The Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association has announced that Kevin Ladd of Food Giant has been named the 2019 Retailer of the Year.
The association also announced that Jay Mitchell of Mitchell Grocery has been recognized as the 2019 Supplier of the Year. The awards were presented at a ceremony at TGCSA’s annual convention at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center on May 8.
Ladd is president and CEO of Food Giant Inc. Ladd rose through the ranks there, starting in IT in 1981. In 2000, he led the formation of the company’s ESOP, which purchased the company from its founder Kenneth Storey. He became the company’s CFO at that time. Ladd rose to his present rank of CEO in 2015. Known for his professional character and down-to-earth demeanor, Ladd has led Food Giant to recognition as one of the nation’s greatest independent grocery chains. Food Giant operates nine stores in Tennessee.
The TGCSA Board of Directors annually bestows these industry superlatives on leaders who have distinguished themselves through outstanding store or supplier operations, notable contributions to the food industry, community service and service to the association.
2019 TGCSA Supplier of the Year, Mitchell carries on the family legacy of grocery wholesaler Mitchell Grocery of Albertville, Alabama. While it is known primarily for its wholesaling activities, Mitchell started as, and has continued to be, a retail operation. This is where Mitchell got his start as a stocking assistant at age 5. Mitchell worked all aspects of retail at the direction of his father, “Mr. Jack” Mitchell, who wanted Jay to be able to relate to retailers when he moved to the company’s wholesale division. As VP for retail operations, Mitchell is known for effective leadership and outstanding customer service. Mitchell Grocery serves 31 stores in Tennessee, including one corporate retail store.
The Tennessee Grocers & Convenience Store Association is the only food trade association that represents all segments of Tennessee’s food market. Membership is comprised of retail grocery store and convenience store operations as well as food industry wholesalers, manufacturers, distributors and suppliers.