ARLINGTON, VA – January 12, 2009 – Rich Niemann, Sr., chairman of Niemann Foods, received the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) 2009 Sidney R. Rabb Award today for his community involvement and strong advocacy on behalf of the supermarket industry. FMI Board Chairman Steve Smith presented the award to Niemann at the association’s Midwinter Executive Conference in Orlando, FL.

      “Rich regards community service as the key to success and made it part of his company’s culture,” said Smith. “The management teams at Niemann Foods give generously and help sponsor many events that benefit the community.” For example, the company:

  • Sponsors the Illinois State Fair, Special Olympics, heart and cancer walks, relays for life and fundraisers for hospitals and health care centers.

  • Aids the victims of natural disasters — from hurricanes to tsunamis.

  • Funds scholarships for business students at Quincy University.

  • Supports the YMCA and sports programs at Quincy University, Culver Stockton College, Western Illinois University and the University of Illinois.

  • Partners with the Salvation Army in most markets for a yearly Fall Harvest Food Drive, collecting and donating 100,000 products to food banks.

     Niemann has given generously of his time to work on industry issues, serving as FMI Board vice chairman of public affairs from 1991-1993 and chairman of FMI’s political action committee, FoodPAC, from 1994-1996. In fact, he received the first FMI Glen P. Woodard, Jr., Public Affairs Award in 1996, honoring his leadership in addressing government issues for the industry.

     He has been a strong and vocal proponent of the effort to repeal the estate tax and a leader in the industry campaign to make organized retail crime a federal felony, Smith said. In fact, last year Dick Durbin, the U.S. senator from Niemann’s home state of Illinois and a Democratic leader, introduced the Combating Organized Retail Crime Act, comprehensive legislation to address these crimes.

FMI established the Sidney R. Rabb Award in 1977 to honor supermarket industry leaders for outstanding service to the community, consumers and the industry. Its namesake pioneered the consumer- and community-driven role of the supermarket as chief executive of The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company.