Former Ralphs CEO’s Estate Establishes Scholarship For FIM Program Alumni

Ronnie and Byron Allumbaugh.

Ronnie and Byron Allumbaugh.

The estate of Byron Allumbaugh has made a million-dollar gift to the USC Marshall School of Business Food Industry Management (FIM) Program, establishing the Byron Allumbaugh Food Industry Leadership Scholarship dedicated to educating and developing future leaders in the food industry. This full, graduate-level scholarship will be awarded each year to one outstanding FIM alumni accepted to the new online Master of Science in Food Industry Leadership Program. Allumbaugh spent 39 years with Ralphs Grocery Co., including nearly 20 years as chairman and CEO before his retirement.

“We are profoundly grateful that someone with Byron Allumbaugh’s reputation and prestige in the food industry has chosen to donate to the education of high potential future leaders,” said Cynthia McCloud, FIM Program director. “Mr. Allumbaugh’s vision to support education throughout his career has changed the lives of many.”

Allumbaugh began his career at Ralphs in 1958, the same year that USC launched the FIM program. Allumbaugh sent many students through the certificate programs and provided guidance for the program as a close partner with Dr. Jim Stevenson, FIM director emeritus, for many years.

“The Food Industry Management Program at USC Marshall is the pride and joy of the food industry,” said Stevenson, who led the program from 1971-98. “Over the years it has also become internationally known, with students from Finland, Ireland, Spain, Chile and Argentina.”

In addition to his leadership roles at Ralphs, Allumbaugh was an important visionary and leader in our industry, added McCloud. He was one of the co-founders and the chairman of the Uniform Code Council, an organization that created the UPC code that is still used all over the world today. He held the roles of Food Marketing Institute (FMI) chairman for two terms, chairman of the California Retailer Association from 1986-93, and president of the Western Association of Food Chains in 1972. In 1987, FMI awarded him its highest individual honor, the Sidney Rabb award. Allumbaugh was later named a Horatio Alger Award winner in 1996.

“Byron’s unwavering commitment to training and education, including his support of the prestigious USC Food Industry Management Program, helped Ralphs build a highly respected management team, achieve industry-leading results, and develop many leaders who eventually went on to lead other companies” said Jim Lee, retired Ralphs and Stater Bros. leader and current professor in the FIM Program.

Allumbaugh and his wife Ronnie remained active in supporting many charitable causes after his retirement. The Allumbaughs were passionate about helping others achieve their education; they were especially focused on supporting education for underprivileged children through the Horatio Alger Association. 


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About The Author

A word nerd, grocery geek and three-year member of The Shelby Report. She is a proud new homeowner and a great lover of avocado toast.