By: Leslie G. Sarasin, President and CEO, FMI 

Food CityWhenever I visit a natural wonder such as the Grand Canyon, the limestone pinnacles of Bryce Canyon National Park or Mammoth Cave National Park in my home-state of Kentucky, I am struck by their magnitude and majesty. But that sense of awe is fueled by my awareness of the steady, consistent work Mother Nature had to perform day-in and day-out over a long stretch of time to create such marvels. Thousands of drops of water relentlessly pooling together over ages produced a force that slowly, steadily carved, cut and crafted the stone into works of magnificent splendor.

We are all moved when presented with a majestic outcome, but it takes an imaginative mind to pay equally appreciative attention to the daily discipline of relentless process that makes the grandeur possible. 

This Labor Day, I am grateful for the thousands of grocery workers who day-in and day-out pay attention to the details of their work, who maintain the discipline of devoted sacrifice and service to their communities, and who overcome fear and fatigue to show up for work because others are depending on them. The thousands of hours this devoted band of laborers assembled has produced a force steadily cutting through the stone-cold challenges of COVID-19 and has offered our nation a work of majesty. In the face of a pandemic, our industry offered tangible proof that if we keep on keeping on and all pull together, we will get through this. When shoppers were worried about the food supply, our reliable workforce bolstered the fading trust in the resiliency of the supply chain. When confronted with change and uncertainty all around, our steadfast laborers provided their customers with stability and, most importantly, offered their neighbors hope.

If you want to see what some of these creators of majesty look like, I invite you to take a look at the FMI store manager award winners. But mind you, these are but a few of the heroes in the food industry who daily contribute to our nation’s prosperity, and every single day work to feed American families. I am proud to be associated with such loyal and majestic laborers. 

2020 Store Manager Awards