Jim Saia, who retired from C&S Wholesale Grocers as VP of new business, has been inducted into the Rhode Island Food Dealers Association (RIFDA) Hall of Fame, now recognizing honorees with an Outstanding Service Award, Spirit of Rhode Island Award and Member of the Year Award.
Saia was recognized for outstanding service. He was honored this month during an event at Kirkbrae Country Club in Lincoln. Additionally, Farm Fresh Rhode Island received the Spirit award and the Member of the Year honor went to Garelick Farms.
Saia was saluted by independent grocer Tracy Anthony of Clement’s Marketplace.
“I admire and counted on him for his experience and knowledge,” Anthony said, as other RIFDA members touted their personal and business relationships with Saia.
In other news of the evening, keynote speaker Darin Early, president of the Rhode Island Commerce Corp., announced an economic upturn for the Rhode Island economy. He noted that, for the first time in 12 years, the state’s unemployment rate fell to 4.7 percent in January, below the national average of 4.8 percent. The last time Rhode Island’s unemployment was below the national rate was May 2005. Early also mentioned an uptick in small business loans and business expansion plans.
In addition, the event saw Bethany Paiva of Shaw’s in Riverside in the Best Bagger competition, beating out 21 others to represent Rhode Island in the national contest next year.