ARLINGTON, VA — December 17, 2008 — The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) today announced a call for entries in the 2009 FMI Store Manager Awards, an annual program recognizing store managers who excel in customer and community service. The awards program will take place at Future Connect™, the new industry leadership education event May 4-6, 2009, in Dallas, TX.

“The store manager is essential to success of the supermarket and an integral part of the community it serves,” said Leslie G. Sarasin, FMI president and CEO. “We are proud to recognize store managers by acknowledging their leadership, customer service and community commitment with the FMI Store Manager Awards.”

Store managers or their associates are invited to send in stories that demonstrate how a manager created positive growth and customer satisfaction during the past 12-18 months. Entries will be judged on the manager’s ability to improve customer service and community relations, lead or mentor the store associate team, execute and achieve goals with the team, generate sales growth and positively impact the overall business of the store.

Three grand prize winners will be awarded a $1,000 cash prize. Nine finalists, including the three grand prize winners, will receive two tickets to Future Connect and three nights of hotel accommodations in Dallas.

Only store managers from FMI member companies who have been at the same place of business for at least one year are eligible.

Entries will be divided into three categories based on company size. Category A includes small retailers with 1-49 stores, Category B includes medium retailers with 50-199 stores and Category C includes large retailers with 200 or more stores. Judges will select three finalists and one grand prize winner from each category.

Last year’s winners include:

  • Ralph Towery, manager of MarketPlace Foods in Minot, ND — Category A, companies with 1-49 stores.

  • Cheryl Rondenelli, manager of the Hannaford Bros, Co., store in Clinton, NY — Category B, companies with 50-199 stores.

  • Mark Halvorson, manager of the Cub Foods store in St. Paul, MN — Category C, companies with 200 or more stores.

Contact Bonnie Cobbs at 202.220.0802 or for more information.