MIAMI, FL – Food Marketing Institute (FMI) announced today three awards at its Midwinter Executive Conference that demonstrate the commitment the food retail industry shares with people and communities. FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin presented the awards to individuals who share a legacy of achievement in trade relations, entrepreneurial spirit and statesmanship.

Sarasin said, “Our industry is rooted in a commitment to people and communities. It shines through the food, the service and the support we provide. Visionaries who blazed new trails in their day established a noble legacy – a legacy that thrives and continues in the work of today’s esteemed industry leaders.”

William H. Albers Award

Irene Rosenfeld, Chairman, Mondelēz International

William H. Albers’ commitment to trade relations and consumer service lives on manifested by the many Albers award recipients, including our 2018 honoree, Irene Rosenfeld. Crediting her strong sports background as a key factor in her leadership development, Irene is known for her staff-building skills and determination. She has led her teams to breathe new life into established brands and create the world’s greatest snacking company. Her pioneering efforts have propelled her to be one of only 32 female leaders among the U.S.’s 500 largest companies.

Robert B. Wegman Award

Oscar Gonzalez, Co-President and COO, Northgate Gonzalez Market

Since 2012, FMI has honored Robert B. Wegman’s innovation and imaginative strategies. This year’s 2018 award winner, Oscar Gonzalez, adds another chapter in the heritage of entrepreneurial leadership. Co-owner of Northgate Markets, the largest chain of Mexican supermarkets in the U.S., Oscar has further transformed the store. Today, Northgate Markets develops their own high-quality brands and the innovative business even touts departments specializing in technology to design and construction. And, under Oscar’s leadership, the company created programs focused on education, healthy eating options and community empowerment.

Sidney R. Rabb Award

Jerry Garland, Former President and CEO, Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc.

Sidney R. Rabb’s commitment to the consumer, community and the industry continues to shine in the work of Jerry Garland. Throughout his career, Jerry has built relationships among trading partners and elected officials, advocating for independent supermarket operators along the way. During his tenure at the cooperative Associated Wholesale Grocers, Jerry once said, “I have 633 bosses – all retailers.” His commitment to shared success led to AWG’s increased revenue, decreased operating expenses, and funds paid back to member stores and their communities. Jerry served as FMI’s board chairman during one of the most regulatory-laden times in our history, most notably working with FMI to navigate the biggest change to the food safety system in 70 years, the Food Safety Modernization Act.