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The Kentucky Grocers Association, Inc. (KGA) has named John Cecil, EVP of store operations for Food City, the 2010 Kentucky Grocer of the Year.
The award was presented to Cecil during the 2010 Kentucky Grocers Association, Inc. Annual Meeting and Industry Awards dinner held October 30 at the French Lick Springs Resort in French Lick, Ind. Food City president and CEO Steve Smith – a long-time friend of Cecil – introduced him at the awards dinner.
“Johnny is a people person,” said Smith. “He has faith in the people he works with to get a job done and when Johnny says he is going to do something, you can consider it done.”
In 1980, following his graduation from James Madison University, Cecil began working for K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc. as store manager of an experimental new store entitled Sav-U-Discount Foods. Although the concept was terminated a year-and-a-half later, Cecil found a home with the Food City team, quickly learning the ropes of the grocery industry and working his way up the ranks.
Throughout his career with K-VA-T Cecil has served in numerous key positions, including store manager,
administrative assistant to the president, and district manager, before accepting his current position as EVP of store operations for Food City’s Tri-City Division.
Cecil is responsible for the total operation of 54 supermarkets in Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee, including the supervision of five district managers.
In addition, Cecil is involved in various political and charitable activities and has served on the board of directors for the Kentucky Grocers Association, is a member of the National Grocers Association and a recipient of their NGA Spirit of America Award. He also established and chaired the board for Prestonsburg’s Community College Educational Foundation, implemented the Food City Scholarship Program in association with KGA/KACS and has been instrumental in helping pass legislation beneficial to the Kentucky grocery industry, according to KGA.
“Johnny has been a tremendous asset to the Kentucky grocery industry in working legislative issues on behalf of the entire industry,” said 2010 KGA/KACS Chairman Tom Litzler. “When legislation impacting our industry was proposed or even moving, Johnny was always there to help lead the charge.”
KGA/KACS is a joint statewide trade association representing approximately 550 member companies operating in a retail food and convenience marketplace of approximately 1,900 locations across Kentucky. Membership includes retailers, wholesalers, distributors, and related suppliers to the grocery, supermarket, and convenience store industries.