The Alabama Grocers Association (AGA) held its annual Food Industry Finest Luncheon on Wednesday, Oct. 23, presenting the winners of its industry awards. More than 150 people attended the event at The Club in Birmingham.
The Retailer of the Year Award was presented to Andy Virciglio of Piggly Wiggly Supermarkets in Birmingham.
“It has been an honor for our family business to be a part of this community for three generations,” said Virciglio. “Our employees are focused on providing outstanding service to our customers every day.”
The Wholesaler of the Year Award was given to Ken Miller of Associated Grocers of the South.
“Our team is strong, and we have worked hard to grow our business and be competitive,” said Miller. “This award is a reflection of our goal to provide our members with the lowest cost of goods that enables them to increase both their sales and profits.”
The Vendor of the Year award recipient was Paul Burnett of Byars | Wright.
“We believe in supporting the needs of Alabama Grocers; they are the foundation of our communities,” said Burnett. “Our team considers it an honor to support and work alongside these dedicated businesses.”
In addition, Greg Ferrara, president of National Grocers Association, presented the Spirit of America Award to David Mitchell of Mitchell Grocery Corp. for his active and effective participation in government affairs and as a strong and effective advocate for the independent food distribution industry in Alabama and across the nation.
“Each of these fine individuals exemplify leadership and excellence Alabama’s grocery industry. They are committed to growing and improving the grocery industry in Alabama,” said Ellie Taylor, AGA president. “We are thankful for the opportunity to honor them and their commitment today.”
Speakers at the luncheon included Dr. Bruce Bright of On Target Leading and Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth.
The food retail industry in Alabama provides more than 70,000 jobs with more than $2.2 billion in annual wages paid. Grocers pay more than $1.2 billion in state taxes and have a total economic impact on the state’s economy of more than $12 billion.