The Alabama Grocers Association (AGA) brought members from all aspects of the grocery industry together for its 33rd annual show July 9-12 at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, Florida.
The business session July 10 included keynote speaker Jennifer Hatcher’s “2023 Grocery Trends Update,” part one of John Dunham’s “Economic Report for the Grocery Industry” and the “Active Shooter Awareness Seminar,” presented by Jefferson County Sheriff’s Lt. Terrill Hogeland.
This year, the AGEF awarded 52 scholarships totaling more than $50,000. To date, it has awarded more than $1.4 million in scholarships.
The business session July 11 included the second part of Dunham’s report, Jacqueline DeMarco’s “Coping After Covid: How to Foster Mental Wellness in Your Business” and LaQuisha Buggs’ “Electric Vehicles Seminar.”
The exhibit hall featured more than 60 booths with vendors and wholesalers from across the grocery industry. United-Johnson Brothers won the competition for best decorated booth.
The Best Bagger Competition pitted John Bullard of Rouses, Yuri Citalan of K-VA-T and Braedon Downey of Publix Super Markets, with Downey advancing to compete in next year’s National Grocers Association’s Best Bagger Championship.
That night, the chairman’s banquet was held as attendees enjoyed a casino night theme. Bob Crawford of United-Johnson Brothers will serve as AGA chairman and Wade Payne of Food Giant/Mitchell Grocery Corp. as vice chairman for the next two years.
The NGA’s Spirit of America Award went to Paul DeMarco of Parsons, Lee & Juliano Inc. Established in 1982, it honors leaders in the areas of community service and government relations on behalf of the independent supermarket industry.
“The AGA Annual Show brings the best of the grocery industry together each year. Attendees learn important industry topics, visit with state officials and network to help their businesses operate more efficiently and learn from their counterparts in the grocery community,” said Ellie Taylor, president and CEO. “The AGA is truly the voice of the grocery industry in Alabama.”