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Safeway appoints president of Vons division

BY Michael Johnsen

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway on Monday named Lori Raya president of its Vons division.

In her most recent position as SVP main meal, Raya had responsibility for the company’s largest portfolio of center-store business units including ingredients, beverages and snacks. She joined the company nearly 25 years ago as a clerk in the company’s Denver division. Raya progressed through the retail ranks including assignments at the company’s corporate office, and then as district manager at Vons and VP, retail operations in Safeway’s northern California division. In 2009, Raya joined the perishable marketing team as a group VP, deli/food service and bakery and was promoted to SVP, with added responsibility for dairy/refrigerated and frozen food, before assuming her previous role in mid-2011.

"Lori’s considerable breadth of experience running major retail units, as well as large perishable and non-perishable marketing functions within the company, make her an excellent fit for the leadership role at Vons," Safeway chairman, president and CEO Steve Burd said. "That combined with her exceptional track record of success has positioned her perfectly to run one of our largest operating divisions."

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FMI honors three supermarket leaders for community efforts

BY Michael Johnsen

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Food Marketing Institute on Monday honored three supermarket executives for their achievements in the industry during FMI’s Midwinter Executive Conference here, the association announced.

Danny Wegman, CEO of Wegmans Food Markets, was awarded the inaugural Food Marketing Institute Robert B. Wegman Award in honor of his entrepreneurial leadership in the design of retail strategies and imaginative merchandising. FMI instituted the newest award in honor of Robert B. Wegman, whose half-century leadership of Wegmans Food Markets was marked by a creative retail savvy that grew the family grocery business into one of the largest privately held companies in the United States.

Steven Smith, president and CEO of K-VA-T Food Stores, received the FMI Sidney R. Rabb Award in recognition for his exceptional service to the consumer, the community and the supermarket industry. “Beyond corporate and social responsibility, Steve Smith represents the true meaning of community commitment,” stated Travis Staton, CEO of United Way of Russell and Washington Counties. “From buying from local farmers to giving back to area schools, Steve is improving lives within the communities he serves.”

FMI also honored Richard Parkinson, former president and CEO of Associated Food Stores, with the FMI Herbert Hoover Award for his humanitarian service in the food retail and wholesale industry.

An FMI video presentation of the 2012 FMI Robert B. Wegman Award can be seen here.

An FMI video presentation of the 2012 FMI Sidney R. Rabb Award can be seen here.

An FMI video presentation of the 2012 FMI Herbert Hoover Award can be seen here.

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Report: H-E-B commits $100 million to Austin market

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN ANTONIO — H. E. Butt Grocery has made a $100 million commitment to expand into the Austin market, according to an American-Statesman report published Saturday.

The capital expenditures will be used to remodel a number of stores throughout the market, as well as to build a new 75,000-sq.-ft. grocer in the area. The "Mi Tiendo" Latin format expansion, reported earlier this year by the American-Statesman, is a part of that push into the Austin market.

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