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Steven C. Smith, president and CEO of Abingdon, Va.-based K-VA-T Food Stores Inc., has received the Sidney R. Rabb Award, Food Marketing Institute’s (FMI) highest recognition, for his exceptional service to the consumer, the community and the supermarket industry. The award was given out at FMI’s Midwinter Executive Conference in Orlando, Fla.
Smith grew up in the grocery industry, learning from his father, Jack, who opened his first Piggly Wiggly store in 1955. Smith’s dedication and knowledge of store operations grew with the company, which now encompasses 93 Food City supermarkets throughout the tristate region of southeast Kentucky, southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee, as well as 11 new Super Dollar Discount Foods stores.
Before becoming president and CEO at K-VA-T, Smith held such roles district manager, director of meat operations, director of advertising, store operations divisional VP, EVP of store operations and COO. He was also the only executive to be chairman of both FMI’s and National Grocers Association’s board of directors.
His dedication to the community parallels his commitment to the industry, through the support of organizations including the Boy Scouts, United Way, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the American Cancer Society, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Santa Pals, YWCA, Boys & Girls Clubs and the American Diabetes Association.
“Steve Smith believes that as a good corporate citizen, we have a responsibility to leave our community a better place than we found it,” noted Israel Quinn, a longtime associate. “Steve Smith’s commitment to our region is unsurpassed.”