Last updated on December 11th, 2017 at 04:58 pm
The MFA also expressed its thanks to Jay Rainville of Market Basket for his work as chairman for the past four years. Also elected as vice chairs were Ralph Crowley of Polar Beverages and Michael Gold of Big Y Foods. Kevin Barrett of Deloitte was elected treasurer. In addition, MFA honored the late Adam Bozzuto and named him posthumously to the organization’s Hall of Fame. The MFA also named its Community Service winners: Michael Sleeper and Imperial Distributors and the New England Food Foundation.
Bozzuto was the founder of Bozzuto’s, a wholesale food distributor located in Cheshire Connecticut. He started the business in 1945 in Waterbury and eventually relocated to Cheshire in 1963, the same year he became distributor for IGA. Under Bozzuto’s guidance and the continued leadership of son Michael and daughter Jane, the company has grown to become one of the region’s largest total service wholesale distributors of food and household products to retailers in New England.
Sleeper is the chairman and CEO of Imperial Distributors, the largest distributor of supermarket non-foods in the country, serving 2,200 supermarkets in 27 states and employing 750 team members.
Sleeper and his Imperial team were honored for their philanthropic work in the Worcester area and also honored with the City of Worcester’s most prestigious recognition for community service, the Isaiah Thomas Award. In 2013, Imperial was an inaugural winner of “Growing and Readying Our Workforce. This award recognizes local employers and their efforts to provide job opportunities for young people and also in hiring disadvantaged youth.
The food industry and in particular NEFF was honored for their work to help disadvantaged youth through the NEFF Cape House located in Sandwich, Massachusetts. The Cape House is offered as a free vacation place for qualifying children from all over New England. NEFF has more than 600 members from across the food industry—including brokers, distributors, suppliers and retailers.