The Alabama Grocers Association recently held its 27th Annual Convention at the Sandestin Beach Resort in Destin, Florida. The association brought members from all facets of the grocery industry together to promote the growth and success of the food industry throughout the state of Alabama.
The convention kicked off with the Larry D. Eddleman Sr. Golf Classic at the Baytown Golf Club. First-place golf winners included Graham Minor, Trey Day and Brad Maness of Bevco Beverages and Pete Mahoney of Food Giant.
A silent auction and casino party followed that evening. The auction and raffle, chaired by Johnny Collins of Barber’s Dairy, raised more than $30,000 for the Alabama Grocers Education Foundation. This year foundation awarded 61 scholarships valued at more than $59,500, and to date has awarded more than $1.2 million in scholarships.
The business forum was held the following day and included keynote speaker Thom Singer, a sales and marketing veteran, who spoke on connecting with people in a “gadget-crazed” world. Eric Pulwicz, FBI special agent, held an active shooter seminar and advised attendees on how to manage real-life situations, address employer responsibilities and develop workplace strategies. ABC Administrator Mac Gipson addressed the group on the state’s new off-premise tasting regulations that go into effect Aug. 5; and Stacey Neumann, vendor management director at the Alabama WIC Department, addressed attendees on the upcoming e-WIC rollout beginning in 2018. Lastly, an e-commerce panel was held to teach attendees the newest consumer trends and best practices related to home delivery and click-and-collect services. Tuesday afternoon also included an exhibit hall with more than 70 vendor booths.
The chairman’s banquet on Tuesday evening featured football legend Al Del Greco as celebrity entertainment. Several awards were presented, including a Joint Resolution from Senate Agriculture Conservation and Forestry Chair Tom Whatley commemorating the SNAP Online Pilot Program to Jimmy Wright of Wright’s Market.
The association’s legislative consultant, Patrick McWhorter, presented Sen. Jabo Waggoner with the Spirit of Alabama Award, which recognizes leaders who are involved in the support of pro-business legislation and are advocates for the grocery community in the state of Alabama.
Waggoner presented a Joint Resolution to Chairman Peter V. Gregerson commemorating his Glen P. Woodard Award from the Food Marketing Institute. Keith Lusk of Golden Flake was given a plaque of appreciation for his 12 years serving on the AGA board and was made a honorary lifetime member.
New officers and directors were installed. Gregerson Jr. of Gregerson’s Foods was given the Chairman’s Plaque of Appreciation for his dedicated work during his two-year term as chairman and the gavel was transferred to Frank D’Amico III of BTC Wholesale, who will serve as chairman until 2019.