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Mike Eardley, the HEB Grocery Co.’s director of deli, cheese and prepared foods, has received the 2010 International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association’s President’s Award, which recognizes distinguished service or contribution to the industry, along with overall leadership, vision and dedication.
In presenting the award at the closing event of Dairy-Deli-Bake 2010, IDDBA president John J. Sullivan, president and CEO of Stamford, Conn.-based Norseland, Inc., praised Eardley’s “vision, leadership, and service” as “an inspiration to us all.”
Sharing reflections of Eardley’s long career in grocery industry, which began while he was still in grade school working in the family supermarket, Sullivan said this “early exposure to the business taught [Eardley] to appreciate integrity, good food and great customer service.”
Noting Eardley’s father role as a mentor and teacher, Sullivan went on to praise the award winner’s lifelong work ethic based “on a passion and enthusiasm for excellence and for accountability in himself and in others. He leads by example and sets the bar for achievement very high.”
Having served on almost every IDDBA committee through the years and still active on its Retail Advisory Committee, Eardley has also sat on the Madison, Wis.-based association’s board for over nine years, as well as serving as its president in 2001-2002.
Eardley joined San Antonio-based HEB in 2001 as business development manager for deli, and was recently named director of deli, cheese and prepared foods.
Prior to that, he spent 29 years with Grand Rapids, Mich.-based D&W Food Centers, where he was director of foodservice when D&W opened its first restaurant and central kitchen. He later became VP of fresh foods, heading up the meat, produce, deli, bakery, seafood, floral and chef departments.
In addition to his service with IDDBA, Eardley is a frequent speaker at numerous industry events and gatherings, and is also actively involved in his community as a member of the board of directors for Kent County Literacy Council and Food Marketers Credit Union, among other organizations.