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GMA Honors Food City’s Steve Smith with Industry Collaboration Leadership Award

GMA Press Contact

Roger Lowe / Brian Kennedy

office: 202-295-3954 / 202-639-5994

MIAMI, FL –Steve Smith, president and CEO of Food City, today received the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) 2015 Industry Collaboration Leadership Award at the Food Marketing Institute’s Midwinter Executive Conference.

The GMA award, established in 2011, recognizes an industry leader who has demonstrated excellence in fostering collaboration among consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry trading partners throughout his career.

“Steve Smith has exemplified through his extraordinary commitment the critical imperative of trading partner collaboration that extends beyond the traditional retailer-manufacturer relationship,” said Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO of GMA.  “Steve’s outstanding record of service to the Food Marketing Institute and the National Grocers Association has fundamentally changed the way our organizations work together.”

Smith has held numerous volunteer leadership positions with FMI, including chair of the board of directors, chair of the FMI Foundation Board of Trustees and chair of its Public Affairs Committee. He also helped revitalize the FMI Board Planning Committee, on which he still serves. He is the only industry executive to serve as chair of both FMI and the National Grocers Association.  As FMI Board chair, Smith helped lay the groundwork for the Trading Partner Alliance, the industry’s preeminent forum for retailer-manufacturer collaboration.  He was a champion of food safety reform and oversaw the establishment of an innovative recall management system to facilitate more effective communication between retailers and manufacturers during these critical events.

Smith joined Food City more than 35 years ago, serving in multiple leadership positions before becoming president and chief executive officer.  Founded by Smith’s father in 1955, K-VA-T (Food City’s parent company) today operates 93 Food City supermarkets (including 78 pharmacies and 84 fuel/convenience stores), ten Super Dollar Discount Foods and a wine and spirits store throughout Southeast Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.  The company supports numerous organizations – including local food banks, the United Way, American Cancer Society, Boy Scouts of America, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Susan G. Komen, YWCA, Boys and Girls Club and Paralyzed Veterans of America Association — throughout the tri-state region.

“Steve believes in the power of FMI, GMA and other allied trade organizations to affect positive change within the industry that will ultimately benefit the consumer,” Bailey said. “He represents the best of the grocery retail community from the way he manages his business to the way he works with suppliers and industry stakeholders.”

The GMA Industry Collaboration Leadership Award is now in its fifth year, and past recipients are J.K. Symancyk of Meijer, Inc., Fred Morganthall of Harris Teeter, Inc., Joe Sheridan of Wakefern Food Corporation and Don Becker of The Kroger Co.

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Based in Washington, D.C., the Grocery Manufacturers Association is the voice of more than 300 leading food, beverage and consumer product companies that sustain and enhance the quality of life for hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe.

Founded in 1908, GMA is an active, vocal advocate for its member companies and a trusted source of information about the industry and the products consumers rely on and enjoy every day.  The association and its member companies are committed to meeting the needs of consumers through product innovation, responsible business practices and effective public policy solutions developed through a genuine partnership with policymakers and other stakeholders. 

In keeping with its founding principles, GMA helps its members produce safe products through a strong and ongoing commitment to scientific research, testing and evaluation and to providing consumers with the products, tools and information they need to achieve a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.  The food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry in the United States generates sales of $2.1 trillion annually, employs 14 million workers and contributes $1 trillion in added value to the economy every year. www.gmaonline.org