ARLINGTON, VA — January 22, 2007 — Safeway Chairman, President and CEO Steve A. Burd received the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) 2006 Glen P. Woodard, Jr., Public Affairs Award today, honoring his leadership in helping the retail food industry address its most important government issues. FMI Board Chair Jeff Noddle presented the award at the association’s 2007 FMI Midwinter Executive Conference in Grand Lakes, FL.
Burd’s impact on public affairs in the industry has been "swift and strong," Noddle said. "He has built a world-class public affairs operation at Safeway, making the company a major force at the state and federal levels."
Noddle cited Burd’s strong role in shaping policies on mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL), interchange fees, tax reform, healthcare, organized retail crime, pension reform, workers’ compensation and supermarket pharmacies issues.
For example, Burd was instrumental in organizing a FMI coalition to address organized retail crime, a growing problem involving theft rings, which costs the retail sector more than $30 billion annually. "He set in motion a campaign to educate elected officials and craft legislation to curtail this multi-billion dollar problem," said Noddle. "Our industry is poised to benefit from his leadership."
For more than a decade, Burd has been a leading voice for market-based reforms to fix the nation’s healthcare system, Noddle said. Burd is calling for more individual control of healthcare decisions and incentives for preventive measures to reduce costs and improve patient care.
Under his leadership, Safeway has become a national leader in supporting charitable causes. Over the past decade, the company has donated more than $1 billion to education, health and wellness, cancer research and prevention. In 2005 alone, Safeway's charitable giving was the equivalent of 25 percent of its net income.
Burd is the 12th recipient of the Woodard award, which was inaugurated in 1996. Glen Woodard pioneered public affairs advocacy in the supermarket industry during the 20th century, representing Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., and the industry through FMI.
For photos of the award presentation, click here.