LAS VEGAS, NV — May 5, 2008 — The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) recognized a Minot, ND, store manager today as one of three Grand Prize winners of the 2008 Store Manager Awards at the FMI Show plus MARKETECHNICS®.

     Ralph Towery, of MarketPlace Foods, was recognized for his service to his store and customers and his ability to make amazing things happen in his community.

     Towery pioneered special promotions at his store to encourage shoppers to choose MarketPlace Foods as the destination for all their grocery needs. For example, a graduation cake promotion in the bakery department has become so popular that the store needs to bring in a semi-tractor trailer to deliver all the pre-ordered cakes.

     His dedication to helping out his community has always been strong. Towery has been a great supporter of the Breast Cancer Awareness campaign in Minot. His store offers a variety of awareness events in which proceeds benefit the local hospital cancer unit. He also served as the chairperson of the committee that built a new baseball field for the local youth program.
For the award competition, companies submitted entries highlighting store managers who established programs to improve their communities or stores by enhancing customer relations and store operations, increasing their consumer base or revitalizing the community. The contest was open to in-store managers employed in the food retail, mass merchandise and convenience store industries.

Judges evaluated the entries on originality, creativity, impact on store growth, customer satisfaction and community relations. The grand prize winners each receive a $1,000 check and a special award trophy.