MIAMI, FL – Food Marketing Institute (FMI) presented two awards today at its Midwinter Executive Conference that demonstrate how the voice of food retail is both a champion in communities and a fervent advocate in government. FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin honored two individuals who share a legacy of achievement in serving the greater community.

FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin honored the Glen P. Woodard Award and Herbert Hoover Award winners, saying, “These legacy-makers leveraged their voices to shape a more prosperous future for our industry and the communities in which they do business. Their roots in their respective businesses are as deep as their commitment to service; their words and actions will resonate for many years to come.”

Glen P. Woodard, Jr. Award

Rob Bartels, president and CEO, Martin's Super Markets, Inc.

Glen P. Woodard, Jr. set the standard for government affairs advocacy. His public policy efforts in Washington, DC, and state capitals live on with past Woodard Award recipients, and his spirit surfaces in the work of the 2018 honoree, Rob Bartels. As President and CEO of Martin's Super Markets, a family-owned business with a proud 70-year history, Rob embraces competition and he has earned the trust and loyalty of his customer base. In 2017, when a tax bill was making its way through Congress that could leave small businesses at a disadvantage to large corporations, Rob Bartels stepped forward.  He became a powerful voice for the independent operator. Rob has long represented the interests of food retailers on Capitol Hill and in his home state of Indiana, serving in a leadership capacity with Food Marketing Institute since the early 2000s. An ardent advocate for the shopper, Rob has demonstrated both with lawmakers and with shoppers that he has the ability to respond with empathy.

Herbert Hoover Award

Robert Ling Jr., president and CEO, Unified Grocers, Inc. (retired)

The great humanitarian, Herbert Hoover, demonstrated the link between the food industry and outreach. His dedication to service lives on through Hoover award winners, including 2018’s Bob Ling. Bob has made it his business to understand food retail – both the issues that face the industry and opportunities that allow it to better serve its customers. A thoughtful and creative leader, Bob has built strong relationships with Unified Grocers’ members, vendors and associates. Always looking for innovative ways to empower communities, Bob also led the merger of Unified Grocers with SUPERVALU.  The combined company offers value-added benefits and serves a broad range of independent grocers, helping them better compete in an evolving marketplace.

For Media:

Headshots and testimonials of the award winners are available at www.FMI.Org/Legacy (webpage live at 4 p.m. ET Saturday, Jan.27) 

Please make special requests for awards presentation ceremony photos through Heather Garlich.