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WASHINGTON, DC -- Ron Pearson, chairman of Hy-Vee, Inc., Des Moines, Iowa, was elected chairman of The Food Marketing Institute Foundation (FMIF), succeeding Jim Ukrop, chairman of Ukrop's Super Markets, Inc.
Pearson will oversee the fundraising and programming objectives of the foundation, a not-for-profit corporation established in 1996 with a mission of supporting food safety education and information, including the Fight BAC! program. He will also lead initiatives designed to increase exposure for the organization and its supporters.
Pearson, a past chairman of FMI and a former foundation trustee, will be particularly involved with fundraising for the endowment of the FMI Food Industry Library, the largest repository for information on the food industry in the world. Spanning 75 years of food retailing, the collection is the only library in existence to contain the first edition of Progressive Grocer (1922) and the first edition of Supermarket News (1952).
The library also includes food retailer and supplier company histories, documents on the history of the bar code, international food retailing histories and trends, consumer behavior history and trends, directories of supermarket companies from the 1950s to the present, and market share data.
In addition to his role with the FMI Foundation, Pearson is a member of the FMI board of directors, where he sits on the FMI executive committee. He also served for three years as chairman of the FMI political action committee and co-chaired FMI's board task force on diversity.
Pearson became chairman of Hy-Vee, Inc. in 1989. Based in West Des Moines, IA, Hy-Vee is an employee-owned company that operates 221 retail stores -- 193 supermarkets and 28 drug stores -- in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota.