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    IGA Honors Retailers, Managers, Industry Figures

    CHICAGO -- Eight IGA retailers, including operators in Ohio, Kentucky, Connecticut, and Illinois, were singled out to receive the 2007 IGA International Retailer of the Year awards from among the over 4,000 IGA retailers operating worldwide.

    CHICAGO -- Eight IGA retailers, including operators in Ohio, Kentucky, Connecticut, and Illinois, were singled out to receive the 2007 IGA International Retailer of the Year awards from among the over 4,000 IGA retailers operating worldwide.

    The worldwide retail organization also named two 2007 IGA International Supermarket Managers of the Year, and four President's Cup award winners. Two industry legends garnered the J. Frank Grimes Award at the IGA International Retailers of the Year Awards Dinner Ceremony, held late last month during the IGA Global Summit in Miami.

    A committee of food industry executives selected the International Retailer of the Year winners from a pool of applicants submitted by IGA's licensed distribution centers. Judging criteria included IGA brand support; merchandising, leadership, and innovation; community involvement; and employee development.

    The winners were:
    -Ian Ashcroft, Ashcroft's Supa IGA Plus Liquor, Orange NSW, Australia (IGA>D New South Wales Division)
    -Gary and Terrie Baker, Baker's IGA, Coshocton, Ohio (Supervalu, Inc. Central Region, Xenia Division)
    -Gwendolyn Christon, Isom IGA, Isom, Ky. (Merchants Distributors, Inc.)
    -Woody Foster, Foster's Food Fair IGA, Grand Cayman, BWI (Supervalu, Inc. Southeast Region, Quincy Division)
    -Dave Kaltenbach, Oberlin IGA, Oberlin, Ohio (Laurel Grocery Co.)
    -James Nilsson, Jr., Geissler's IGA, East Windsor, Conn. (Bozzuto's, Inc.)
    -Roderick Rynke, Robinson IGA, Robinson, Ill. (Supervalu, Inc. Midwest Region, Champaign Division)

    "These retailers have embraced IGA's 'hometown proud' philosophy as a way of life, serving their customers and communities with the personalized care that is the hallmark of IGA," noted IGA USA president, chairman, and c.e.o. Mark Batenic in a statement.

    "As IGA Global continues its pattern of growth, it is my hope that these exemplary retailers lead the way for their international peers," IGA Global president, chairman, and c.e.o. Dr. Thomas Haggai.

    The 2007 IGA International Supermarket Manager of the Year award is given yearly to the IGA managers who best embody the spirit of IGA by providing leadership, inspiration, and contributions to the IGA system year-round. A committee of food industry executives chose the winners from a pool of applicants submitted by IGA's over 4,000 domestic and international retailers. Among the judging criteria are sales, marketing events, brand support, 'Hometown Proud' commitment, employee development, and leadership.

    The winning manager were Rick McElroy, Lake Region IGA, Hawley, Pa. (Bozzuto's, Inc.), and Peter Smith, Blaxland Supa IGA, NSW, Australia (IGA>D New South Wales Division)

    "Although Rick runs the day-to-day operations of the store with precision and thoroughness, his management style is both compassionate and thoughtful," said Batenic. "Combine that with a commitment to 'Hometown Proud' personalized attention and community involvement, and you have a formula for success that merits International Supermarket Manager of the Year recognition.

    "[Smith's] work hiring employees with disabilities is legendary in Australia, and an inspiration to us all," noted Haggai.

    The four President's Cup winners were selected by a committee of food industry executives, based on the companies' performances throughout 2006. Judging criteria 2006 membership growth and development, operational excellence and assessment rating, and IGA brand product, image, and overall Alliance support.

    The recipients were retailer-owned cooperative Affiliated Foods Midwest (IGA President's Cup for Greatest IGA Development; wholesaler Laurel Grocery Co. (IGA President's Cup for Overall IGA Performance); multistore supermarket and convenience retailer Houchens Industries, Inc. (IGA President's Cup for Greatest IGA Brand Development); and distributor IGA >D Queensland (Greatest IGA International Development).

    Haggai and Ty Boyd, longtime master of ceremonies at IGA's International Retailer of the Year annual awards banquet, received the J. Frank Grimes Award for outstanding service to IGA.

    The J. Frank Grimes Award, named for IGA's founder, is given in recognition of extraordinary achievement.

    Haggai's IGA career began in 1972, when he became the first non-wholesale food executive elected to the IGA Board. In 1986 Haggai became chairman and CEO of IGA,
    a position he held until late 2006, when Mark Batenic, former e.v.p. and c.o.o. of Clemens Markets, assumed control of IGA's domestic operations. Haggai currently oversees operations of IGA Global from his offices in High Point, N.C.

    IGA is the world's largest voluntary supermarket network, with aggregate worldwide retail sales of over $21 billion per year. The Alliance includes more than 4,000 Hometown Proud Supermarkets worldwide, supported by 36 distribution companies and more than 55 major manufacturers, vendors, and suppliers. IGA has operations in 44 of the United States and more than 40 countries, commonwealths, and territories.

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