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FSA Hits Home Run with 2011-12 Scholarship Winners

The Shelby Report Southwest Grocery News

Excitement was in the air at the Texas Rangers Baseball Hall of Fame in Rangers Ballpark in Arlington April 13. This was the venue for the 14th Annual Food Sales Association (FSA) Scholarship Awards Luncheon.

Scholarship winners had the opportunity to see the ballpark and had the opportunity to have their picture taken with Nolan Ryan, CEO and president of the Texas Rangers, and baseball’s all-time strikeout leader.

Due to fundraising success by the FSA board members throughout the year, FSA and its retailer partners were able to award $70,000—nearly double last year’s FSA scholarship awards—to 47 scholarship winners for 2011-12.

The FSA’s goal is to award scholarships to employees interested in a food retail career and assist them to achieve their educational goals. A number of the winners in this year’s recipient group were from second, third and even fourth generation food retailing families.

A record 250 guests attended this year’s event. Winners, their families, retailers from Albertsons LLC, Brookshire Grocery Co., Fiesta Mart-Carnival Food Stores, Kroger, Safeway-Tom Thumb, United Supermarkets-Market Street and many FSA members representing suppliers, vendors, DSDs and manufacturers were on hand.

After the formal luncheon, guests filled the ballpark auditorium to overflowing to hear Chuck Morgan, the “Voice of the Rangers,” interview Ryan about his career and continued business success that now includes the “Nolan Ryan Tender Aged Beef” brand.

High school scholarship recipients for 2011-12 include: Marc Abdalla, Kroger; Farhan Ali, Albertsons; Kelly Bill, Albertsons; Jacob Cook, Albertsons; Sushant Dahal, Tom Thumb; Gianna Davis, Kroger; David DeAndrea, Market Street; Damien Edwards, Kroger; Shelby Flood, Kroger; Charles Gee, Kroger; Tiffany Guillot, Albertsons; Yesenia Hernandez, Fiesta Mart/Carnival Food; Nathan LaFerney, Tom Thumb; Spencer Landry, Tom Thumb; Colin Laws, Tom Thumb; Justin Marble, Tom Thumb; John Mattia, Kroger; Paul Ransom, Kroger; Bennett Sparks, Kroger; Emma Strand, Kroger; Chase Thorpe, Kroger; and Adan Tovar, Fiesta Mart/Carnival Food Stores.

Receiving adult scholarships were Beatriz Barbosa, Kroger; Ruthie Battee, Brookshire’s; Samantha Butterworth, Tom Thumb; Alissa Butzow, Kroger; Amanda Conway, Kroger; Donna Davis, Albertsons; Tracy Davis, Albertsons; Casey DeFrang, Kroger; Zachary DeFrang, Kroger; Roza Essaw, Albertsons; Stephanie Garza, Kroger; Yancey Grimes, Kroger; Kristina Hopkins, Brookshire’s; Mithun Karuthedath, Tom Thumb; Spencer Marshall, Albertsons; Erin McGoff, Kroger; Maria Mendez, Brookshire’s; Desiree Mitchell, Kroger; Brianna Playle, Kroger; Christy Roberts, Kroger; Yaseen Sana, Tom Thumb; Joshua Thompson, Tom Thumb; Shawna Weldon, Kroger; Kristin Welsh, Brookshire’s; and Emilie Zavala, Brookshire’s.

Presenting awards were Dean Guyton, Big Red, FSA’s president, and Robert Thomas with The Dallas Morning News who is the scholarship chairman for the FSA. Assisting and presenting the FSA scholarship gift of a $50 Barnes & Noble gift certificate were Jan Meade, Gladson, and JR Rivera, Bimbo Bakeries USA.

Recognizing the 2011 FSA Scholarship recipients were Frank Yaksitch, VP of operations, Albertsons LLC; Pete Leung, SVP, Brookshire Grocery Co.; Don Bersterman, director of area operations, Fiesta Mart; Keith Shoemaker, director of operations for districts 7-11, Kroger; John Mix, district manager, Safeway-Tom Thumb; and Curtis Comer, GM, United Supermarkets-Market Street.

Since the inception of the scholarship program in 1996, the FSA in partnership with its members and retailers has awarded more than $734,000 to high school seniors and adults interested in pursuing a career in the food industry.

Visit FSA online or contact Pamelia Rost, executive director, to learn how to get involved with the program while building relationships with retailing buyers and executive personnel.

In the feature photo: Dean Guyton, Big Red, and president of the FSA; Robert Thomas, The Dallas Morning News, and scholarship chairman for the FSA; Nolan Ryan; and Pamelia Rost, FSA’s executive director.

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