By: Melaina Lewis, Manager, Communications, Food Marketing Institute

Executive Leadership AwardsI’ve always appreciated a good story. As a young employee still relatively new to the workforce, I have a keen interest to hear the stories and lessons of those who have dedicated their lives to an industry. Whether the story is printed in black or white, captured through photos, or played through your headphones, storytelling is a powerful way to connect people and share lessons that can transcend generations. I often find stories of leadership the most meaningful, and ultimately, influential. 

The food retail industry is fortunate to have a number of formidable leaders, and during times of uncertainty and transition, there’s nothing more comforting than to have courageous and nurturing leaders at the helm. 

While great leaders are forward thinking, they also maintain the necessary core values that build brands of success. If these individuals realize or not, they have built, cultivated, and imparted legacies impacting the overall industry of food retail and the local communities they serve. 

At the 2019 Midwinter Executive Conference, FMI honored six industry leaders who have left their mark on industry collaboration, diplomacy, community service, innovation, and trade relations. Here are their stories: 

What It Means To Be A Leader

2019 recipients of FMI’s Executive Leadership Awards for statesmanship, innovation and trading partner relations share their insights on leadership in today’s fast-paced food retail industry.

Panelists: Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee, Inc. (Rabb Award); Tom Heinen, Heinen's Grocery Stores (Wegman Award);  Muhtar Kent, The Coca-Cola Co. (Albers Award); Ern Sherman, retired, The Coca-Cola Co. (Albers Award)

Pillars of The Community

2019 recipients of FMI’s Executive Leadership Awards for humanitarian service, consumer affairs and public policy discuss corporate social responsibility and community in a consumer-value driven marketplace.

Panelists: Mark Batenic, IGA, Inc. (Hoover Award); Greg Calhoun, Calhoun Enterprises (awarded posthumously), represented by his son, Malcolm Calhoun; Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) (Peterson Award), represented by Jennifer Hatcher, Food Marketing Institute. 


Read more about the winners here.