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Steven C. Smith, president and CEO for the Food City retail grocery chain, was named 2009 Grocer of the Year by the Nashville-based Tennessee Grocers & Convenience Store Association (TGCSA) at the organization’s annual convention earlier this month.
“It is a very humbling experience to be counted among the ranks of such a great assembly of industry leaders,” said Smith, who was raised in the supermarket business, as his father ran a Piggly Wiggly store in Grundy, Va.
The Smith family eventually acquired Quality Foods, a 19-store chain, in 1984 and took the Food City name. Later they purchased 37 White Stores in 1989, 11 Kennedy Piggly Wiggly locations in 1998, seven Winn-Dixie stores in 1999 and finally eight Bi-Lo locations in 2006.
In his 29 years with K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc., the parent company of Food City, Smith worked as a district manager, director of meat operations, director of advertising, store operations divisional VP, EVP of store operations, COO before rising to his current position.
“We are fortunate to have someone with Steve’s vision and experience leading our company,” noted Jody Helms, Food City EVP/director of store operations and newly elected TGCSA Chairman. “Not only is he an exceptional grocer, but his strong commitment the grocery industry and eagerness to support the communities throughout our marketplace make him an outstanding example to the Food City team and our entire region.”
Among Smith’s many industry activities, he has served on the boards of Topco and Weis Supermarkets; is a member of the National Grocers Association, serving as chairman from 2000 to 2002; and was 2008 chairman for the Food Marketing Institute (FMI). Smith addditionally serves on FMI’s Executive, Board Planning and Public Affairs committees.
Abingdon, Va.-based K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc. operates 93 Food City supermarkets throughout the tri-state regions of southeast Kentucky, southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee, as well as 11 Super Dollar Discount Foods limited-assortment locations.