Last updated on September 5th, 2012 at 02:57 pm
Jan. 24, 2011—At the annual Food Marketing Institute’s (FMI) Midwinter Executive Conference, held Jan. 23-25 in Phoenix, Ariz., three industry leaders have been honored with awards.
Sidney R. Rabb Award: Fred Ball, Chairman of Balls Food Stores
Fred Ball, chairman of Balls Food Stores, received the FMI Sidney R. Rabb Award for his exceptional service to the community, and strong advocacy on behalf of the supermarket industry.
Ball began his career in the grocery business when he was 10 years old, keeping the potato bin filled at his parent’s grocery store in Kansas City. Ball says there was never any question of what he would do when it came time for him to choose a career. The grocery business was ingrained in him and he was named a store manager shortly after graduating from Kansas University. He was named president of Balls Food Stores in the mid-1960s.
Ball learned from his parents one very important key to business success: if you take care of your teammates—as they are called at the 29 Price Chopper stores and Hen House Markets, your teammates will take care of your customers and your customers will take care of your company.
Balls Food Stores is now run by his son, David, and has always been dedicated to providing the best possible grocery shopping experience.
Ball is considered an innovator and never shied away from trying something new. When the U.S. was suffering from high inflation levels in the 1970s, Ball decided to try a new concept—a bare bones, warehouse market with the lowest possible prices. It was an immediate success as customers stormed the Price Chopper stores, often requiring the doors be locked in order to control the number of people in the store at one time.
Ball served on the FMI Board of Directors 1995-2005 and played an integral role in supporting FMI’s independent operator initiatives.
Ball served as chairman of Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc. (AWG), one of the largest grocery wholesalers in the country, for 28 years. During his tenure at AWG, he helped grow sales from $1 billion per year to more than $5 billion a year.
Balls Food Stores are long-time supporters of KVC Behavioral HealthCare, a private, not-for-profit organization providing healthcare, education, and social services to at-risk children and their families in Kansas. More than 30 years ago, Ball and his family started a charity golf tournament to benefit KVC. Balls Food Stores has raised more than $3 million for KVC and other children’s charities in the metropolitan Kansas City area.
FMI established the Sidney R. Rabb Award in 1977 to honor supermarket industry leaders for outstanding service to the community, consumers and the industry. Its namesake pioneered the consumer- and community-driven role of the supermarket as chief executive of The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company.
Herbert Hoover Award: Dean Janeway President and COO of Wakefern Food Corp.
Dean Janeway, president and COO of Wakefern Food Corp., was honored with the FMI Herbert Hoover Award for his professional excellence in serving the food retail and wholesale industry.
Wakefern is a retailer-owned cooperative and the wholesale, merchandising and distribution arm for ShopRite and PriceRite supermarkets located in the Northeast.
For more than four decades, Janeway has provided leadership in the food distribution business. He joined Wakefern in 1966 as a junior accountant in the frozen food division. He progressed through numerous procurement and management positions, including VP of the frozen food and dairy-deli divisions. In 1987 he was promoted to group VP and a few years later named EVP at Wakefern, before assuming the helm as its president and COO in 1995.
Janeway says the key to business is the people, no matter what the trends are in the industry. Others in the industry have noted that Janeway’s commitment to the highest standard has translated many family businesses into successful and profitable organizations. He is credited with bringing innovation and creativity to the food distribution industry.
Wakefern was recognized in 2010 as an outstanding employer by the New Jersey Business and Industry Association for starting a program to promote a culture of health and wellness among its employees.
Janeway currently serves on the board of directors of Insure-Rite Ltd. He served on the board of directors and is past president of both the Eastern Frosted Foods Association and the Eastern Dairy-Deli Association. He served two terms on the board of directors of the National Grocers Association, including two years as its chairman.
The Special Olympics of New Jersey honored Janeway in 2009 for his long-time support for the program. He serves on the board of directors of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Health Foundation and is chairman of the finance committee.
The Herbert Hoover award was introduced in 1961, inspired by industry and government campaigns that President Hoover led to deliver food relief to victims of the Boxer Rebellion, World War I and Great Depression. Janeway is the 56th person to receive this award.
Esther Peterson Award: Susan Mayo
FMI presented the 2011 Esther Peterson Consumer Service Award to Susan Mayo, recognizing more than 33 years of distinguished service in supermarket consumer affairs. She is the chief marketing officer for the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the president and owner of Susan T. Mayo Consulting LLC.
She retired from Farm Fresh Supermarkets in 2010, where she served as VP of consumer affairs and public relations.
Established in 1986, FMI’s Esther Peterson Award honors a lifetime of dedicated service to consumers. Its namesake pioneered the position of consumer advisor at Giant Food LLC. and in the White House when the position of special assistant to the president for consumer affairs was created during the Johnson Administration. She later held the same post under President Jimmy Carter.
Mayo began her career advocating on behalf of supermarket customers in 1977, when she served as the director of consumer affairs at Farm Fresh. She spent her entire career focused on providing information to consumers, including nutrition and wellness information, food safety guidance and helpful hints on how to save money on groceries.
Her role at Farm Fresh expanded greatly over the course of time and she was also responsible for developing and executing high impact communications strategies in addition to leading a community relations team charged with responding to more than 20,000 customer inquiries every year.
Mayo focused on helping her community as well. She founded the Farm Fresh Charitable Foundation that helped to raise money for many non-profit organizations in the Virginia Beach and Norfolk, Va., areas. She organized the largest charity golf tournament in the Mid-Atlantic region and developed numerous community service programs including children’s store tours, cooking classes, food drives and educational partnerships.
She is a respected leader within the consumer affairs community. Mayo was a member of the FMI Consumer Affairs Committee and also served as its chairman.
Mayo is the 14th recipient of the Peterson Award. Others to receive it include Giant Food Inc. VP of Consumer Affairs Odonna Matthews, Wegmans Food Markets SVP of Consumer Affairs Mary Ellen Burris, Giant Food Chairman Israel Cohen, American Red Cross President Elizabeth Dole, Associate FDA Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Alexander Grant, Psychology Today Editor-in Chief T. George Harris, U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and nutrition pioneer and Tufts University President Dr. Jean Mayer.
The FMI Midwinter Executive Conference is the industry’s education and networking event for top executives of retail, wholesale and supplier companies representing the entire scope of the food and grocery products industry. The conference focuses on the major challenges and opportunities for the food industry.
Food Marketing Institute (FMI) conducts programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations on behalf of its 1,500 member companies—food retailers and wholesalers—in the U.S. and around the world. FMI’s U.S. members operate approximately 26,000 retail food stores and 14,000 pharmacies. Their combined annual sales volume of $680 billion represents three-quarters of all retail food store sales in the United States. FMI’s retail membership is composed of large multi-store chains, regional firms and independent supermarkets. Its international membership includes 200 companies from more than 50 countries. FMI’s associate members include the supplier partners of its retail and wholesale members.