The Alabama Grocers Education Foundation held its Annual Spring Golf Outing on Thursday, April 5, 2018 at Inverness Country Club in Birmingham, Alabama. This tournament raised funds for the Alabama Grocers Education Foundation, to provide scholarships to employees and children of employees of Alabama Grocers Association companies. To date AGEF has awarded over 1.2 million dollars because of the tremendous support of our members at golf tournaments such as this one.
The winners of the golf tournament were as follows:
First Place Team: Bill Keeler, Orchids Paper; Earl Dennis, D&T Sales and Marketing; Owen Cross, Carmino Real Foods and Doug Demedicis, Active Sales.
Second Place Team: Hal Tolleson, Mike Milo, Clint Hardman and Chad Kelly, United Johnson Brothers.
Third Place Team: Chris Woods and Gene Phillips, Truno Retail Technologies, Rob Renfroe, Renfroe Market and Andrew Virciglio, Piggly Wiggly.
Closest to the Pin: Ron McClellan, Food Outlet
Longest Drive: Will Hartness, EcoLab.
The Alabama Grocers Education Foundation Golf Outings would not be as successful without the many companies that sponsored this event and contributed their goods. The 2018 Spring Presenting Sponsor was Bimbo Bakeries. Additional sponsors of the AGEF 2018 Fall Tournament included A&R Super Markets, Alabama Crown, Alex Kontos Fruit Company, Associated Grocers of the South, Associated Wholesale Grocers, Avant Supermarket Group, Bell Media, Bevco Beverages, Buffalo Rock Pepsi Cola Company, Bunzl Distribution/Eco Lab, Bunzl Distribution/Pactiv, Byars | Wright, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United, Inc., Community Coffee,
Country Delite Farms, D&T Sales, Edlinco, Federated Insurance, Flowers Baking Company, Frozen Specialties, Ice Cream Specialties, Living Essentials, Merrill Lynch, Mission Foods, Mitchell Grocery Corporation, Ole’ Mexican Foods, Inc., Orchids Paper Company, Palermo’s Pizza/Advantage Solutions, Piggly Wiggly Alabama Distributing, Publix Super Markets, Inc., R.L. Zeigler Company, Snyder’s-Lance, SuperValu, Inc., The Hershey Company, Truno, Retail Technologies, United-Johnson Brothers of Alabama and UTZ Quality Foods/Golden Flake.
AGA WORK ON HEALTHY FOOD FINANCING TO BECOME A REALITY
On Wednesday, April 4th, Governor Kay Ivey awarded a total of $300,000 in grants to provide primarily low-income persons and senior citizens with improved access to healthy and fresh foods. These grants stemmed from the work of our Association, Voices for Alabama’s Children, and the Joseph S. Bruno Foundation and a Food Summit, held in November 2014 to discuss the possibility of Healthy Food Financing in Alabama and how we could use a variety of tools to bring this to our state. Through research and working with The Food Trust a report was created showing over 1,8 million Alabama residents, including nearly half a million children live in lower-income communities underserved by grocery stores.
All this pre-work served as the catalyst to SB260, the Healthy Food Financing Act, Sponsored by Senator Greg Reed, which passed in the 2015 Legislative Session, which provided the vehicle for private and public funding and was to be housed under the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. Projects eligible for financing include construction of new grocery stores as well as store renovations, expansion and infrastructure upgrades that improve the ability and quality of fresh produce and other healthy foods. Financing can be used for site acquisition and preparation, construction and build-out costs, equipment and furnishings, workforce training and security, pre-development costs such as market studies and appraisals, energy efficiency measures and working capital for first-time inventory and start-up costs.
In 2016, we passed SJR105, the Healthy Food Financing Study Commission to report to the Legislature on the need for funding. We know that in addition to increasing families’ access to healthy foods, new and improved grocery stores can help revitalize lower-income neighborhoods by generating foot traffic and will attract complementary services such as banks, pharmacies and restaurants, thus reducing poverty and crime. It also creates and maintains local jobs through new hiring opportunities and provides upgrades and renovations that help keep stores viable, helping to retain existing jobs in local communities.
Out of the $300,000 that was awarded, $110,000 was awarded to the grocery community. Click here to see the Governor’s Press Release and the full list of winners.
Congratulations to our AGA Member Winners –
- Peoples Piggly Wiggly of Cherokee – $50,000 to renovate and upgrade equipment to reopen a grocery store. The need for the store is in response to the closing of the town’s only grocery store in 2017, requiring residents to travel about 40 miles round-trip to obtain a full-line of groceries including fruits, vegetables and meats.
- Wright’s Markets Inc. of Opelika – $60,000 to customize two vans to expand its Wright 2 U Online Shopping and Delivery program in Lee and Russell counties.
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.