The Grocery Manufacturers Association presented its 2015 Industry Collaboration Leadership Award on Saturday to Steve Smith, president and CEO of K-VA-T Food Stores, Abingdon, Va.
The award, established in 2011, recognizes an industry leader who has demonstrated excellence in fostering collaboration among CPG companies. It was presented during Food Marketing Institute’s Midwinter Executive Conference in Miami.
“Steve Smith has exemplified through his extraordinary commitment the critical imperative of trading partner collaboration that extends beyond the traditional retailer-manufacturer relationship,” said Pamela G. Bailey, GMA president and CEO. “His outstanding record of service to FMI and the National Grocers Association has fundamentally changed the way our organizations work together.”
Smith has held various leadership positions with FMI, including board chair, chair of the FMI Foundation Board of Trustees and chair of its Public Affairs Committee; in addition, he helped revitalize the FMI Board Planning Committee. He is the only industry executive to chair both FMI and NGA.
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According to Bailey, Smith helped lay the groundwork for the Trading Partner Alliance, the industry’s forum for retailer-manufacturer collaboration; championed food safety reform; and oversaw the establishment of a recall management system to facilitate more effective communication between retailers and manufacturers.
“Steve believes in the power of allied trade organizations to effect positive change within the industry that will ultimately benefit the consumer,” Bailey said. “He represents the best of the grocery retail community, from the way he manages his business to the way he works with suppliers and industry stakeholders.”
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