The Washington Food Industry Association (WFIA) recently honored its annual grocery industry award winners.
The WFIA awards were voted on by the association’s full membership, then presented by President Jan Gee on behalf of the Washington state grocery industry to three top leaders in the following categories: Grocer of the Year, Kevin Stormans of Stormans Inc. in Olympia; Vendor of the Year, Greg Miller of Supervalue in Tacoma; and the Keystone Award—for excellence in government affairs, Rep. J.T. Wilcox of Wilcox Farms in Roy.
- Stormans is a third-generation grocer with a history of also being a third-generation Grocer of the Year. In the early 1960s, WFIA honored Ralph Stormans, president of Stormans Inc. and grandfather to this year’s recipient. In the early 1980s, the Grocer of the Year Award was presented to Ken Stormans, then president of Stormans and the father of this year’s recipient. Today, along with his brother Greg and sister Charelle, Kevin Stormans manages two flagship stores in Olympia—Ralph’s and Bayview Thriftway— as well as a catering business. He is a longtime member of the board of directors of WFIA, serving since 1985. He served as chair of the board from 2004-2006. This year he was elected to the executive committee as vice chair of finance. He also has been a longtime leader, board member and key participant in Associated Grocers, Unified Grocers and Northwest Grocers. Stormans has received numerous charitable awards from his local community, including recognition from the Thurston County Food Bank and Olympia Downtown Association.
- Miller is a busy vendor with a large territory to travel but, through the development of lead advocacy teamwork, his group improves customer service and makes each retail customer feel like they are the most important account, according to WFIA. Miller offers support initiatives for independent retailers, such as a remodel incentives program that offers rewards for investment in grand re-opening sales events. He has served on WFIA’s Board of Directors since 2006 and as chair of the board from 2007-2008. He is one of WFIA’s advocates of building a political program that assures WFIA and the industry can financially back business and grocery industry-friendly candidates that will be a partner in protecting and promoting the independent grocery industry.
- J.T. Wilcox has been recognized for his political action to advance and protect the interests of the independent grocery industry. Today, instead of the title “Farmer J.T.,” Wilcox is state representative of the 2nd District. He serves on the Ways and Means Committee as a freshman—an appointment long sought by more senior members of the legislature.