PHOENIX, AZ – January 25, 2011 – Richard G. Wolford, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Del Monte Foods, received the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) William H. Albers Industry Relations Award today, along with Arthur B. Drogue, retired senior vice president of customer development for the America’s at Unilever. Both men were recognized for their excellence in trading partner relations and consumer and community service. The awards were presented at FMI’s Midwinter Executive Conference in Phoenix, AZ.

     Del Monte Foods is one of the country's largest and most well-known producers, distributors and marketers of premium quality, branded pet products and food products for the U.S. retail market.
     Wolford began his career in the food industry at Dole Foods, joining the finance department in 1967. He was named president of Dole Packaged Foods in 1982, a position he held until 1987 when he left to join the food industry’s private sector. He partnered with venture capital investors to invest in and develop businesses in the food industry. In 1995, having identified Del Monte Foods as a high potential acquisition opportunity, Wolford began working with TPG (formerly Texas Pacific Group) to acquire the company. He was named chief executive officer of Del Monte Foods in 1997 after the completed acquisition. Shortly thereafter, Wolford was elected president of Del Monte in 1998 and chairman in 2000.

Wolford has said the guiding principle of his business philosophy is create a work environment that is fair, open and challenging while maintaining a high level of integrity both internally and externally.   

He has been an active member of the Grocery Manufacturers Association and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors.   

Under Wolford’s leadership, Del Monte Foods is committed to promoting healthy diets and lifestyles. They have sponsored the American Heart Association’s Start! San Francisco Heart Walk for the past five years, helping to raise nearly $3 million for cardiovascular disease research, education and prevention.   
     The William H. Albers Award was introduced in 1955 in honor of the first chairman of the Super Market Institute, one of FMI’s predecessor organizations.
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.

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Food Marketing Institute (FMI) conducts programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations on behalf of its 1,500 member companies — food retailers and wholesalers — in the United States and around the world. FMI’s U.S. members operate approximately 26,000 retail food stores and 14,000 pharmacies. Their combined annual sales volume of $680 billion represents three-quarters of all retail food store sales in the United States. FMI’s retail membership is composed of large multi-store chains, regional firms and independent supermarkets. Its international membership includes 200 companies from more than 50 countries. FMI’s associate members include the supplier partners of its retail and wholesale members.