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ABINGDON, VA -- Emerson Breeden, community relations director for K-VA-T/Food City's Knoxville, Tenn. division, was named "Grocer of the Year" by Tennessee Grocers & Convenience Store Association (TGCSA), the retailer said yesterday.
TGCSA is a Nashville-based trade organization representing the interests of the Tennessee food market. The group presented the award during its annual convention at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, April 13-15.
The Grocer of the Year award is given to "the outstanding Tennessee retailer who exemplifies the high standards of integrity and efficiency upon which the organization was founded," according to TGCSA.
"It's so rewarding to work for a company that encourages you to serve your community," said Breeden in a statement.
Emerson grew up in Knox County, entering the grocery industry during a time when local chains were flourishing throughout east Tennessee. He began his career as a courtesy clerk for the Knoxville-based White Stores in 1952 while attending school. Breeden quickly worked his way through the ranks, receiving promotions to the positions of department manager of grocery, meat and produce, assistant manager, store manager, district manager, and finally v.p. of human resources and real estate. He joined the Food City team when it purchased the White Stores in 1989. He was later promoted to his current position of community relations director for the Knoxville division.
Emerson has held several key positions with various civic clubs, including president of the Optimist Club and Lions Club, treasurer and chairman of Tennessee Grocer's Education Foundation, two-year chairman of TGEF's Golf Tournament, and chairman of the Boy Scout Golf Tournament.
K-VA-T Food Stores operates 95 retail food outlets throughout the tri-state regions of southeast Kentucky, southwest Virginia, and northeast Tennessee.