ARLINGTON, VA –January 26, 2010 – Samuel Randolph “Randy” Roberts, the former director of government relations at Publix, was honored posthumously by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) with the Glen P. Woodard, Jr., Public Affairs Award today. The award recognizes Roberts’ leadership in helping the supermarket industry address important government issues. The award was presented to Roberts’ wife, Sara, at FMI’s Midwinter Executive Conference in Orlando, FL.     

“Randy graced the industry with his presence for just six years as the director of government relations at Publix. Yet, his impact was huge,” said FMI president and chief executive officer Leslie G. Sarasin. “Working with lawmakers and competing interests, Randy became a consummate bridge-builder, always seeking common ground. The industry has lost one of its most passionate and effective advocates. Yet, the industry has gained a sterling example of the right way to represent the industry, balance work and life, and benefit communities.”

     Roberts devoted extensive time recruiting political candidates who understood business. He was instrumental in forming the Central Florida Business Leadership Institute, which teaches pro-business political candidates how to campaign for office.

     Roberts and his wife Sara share a passion for helping children, especially those with special needs, through organizations such as Best Buddies Florida and Dreams Come True. The Randy Roberts Foundation was established last year to grant scholarships to students with the same kind of passion as Roberts.

     Roberts was also a dedicated fan of the University of Florida and its Gators football team. He served as vice chairman of the school’s Government Relations Advisory Committee. The school recognized Randy’s boundless support by inscribing his name on a brick in the landmark Gator Walk.   

     Roberts is the 15th recipient of the Woodard Award. Glen Woodard led public affairs advocacy in the supermarket industry during the second half of the 20th century, representing Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., and FMI.

The FMI Midwinter Executive Conference is the industry’s education and networking event for top executives of retail, wholesale and supplier companies representing the entire scope of the food and grocery products industry. The conference focuses on the major challenges and opportunities for the food industry.