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As FMI chairman, Randy Edeker, who has been at the helm of Hy-Vee since 2012, will chair the supermarket industry’s largest retail trade group as it moves forward under a new identity.

Hy-Vee’s Randy Edeker tabbed as new FMI chairman

New FMI-The Food Industry Association board announced at Midwinter Executive Conference

Hy-Vee Chairman, President and CEO Randy Edeker was named the new chairman of FMI-The Food Industry Association this weekend at the FMI Midwinter Executive Conference in Phoenix.

Edeker takes the reins as FMI chairman for the 2020-21 term from Joseph Sheridan, president and chief operating officer of Wakefern Food Corp., who becomes immediate past chairman on the FMI board of directors. Sheridan chaired FMI for the 2018-19 period.

FMI also announced nine new vice chairman appointments, seven new chairman’s appointees and four new product supplier members to the board at the conference.

Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI-The Food Industry Association, remains in that post on the board. All board officers and chairman’s appointees serve two-year terms.

“FMI views the marketplace — in its many manifestations — as the place where the food industry fulfills its mission of feeding and enriching society. We embrace the full breadth of the food industry, particularly as companies become more interconnected and vertically integrated up and down the supply chain,” Sarasin said in a statement. “I am especially grateful to our immediate past chairman, Joe Sheridan, along with the entire FMI Executive Committee, for their vital role in influencing our direction to activate and enact our 2019-approved strategic plan. Now, under Randy Edeker’s leadership, we will lead with a renewed focus in this expanded food marketplace.”

Edeker, who has been at the helm of Hy-Vee since 2012, will chair the supermarket industry’s largest retail trade group as it moves forward under a new identity. Last week, just a couple of days before the Midwinter Executive Conference launched on Jan. 23, the Arlington, Va.-based organization unveiled a name change from the Food Marketing Institute to FMI-The Food Industry Association.

The rebranding aims to widen FMI’s focus from its traditional membership of grocery and other food retailers to include their suppliers and other business partners. In announcing the new identity, Sarasin said FMI still “views retail as the heart of the food industry” but noted that representation of the food sector demands an “expanded aperture” to reflect the “array of experiences of today’s grocery shopper” and the interconnected supply chain.

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Wakefern Food Corp.'s Joseph Sheridan, who chaired FMI for the 2018-19 term, now becomes immediate past chairman.

Appointed as vice chairs for FMI’s 2020-21 term were Brian George of Alex Lee Inc. (finance), Jerry Golub of Schenectady, N.Y.-based Price Chopper Supermarkets (communications), Kevin Holt of Ahold Delhaize USA (industry relations), Laura Karet of Giant Eagle (public affairs), Susan Morris of Albertsons Cos. (food safety), Michael Needler Jr. of Fresh Encounter Inc. (member services), Steve Presley of Nestlé USA (product supplier), Steve Spinner of United Natural Foods Inc. (wholesaler) and Lauri Youngquist of Knowlan's Super Markets (independent operators).

The new chairman’s appointees are Tim Figge of Hussmann Corp. Anthony Hucker of Southeastern Grocers, Kenneth McGrath of Save-A-Lot (Onex Corp.), Lori Mitchell-Keller of SAP America, John Ross of IGA Inc., Randy Skoda of Topco Associates and Tobias Wasmuht of Netherlands-based SPAR International.

And joining the FMI board as product supplier members are Mary Barnard of Mondelez International, Steven Oakland of TreeHouse Foods, Michael Potthoff of Anheuser-Busch and Steven Williams of PepsiCo.

On Saturday at the conference, FMI also honored six food industry executives with 2020 Executive Leadership Awards.

Craig Boyan, president of H-E-B, won the Glen P. Woodard Jr. Award for public affairs, and Festival Foods President and CEO Mark Skogen received the Robert B. Wegman Award for entrepreneurial excellence. Kevin Davis, president and co-CEO of Bristol Farms, was named winner of the Sidney R. Rabb Award for statesmanship, while the William H. Albers Award for industry relations went to Al Carey, retired North America CEO for PepsiCo. W. Lee Flowers & Co.’s retired president Henry Johnson took the Herbert Hoover Award for humanitarian service, and Natalie Menza-Crowe, director of health and wellness at Wakefern Food Corp., was given the Esther Peterson Award for consumer service.

In addition, on Sunday, the FMI Foundation recognized recognized eight food retailers, two suppliers and one community collaborator with Gold Plate Awards for 2019 initiatives that helped families achieve one more meal each week at home. The awards for the meal solutions programs were presented at Stir It Up!, the foundation’s annual fundraising event at the conference.

The Gold Plate Award winners were Wakefern Food Corp. and Hy-Vee (retailer 200-plus stores), Tops Markets (retailer 50-199 stores), Northgate Gonzalez Market (retailer 1-49 stores) and Newport Avenue Market (rising star). Honorable mentions also went to Stop & Shop, Hannaford and Martin’s Super Markets.

Campbell Soup Co. earned a Gold Plate Award in the supplier category, with an honorable mention for Eggland’s Best, while the National Pork Board was recognized in the community collaborator category.

The 2020 FMI Midwinter Executive Conference drew nearly 1,100 attendees, including 248 retailer/wholesaler and 93 supplier attendees, representing 35 states and five countries. The next conference is slated to be held Jan. 22-25, 2021, FMI said.

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