March 2018 Edition of Alabama Grocer Digital Magazine
Please find below the March 2018 edition of Alabama Grocer Digital Magazine! This added member benefit is meant to be shared so feel free to forward this email to associates in your organization or store level teams! Team members who want to receive the magazine directly can sign up by sending their name, title, company and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you enjoy the Alabama Grocer, please consider advertising in an upcoming issue. We can only continue this benefit, if it is supported by the members.
This edition features stories on: Buy Alabama’s Best Campaign; Redefining the Rules of Engagement, Creating Cultures of Leadership; AGA Out and About; a message from the Chairman and the President; and several articles from writers across the nation.
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The Alabama Grocers Association held their annual Food Industry Finest Luncheon on Thursday, November 2nd honoring their retailer, wholesaler and vendor of the year award winners. Speakers included Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives Mac McCutcheon, President Pro Tempore of the Senate Del Marsh and Motivational Speaker Jeremiah Castille.
The food retail industry in Alabama provides of 69,000 jobs with over $2.2 billion in annual wages paid. Grocers pay over 1.2 billion in state taxes and have a total economic impact on the state’s economy of over $12 billion dollars.
More than 150 people attended the event at The Club to discuss the work of the Alabama Grocers Association in 2017 and those in the food, beverage and grocery profession here in Alabama.
“Each of these fine individuals hold a special place within the Alabama Grocery Industry. They are committed to growing and improving the grocery industry in Alabama,” said Ellie Taylor, President Alabama Grocers Association. “We are thankful for the opportunity to honor them and their commitment.”
Vendor of the Year
Vendor of the Year is Mr. Eddy Quinley of Advantage Solutions. Eddy started his grocery career as a direct retail sales representative with the Campbell Sales Company, followed by opportunities at The Hershey Chocolate Company and The Harper Sales Company. In 1989, he started with Advantage Solutions Company in Mobile and is currently Business Development Manager calling on Associated Grocers of the South, Mitchell Grocery Corporation and Piggly Wiggly Alabama Distributing Company.
Eddy has been involved in the Alabama Grocers Association for over 12 years and joined the Board of Directors in 2013. Eddy has received numerous awards and recognition for the work he has done in the food industry. He was awarded the Merit award from Campbell Sales Company in 1981 and 1987; and in 2009 received the Vendor of the Year award from the Associated Grocers of the South, the Broker of the Year from the Alabama Grocers Association and the Chairman’s Award from Advantage Sales & Marketing.
“It is a great honor to be chosen for this award. To think that the people I work with would vote for me to receive such a recognition is overwhelming.” said Eddy Quinley about winning the 2017 Vendor of the Year Award.
Retailer of the Year
Retailer of the Year is Mr. Darwin Metcalf of Western Markets. Darwin started his career at 9 years old shopping and delivering groceries for his elderly neighbors from the local A&P on the Southside of Birmingham for 15 cents a trip. At age 10, he worked as a local paperboy making $7 a week. He continued this route until he was old enough to be hired at the local Winn-Dixie bagging groceries. In 1967, Mr. Stanley Virciglio saw Darwin bagging groceries at Winn-Dixie and offered him a job at the Western Highlands.
Through the 50 years working at Western, Darwin has been a night manager, produce manager, assistant store manager, store manager, director of operations and executive vice president. Early in his career with Western he set a goal for himself, to be president. In 2007, that goal was achieved when he was named President/Chief Operating Officer.
Darwin joined the Alabama Grocers Association Board of Directors in 1998, served as Chairman in 2003 and won the Retailer of the Year award in 2004.
“Coming from an organization I love and admire makes this very special. The group of retailers nominated are a very special group and I am humbled and honored to be considered among them.” said Darwin Metcalf about winning the 2017 Retailer of the Year.
Wholesaler of the Year
Wholesaler of the Year is Mr. Delma Craft of Piggly Wiggly Alabama Distributing Company. Delma started in the grocery business in 1978 at Piggly Wiggly Southern in Vidalia, Georgia as a produce selector and loading trucks for delivery. In 1988, Piggly Wiggly Vidalia was sold to RFS out of California and ran the operation until Bruno’s Supermarkets of Birmingham bought the warehouse in 1990. In 1994, Delma was relocated to Birmingham, Alabama where he was a buyer and category manager for Bruno’s.
Delma went to work for Piggly Wiggly Alabama Distributing Company in September of 1998 as a grocery buyer. He worked through the ranks to his current position of Vice President & Director of Procurement. He also buys commodities and works with the Piggly Wiggly operators on a daily basis.
Delma learned his dedicated work ethic from his father. He always told him no matter what, do what you say you are going to do, show up and give it all you got. Growing up in Lyons, Georgia on his grandparent’s farm gave him a great insight to a hard day’s work and he has taken these life lessons to heart. Over the years he has earned the respect from the co-ops and his co-workers. His knowledge of grocery procurement and his experience has made him a great ambassador for the Piggly Wiggly Alabama Distributing Company and the grocery industry.
When asked what winning this award means to him, Delma replied “It tells me a lot of independent operator respect the job the employees are doing at PWADC.”
“We are honored to have so many amazing people in the grocery industry that care about their customers and the communities they serve. The three individuals we honored today all have a high standard and level of commitment to their companies and the people of Alabama,” said Frank D’Amico, III of BTC Wholesale and Chairman of the Alabama Grocers Association. “I congratulate each of them on receiving the Associations highest honor”.
About the Alabama Grocers Association: The Alabama Grocers Association is a state trade association representing the grocery retail industry since 1990. With more than 135 retail members operating nearly 1,000 stores nationwide, as well as over 225 manufacturers, brokers, wholesalers and other members, the AGA is the voice of the industry in the state of Alabama. The food retail industry in Alabama provides over 69,000 jobs with over $2.2 billion in annual wages paid. Grocers pay over $1.2 billion in state taxes and have a total economic impact on the state’s economy of over $12 billion dollars. For more information, go to www.alabamagrocers.org.
Alabama Grocers Association Holds Annual Convention
The Alabama Grocers Association recently held their 27th Annual Convention at the Sandestin Beach Resort in Destin, Florida. The Association brought members from all aspects of the grocery industry together to promote the growth and success of the food industry throughout the state of Alabama.
The convention kicked off with the Larry D. Eddleman, Sr. Golf Classic at the Baytown Golf Club. The evening followed with a silent auction and casino party. First Place golf winners included Graham Minor, Trey Day and Brad Maness with Bevco Beverages and Pete Mahoney with Food Giant.
A silent auction and raffle chaired by Johnny Collins of Barber’s Dairy was held Monday night which raised more than $30,000 for the Alabama Grocers Education Foundation. This year the Alabama Grocers Education Foundation awarded 61 scholarships valued at more than $59,500, and to date has awarded more than 1.2 million dollars in total scholarships.
The business forum was held the following day and included Keynote Speaker, Thom Singer, a sales and marketing veteran, who spoke on connecting with people in a gadget crazed world. Mr. Eric Pulwicz, FBI Special Agent, held an active shooter seminar and informed attendees how to manage real-life situations, address employer responsibilities and develop workplace strategies.
ABC Administrator Mac Gipson addressed the group on the new Off-Premise Tasting Regulations that go into effect August 5, 2017.
Stacey Neumann, Vendor Management Director, Alabama WIC Department addressed attendees on the upcoming e-WIC rollout beginning in March 2018.
Lastly, an e-Commerce Panel was held to teach attendees the newest consumer trends and best practices related to home delivery and click-and-collect services.
Tuesday afternoon also included an exhibit hall with more than 70 booths with vendors from all aspects of the grocery industry.
On Tuesday night, the Chairman’s Banquet was held with football legend Al Del Greco as celebrity entertainment. Several Awards were given including the presentation of a Joint Resolution from Senate Agriculture Conservation and Forestry Chair Tom Whatley commemorating the SNAP Online Pilot Program to Jimmy Wright, Wright’s Market.
Association Legislative Consultant Patrick McWhorter presented Senator Jabo Waggoner with the Spirit of Alabama Award, which recognizes individuals that are involved in the support of pro-business legislation and are advocates for the grocery community in the state of Alabama.
A Joint Resolution was presented to Chairman Peter V. Gregerson commemorating his Glen P. Woodard award from the Food Marketing Institute from Senator Jabo Waggoner.
Mr. Keith Lusk was given a plaque of appreciate for his 12 years serving on the AGA Board and was made honorary lifetime member.
New Officers and Directors were installed. Mr. Peter V. Gregerson, Jr., Gregerson’s Foods, was given the Chairman’s Plaque of Appreciation for his dedicated work during his two-year term as Chairman and the gavel was transferred to Mr. Frank D’Amico, III, BTC Wholesale, who will serve as Chairman until 2019.
About the Alabama Grocers Association: The Alabama Grocers Association is a state trade association representing the grocery retail industry since 1990. With more than 135 retail members operating nearly 1,000 stores nationwide, as well as over 225 manufacturers, brokers, wholesalers and other members, the AGA is the voice of the industry in the state of Alabama. For more information, go to www.alabamagrocers.org.