Alabama Grocers Association Holds Annual Convention
The Alabama Grocers Association recently held their 28th 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 Baytowne Golf Club. First Place golf winners included Brent Buriff, Polk’s Meat; Johnny Collins and Manny Shoemaker of Dean Foods and Ben Parr.
The evening followed with a silent auction and casino party. A silent auction and raffle chaired by Julie Goolsby of Hershey Foods was held Monday night which raised more than $30,000 for the Alabama Grocers Education Foundation. This year the Alabama Grocers Education Foundation awarded 60 scholarships valued at more than $57,500, 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, Speaker Mac McCutcheon, Alabama House of Representatives who gave a legislative overview.
Mr. Michael Sansolo, long-time senior vice president of the Food Marketing Institute and industry expert addressed how conventional brick and mortar stores can compete with virtual stores in the demanding food industry market.
Dr. Glenn Richey, Harbert Eminent Scholar in Supply Chain Management, Auburn University, discussed his team’s findings relative to alcohol beverage sales in our state.
Lastly, an Online Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Pilot Panel was given by Mr. Brandon Hardin, Food Assistance Division Director and Mr. Jimmy Wright, President, Wright’s Market, on the upcoming SNAP Pilot and the overall status of SNAP in Alabama.
Tuesday afternoon also included an exhibit hall with more than 74 booths with vendors from all aspects of the grocery industry. During the Exhibit Hall we held the Alabama’s Best Bagger Contest. Leah Claborn with Guntersville Foodland was the winner of the Bagging contest and will be going to the National Grocers Association Convention to compete on behalf of Alabama.
On Tuesday night, the Chairman’s Banquet was held with football legend Cornelius Bennett as celebrity entertainment.
Several Awards were given including the Spirit of Alabama Award, presented to Mr. Jimmy Wright, Wright’s Market, for his dedication and leadership as an advocate for the food industry and his active involvement in the pursuit to eliminate food deserts in the state of Alabama. New Board members were also installed.
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.