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AWG Reveals Annual Excellence Award Winners

Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc. has revealed the winners of several member awards as part of the release of its annual report. Two of AWG’s honorees are Jim Brown of Doc’s Food Stores Inc., who received the Lou Fox Community Service Award, and Donna Madere-Dickerson of Rouse’s Enterprises, who won Store Manager of the Year.

Lou Fox was general manager and president of AWG from 1955 until 1983. Brown is an AWG member retailer that has displayed outstanding leadership, commitment to his community and upholds the values of AWG. He operates 12 stores in the greater Tulsa area of Oklahoma.

Jim Brown and David Smith

Brown has served in many ways, including being the founding member of the Bixby Education Endowment Foundation 50 years ago. He also served on the YMCA board and its new facility fundraising committee. He also led the Bixby Football Booster Club, serving as president and member of the Bixby Chamber of Commerce, the OFI-CRS Board and the National Grocers Association Board.

Brown has received NGA’s 2001 “Spirit of America” award and the 2018 “The Clarence G. Adamy Great American Award.” 

“Jim has always seen his most prominent role in the community is to help families,” said David Smith, president and CEO of AWG. “He has been passionate about giving back through supporting  education, community services, and general benevolence. It’s a great privilege for us to recognize great  independent grocers that are also distinguished community supporters.” 


The AWG Store Manager of the Year is given annually to the store manager or director within the cooperative membership that best demonstrated excellence in leadership and extraordinary store operations.

“The winner of this year’s award is really a special kind of leader, and you can see why everyone on her team loves her,” Smith said. 

During the five years Madere-Dickerson has been with Rouses as a store director, she has operated four different high-volume locations. Currently, she manages Rouses in Baton Rouge, Louisana. Under Madere-Dickerson’s leadership, Rouses has built great relationships with its local community by partnering with LSU athletics food drives, WBRZ news station food drives and blood drives and partners with The Shepherd’s Market Food Pantry, helping neighbors in need.  

“Donna is a ‘can do – will do’ leader,” said Jeff Zerweck, Rouses regional director of operations. “When talking to her team, you can see how they embrace her and her vision. Donna is all about teaching, training, supporting, and pushing her team to be the best every day. This shows in her store conditions and the leadership team she has built. She is always there for support, pushing for sales and creating the next great leader.” 

Valu Merchandisers Company, a subsidiary of AWG, awarded its Excellence Award to the Harp’s Food Stores Inc. in Greenbrier, Arkansas. The company chose Harps because the “grocer sets a great example of merchandising excellence and are leaders and best in class in running successful and profitable non-food and specialty programs.”

AWG also announced winners of 13 additional awards through each department. They include: 

  • AWG Brands
    • Hays Cash Saver in Henderson, Tennessee, owned by Dyer Foods Inc.
  • Produce
    • Greer’s in Mobile, Alabama, owned by Autry Greer and Sons Inc. 
    • H.G. Hill in Pleasant View, Tennessee, owned by S & C Foods Inc.  
  • Bakery
    • Homeland in Duncan, Oklahoma, owned by HAC Inc. 
    • Van Til’s Supermarket in Hammond, Indiana, owned by Van Til’s Supermarket Inc.
  • Food Service
    • Tony’s Fresh Market in Berwyn, Illinois, owned by Tony’s Finer Foods Enterprises Inc.
  • Floral
    • Super Saver in Grand Island, Nebraska, owned by B & R Stores Inc. 
  • Seafood
    • Hen House in Prairie Village, Kansas, owned by Four B Corp. 
  • Center Store
    • Hardy Cash Saver in Hardy, Arkansas, owned by Bill’s Super Foods Inc.
  • Meat
    • Checkers in Lawrence, Kansas, owned by Hillcrest Foods Inc. 
  • Merchandising Event 
    • Crest in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, owned by Crest Discount Foods Inc. 
    • Ptacek’s in Prescott, Wisconsin, owned by Ptacek IGA Inc.  
  • Omnichannel
    • Reasor’s in Tulsa, Oklahoma, owned by Brookshire Grocery Co. 

For more information, visit awginc.com

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