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IGA said it has narrowed down its pool of applicants for USA Retailer of the Year honors to five finalists, three of which the retail alliance will honor in November at its USA Rally Awards Banquet.
The retail finalists, from among the IGA member grocers nominated by IGA-licensed distribution companies, are:
-- Bob Buonomano, Bob's Windham IGA, Willimantic, Conn. (nominated by Bozzuto's, Inc.).
-- Tom Kishman, Kishman's IGA, Minerva, Ohio (Laurel Grocery Co.)
-- Allen Milam, Milam's Market IGA #1, Miami, Fla. (Associated Grocers of Florida).
-- Rick Stewart, Susanville Supermarket IGA, Susanville, Calif. (C & S Wholesale Grocers, Inc., California Division).
-- Jeff Zollpriester, Quality Foods IGA, Schofield, Wis., (Supervalu Inc.)
During the awards ceremony, to be held in Merrillville, Ind., IGA will give one of the three retailers the additional title of 2009 IGA USA International Retailer of the Year, for having achieved within the U.S. a superior level of excellence in IGA retailing.
Mark Batenic, IGA USA's c.e.o., said the program's rigorous standards, among which is the stipulation that all candidates have achieved a Five Star rating under IGA's Assessment Program, create an equitable process for retailer recognition,.
IGA is the world's largest voluntary supermarket network with aggregate worldwide retail sales of more than $21 billion per year. The alliance includes nearly 4,000 Hometown Proud Supermarkets worldwide, supported by 36 distribution companies and more than 55 major manufacturers, vendors and suppliers.