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The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) today presented its most distinguished honor in the realm of public affairs, the Glen P. Woodard Jr. Award, to Steven C. Smith, president and CEO of Abingdon, Va.-based K-VA-T Food City.
"Perhaps one of Smith’s most creative and hard-fought victories was completed last year – getting wine in grocery stores in Tennessee," said Jennifer Hatcher, SVP of government and public affairs of Arlington, Va.-based FMI. "Steve won't take 'no' for an answer when it comes to change that will benefit his customers, his associates, his company or his industry."
Added Hatcher: "Steve used 5-foot wine bottle cut-outs as a visual to complement his grass-roots campaign, Red, White and Food, that engaged 30,000 customers and voters in Tennessee to support the sale of wine in grocery stores. Smith testified in the state legislature and then helped lead a store-to-store, county-by-county campaign that culminated with 80 counties voting for wine in grocery stores."
At the federal level, Smith was an early and active participant in the battle over swipe fees at retail, testifying before the House Judiciary Antitrust Task Force in 2007, and he continues to advocate at all levels of government for the industry.