering, and the aggregate total of its donations to local charitable programs hit the $1 million mark, said Bill Kies, co-founder, who is president and principal, Kies Consulting.

More than 125 organizations have benefited from this support from co-hosting companies. The donations are made to charities requested by participating retailers, and some of those charities have included WAFC Education Scholarship Fund, Children’s Miracle Network, Our Family Foundation and United Way of Central Florida.

A number of top retailers gave brief presentations at this year’s dinner to celebrate the anniversary and discuss their preferred charities. These included Kevin Davis, Bristol Farms; Neil Golub, Price Chopper; Kevin Holt, Delhaize America; James McCann, Ahold USA; and Todd Jones, Publix.

The dinner was co-founded by Kies and Mike Gorsche, partner and managing director, Accenture, as a forum for industry camaraderie and good works. Over the years it had also included a number of award presentations, including the SN Marketer of the Year.

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