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Hy-Vee’s Watson Appointed IGIA Chairman

Tom Watson

Last updated on August 25th, 2022 at 10:16 am

Tom Watson, EVP and chief retail officer for Hy-Vee Inc., has been appointed as chairman of the Iowa Grocery Industry Association (IGIA) board of directors.

He replaces Brian Burnam, owner of Keith’s Foods in Bloomfield, Iowa, who has served on the board for the past nine years.

“I am proud to welcome such a prestigious industry professional as Tom Watson to chair the IGIA board,” said IGIA President Michelle Hurd. “Tom brings extensive expertise in the grocery industry and executive management to IGIA’s board. I would also like to thank Brian Burnam for his significant contribution to the success of our association and his leadership during this past year as chairman of the board. It was a year of significant growth and new initiatives.”

Watson has served on the IGIA board since 2009 and moved through the ranks of secretary/treasurer, second vice chairman and first vice chairman. He has played a key role in the association, serving on the IGIA dues structure/revenue committee and as chair of the scholarship golf and convention auction committees as well as served on the IGIA executive committee since 2011.

During his 34-year career with Hy-Vee, Watson was elected to the Hy-Vee board of directors in 1999 and became a permanent board member in 2013. He also has served on the boards of Hy-Vee subsidiaries Perishable Distributors of Iowa, D & D Foods, Florist Distributing and Lomar Distributing.

In his current role as chief retail officer for Hy-Vee Inc., Watson oversees the operation of all Hy-Vee retail outlets. Today, actively serves on the board of Perishable Distributors of Iowa and Polk County I-Club in addition to his service on the IGIA Board.

Outside of Hy-Vee, Watson has served on boards for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, The Greater Des Moines Eastside Development, Terrace Hill Foundation, Alzheimer’s Foundation, The Wrigley Council and the GMDC Member Action Committee.

“I’m extremely proud and honored to be guiding the IGIA next year as the board chairman,” Watson said. “In the coming year, we will continue to build upon an already strong foundation and the ground work of my predecessor Brian Burnam. We will strive to increase member value in all areas by looking to our membership first and responding in a spirit of service, and I look forward to seeing all that we will accomplish together in the year ahead.”

Watson assumed his role as chairman at the association’s annual meeting, which was held at the IGIA Convention July 8-10 in Okoboji, Iowa.

Watson is a native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and graduated from Jefferson High School. He later attended the University of Iowa, earning a degree in business management. He has spent his entire career, which began in 1980, working for Hy-Vee.

He and Tami, his wife, live in Johnston, Iowa, with daughters Kylie, 14, and Kolbi, 11. Watson enjoys reading, snow skiing, racquetball and golf, and is an avid Hawkeye fan.

Founded in 1899, the IGIA has long served as a resource to its members, the food industry and the general public through education, legislative, partnership and philanthropic programs. The IGIA has headquarters in Urbandale, Iowa, and can be found online at iowagrocers.com.

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