IGA has announced the finalists for the 2013 IGA USA International Retailer of the Year honor.
“Earlier this year we reached out to our U.S.-based IGA licensed distribution companies, asking them to submit candidates for 2013 IGA USA International Retailer of the Year,” says Mark Batenic, CEO of IGA Inc. “They answered the call by sending us applications for some of the finest grocery retailers this country has to offer. In fact, we had more than twice the number of entries from year’s past, which made the selection process the most difficult in recent history.”
The seven finalists are:
• Tammy Bailey, Bailey’s IGA, Rochester Wash., Supervalu Inc. (Tacoma division);
• Blake Meek, Lawrence Brothers IGA, Roswell, N.M., Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc. (Fort Worth division);
• Jim Cherry, Cherry’s IGA, Girard, Ill., Supervalu Inc. (Champaign division);
• Nakul Patel, Mt. Plymouth IGA, Mt. Plymouth, Fla., Ira Higdon Grocery Co.;
• Jeff Zollpriester, Quality Foods IGA, Schofield, Wis., Supervalu Inc. (Green Bay division);
• Mike Trask, Granite Falls IGA, Granite Falls, Wash., Unified Grocers; and
• Ken Tucker, Evergreen Market IGA, Greenville, Calif., Unified Grocers.
“The innovation and creativity these progressive independent retailers put into grocery retailing is coupled with a sincere dedication to the customers and communities they serve,” said Batenic. “These are retailers who use their IGA resources to the fullest extent each and every day and, in doing so, they make IGA a stronger brand for us all.”
Beginning in December, Batenic, along with IGA SVPs Doug Fritsch and Dave Bennett, will visit each of the finalists’ stores to get a firsthand feel for how they serve their communities. Information gathered from those visits will help determine which three finalists will be honored as IGA USA International Retailers of the Year at the IGA Global Rally in Chicago in April.
In the featured photo at top, beginning top row from left: Tammy Bailey, Blake Meek, Jeff Zollpriester, Jim Cherry, Ken Tucker, Mike Trask and Nakul Patel.