WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today Food Marketing Institute (FMI) proudly awarded Ellie Taylor, president of the Alabama Grocers Association, as the 2017 Donald H. MacManus Award recipient for her outstanding leadership and dedication to the grocery industry.Ellie Taylor, president of the Alabama Grocers Association and 2017 Donald H. MacManus Award recipient

FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin presented Taylor with the award at FMI’s Day in Washington fly-in event on Capitol Hill.

“Ellie’s passion for the food retail community is evident as she tirelessly dedicates herself to improving her community and the entire industry,” said Sarasin.

Taylor has been a successful champion for the food retail industry for more than twenty years. She was instrumental in creating “Eat At Home Alabama”, a consumer campaign to promote the grocery industry and eating at home. This campaign provided customers with tools on how to save money at grocery stores, how to effectively use coupons, recipes and food safety information. In 2016, she successfully lobbied for H.B. 174 “Alabama’s Uniform Minimum Wage Right-to-Work Act”, which provides the Alabama Legislature with the authority to establish uniform employment policies and regulations under collective bargaining under federal labor laws.

In 2015, she worked with legislature to pass S.B. 260, the Healthy Food Financing Act. This Act establishes the Healthy Food Financing Fund housed under the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Development Affairs and provides loans and grants to grocery stores for the construction, expansion and renovation of grocery stores in lower-income, underserved areas of rural and urban Alabama. In another effort to assist the low-income, she worked with her state to expand the number of days in the month that Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program (SNAP) recipients could purchase groceries. Because of this, SNAP clients, along with all customers have a better shopping experience. Stores can hire more labor and can provide fresher stocks of perishable items throughout the month.

Taylor has implemented “Buy Alabama Best” that garnered state legislature attention and promotion in their Capitol. The Buy Alabama’s Best campaign will run throughout the year and is designed to inform and educate consumers on what products are made, produced, manufactured and/or headquartered in the state of Alabama. Proceeds from the sales of Alabama products will benefit Children’s Hospital of Alabama.

Ellie Taylor is distinguished among food retail industry executives. She has previously served as the Southern representative on the FMI Government Relations Committee, and has served on the board of directors for the Food Industry Association Executives (FIAE). She is a past award winner of the Grocery Industry “Women Who Make a Difference” award, and is a member of the Food Industry Hall of Fame. 

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