Sherm’s Thunderbird Markets Wins Unified Grocers’ 2017 Ben Schwartz Retail Grocery Visionary Award

Sherm and Wanda Olsrud with their son Steve.

Sherm and Wanda Olsrud with their son Steve.

Sherm’s Thunderbird Markets is the recipient of Unified Grocers’ 2017 Ben Schwartz Retail Grocery Visionary Award. The grocer was recognized during a special luncheon in Medford, Oregon, on Thursday. The award is named after Ben Schwartz, former Unified board chairman and nationally recognized retail visionary. Schwartz celebrates his 100th birthday in July.

The award that carries Schwartz’s name is presented to an independent retail grocer or grocery company that’s a leader and innovator in the industry and a pillar of their local community. It recognizes retailers who have consistently demonstrated initiative, creativity and leadership within their businesses and, in the process, have inspired others. This is the 12th year that Unified has given the award to an outstanding independent retailer.

“On behalf of the entire Unified team, I’d like to congratulate and thank Sherm’s Thunderbird Markets and the Olsrud family—Sherm, Wanda and their son Steve—for being part of our family,” said Bob Ling, president and CEO of Unified Grocers.

In presenting the award, Ling said, “Sherm’s Thunderbird Markets certainly embodies the values on which the award was built. For 50 years, the Olsrud family has been committed not only to their customers and their staff but also to the communities they serve. Their passion for innovation, quality and value for money is clearly evident as you walk through their stores and reflected in their long and successful history. The Olsruds also do a tremendous amount of good through their charity work—especially in support of organizations dedicated to helping children in need in southern Oregon.”

Sherm and Wanda Olsrud opened the first Sherm’s Thunderbird Market in Medford in 1967. The company has grown and today operates three Sherm’s Thunderbird Markets (in Klamath Falls and Roseburg in addition to the original Medford location) and a Sherm’s Food4Less store in Medford. Sherm’s employs more than 620 local associates.

About The Author

A former newspaper editor and publisher who has handled digital duties for The Shelby Report since 2011. She once enjoyed leisurely perusing the grocery store aisles but, since having a baby in 2016, is now an enthusiastic click-and-collect shopper.

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