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Alabama Grocers Association Presents Annual Industry Awards

From left to right: Bob Crawford, vice chairman; Stephanie Crabtree, AGA event and education director; Ellie Taylor, AGA president and CEO; Harold Garrett, AGA chairman; and Tori O'Neal, communications and membership director.

The Alabama Grocers Association held its annual Food Industry Finest Luncheon on Oct. 27 honoring its industry award winners. President Pro Tempore, Sen. Greg Reed and House Majority Leader, Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter were this year’s guest speakers.

The food retail industry in Alabama provides half a million jobs with more than $2.5 billion in annual wages paid. Grocers pay more than $1.1 billion in state taxes and have a total economic impact on the state’s economy of $12 billion.

From left to right: Frank D’Amico III, Wholesaler of the Year; Harold Garrett, Retailer of the Year; and Chris Crosby, Vendor of the Year.

More than 100 people attended the event at The Club to discuss the work of the Alabama Grocers Association in 2022 and those in the food, beverage and grocery profession in Alabama.

The Alabama Grocers Association honored the following individuals with awards:

The Retailer of the Year Award was presented to Harold Garret, president and general manager of Gateway Foods.

“Anytime you receive an award from your peers, it makes you feel good,” Garrett said. “This group of people that I am with in the AGA is a special group, which makes me feel especially honored to be chosen.”

The Wholesaler of the Year Award was given to Frank D’Amico III, president of BTC Wholesale Distributors.

“I certainly could not do this by myself, so I do not feel like I am the wholesaler,” D’Amico III said. “I am just one cog in the wheel of the Wholesaler of the Year.”

The Vendor of the Year award recipient was Chris Crosby, senior account executive of Utz Snacks/Golden Flake.

“It is a team win,” Crosby said. “It is not just me. It is really the whole Utz family. I give everybody the credit because I could not do what I do without everybody who is a part of this team.”

The Alabama Grocers Association has been honoring professionals who are making an impact in the grocery industry with these awards since 1996.

“Each of these fine individuals exemplify leadership and excellence in Alabama’s grocery industry.” said Ellie Taylor, president. “We are thankful for the opportunity to honor them and their commitment today.”

The Alabama Grocers Association is a state trade association representing the grocery retail industry since 1990. With more than 135 retail members operating 850 stores statewide, as well as more than 225 manufacturers, brokers, wholesalers and other members, the AGA is the voice of the industry in the state of Alabama.

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