Iowa Grocery Industry Association Honors Five at 26th Annual Hall of Fame Dinner

Iowa grocers gathered to honor outstanding grocery and convenience industry leaders at the Iowa Grocery Industry Association’s 26th Annual Hall of Fame Dinner, which was held Tues., Nov. 5, at Sheraton West Des Moines.

This year, the Association inducted into its Hall of Fame independent grocer Ivan Thede, owner of The Market of Madrid, as the Retailer of the Year. The organization also honored Terry Handley, former CEO of Casey’s General Stores, with its Lifetime Achievement Award. E & J Gallo Winery accepted the Supplier of the Year Award while Chris Carrow received the Volunteer of the Year Award. In recognition of her leadership in the Iowa legislature on behalf of the industry, Iowa State Representative Megan Jones, was honored with the 2019 Legislative Leadership Award.

All award recipients took the stage to accept their awards as they were inducted into the Iowa Grocery Industry Association Hall of Fame. The IGIA recognized Thede and Handley each with a special tribute video, highlighting the life and accomplishments of each.

Thede Named Retailer of the Year

(Photo) Brian Burnam, Keith’s Foods (right), presents Ivan Thede, owner, The Market of Madrid, with the Retailer of the Year Award. 

Ivan Thede, owner of The Market of Madrid, received the industry’s top honor for his impact on the community of Madrid, Iowa, and the grocery industry. Thede began working at Fort Dodge Fruit & Grocery at the age of 16 and remained throughout high school and college. After high school, he earned a food marketing degree from Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge and accepted a position with Randall’s in Fort Dodge in May of 1974. Thede soon made his way to Marshalltown, Iowa, to run the produce department at a former Eagle’s store that had been purchased by Randall’s. Within a short period of time, he was promoted to assistant manager. Thede’s work in Marshalltown gave him the experience he needed to manage a Randall’s store in Eau Claire, Wisc. Thede and Denise, his wife, left Marshalltown with their three young children and headed to Eau Claire in 1980. Thede remained at the Eau Claire store for nine years before purchasing the Fairgrounds Super Valu in Des Moines in 1989 and renaming it Lee Town Foods. In 1997, he and Denise purchased The Market of Madrid in Madrid, Iowa.

Thede is well known for his many contributions to the community of Madrid as a member of the Madrid Action Committee. He also works with many members of the town’s Labor Day Committee to help plan and fund its annual Labor Day celebration. He and Denise have donated to numerous projects through the years benefitting the senior center and Madrid schools, and providing meals for needy families. They are active in the church, assisting Lenten Fish Fry organizers and acting as sponsors for couples planning to be married.

Handley Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

(Photo) Former Casey’s General Stores CEO Bob Myers (right) presents Terry Handley, recently retired Casey’s CEO, with the Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Terry Handley graduated from Ankeny High School in 1978 and went to work for Hawbaker Bridge Painting out of Redfield, Iowa. In January of 1981, Handley accepted a position at Casey’s as a store-set specialist. As 1981 drew to a close, the 21-year-old Handley was promoted to area supervisor. Handley was asked to join the company’s newly established marketing department as a category manager/buyer in 1983 and was placed in charge of the marketing department in 1988.

Two years later, Handley became a store operations regional manager, a position established to help the vice president of store operations bridge the gap between himself and a growing number of district managers. Handley worked in the position for the next five years, acquiring the experience he would need to advance in the company. In 2000, Casey’s CEO at the time, Ron Lamb, asked Handley to be the vice president of store operations. Handley was promoted to senior vice president of store operations three years later. He remained in that position until 2006, when he was promoted to chief operating officer, then president of Casey’s in 2014 and CEO in 2016.

Handley has been involved in the community through Casey’s many philanthropic endeavors, including Variety Club of Iowa, MDA, St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Hope for the Warrior, among others. Handley has served on the board of directors and the board of trustees for Youth Homes of Mid-America, is a charter board member of the Bondurant-Farrar Education Foundation and a current member of the Simpson College Board of Trustees. In 2010, he received the Governor’s Volunteer of the Year Award. He accepted the IGIA Lifetime Achievement award for a lifetime of indelible impact on Iowa communities and the grocery industry.

E & J Gallo Winery Named Supplier of the Year

(Second from the left) Garrett Piklapp, senior vice president, secretary, legal counsel for Fareway Stores presents E & J Gallo Winery with the Supplier of the Year Award. (Left to right) E & J’s Iowa representatives: Kris Schmidt, account manager; Leslie Lucente, market development manager and John Rasley, business development manager, accept the award on the company’s behalf.

Since 1933, E & J Gallo Winery has kept its focus firmly planted on producing world-class wines and providing outstanding customer service. With headquarters in Modesto, California, E & J Gallo Winery has grown into the largest family-owned, privately-held winery in the world today, employing more than 6,500 people worldwide.

A strong supporter of the Association’s many retail members, E & J Gallo Winery provides unparalleled support through its Customer Development Division with resources designed to add to a retailer’s bottom line. The Gallo salesforce, training program and customer relations set the winery apart from its competition. Over the years, E & J’s Iowa representatives have participated in IGIA events, served on committees and donated untallied amounts of time and resources. The company has also participated in the IGIA Ribbon Sponsor program since 1994.

E & J Gallo Winery’s commitment to Iowa retailers and the grocery industry has earned the company the title of IGIA Supplier of the Year in 2019 for a second time.  The company received the award previously in 2002.

E & J’s Iowa representatives, business development manager, John Rasley; Kris Schmidt, account manager; Leslie Lucente, market development manager for Iowa and Nebraska accepted the award on the company’s behalf.

Carrow Honored with Volunteer of the Year Award

(Photo) Past IGIA chairman Dana Sump, senior category manager, Casey’s General Stores (left), presents the Volunteer of the Year award to Chris Carrow.

This year’s Volunteer of the Year, Chris Carrow, has always felt a need to give back. Carrow attended Marquette Catholic High School in Alton, IL and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He began working for Anheuser-Busch in 1998 while attending the University of Missouri. He moved to Iowa in 2005 to become a district manager for Anheuser-Busch. Another promotion followed in 2007 when he became a key account manager and began calling on every major grocery and convenience chain based in the state. In 2013, he received yet another promotion. As the new retail sales director, he managed Anheuser-Busch’s retail teams for Hy-Vee, Fresh Thyme and IGA Inc. throughout the United States. Carrow began volunteering with the IGIA in 2006, while he was working for Anheuser-Busch and has continued to serve the grocery industry every year since. Carrow served as a member of the Convention Auction Committee from 2008 to 2015, acting as chairman in 2009. He currently is a member of the Convention Committee, which he joined in 2016, serving as the committee chair in 2019.

Jones Receives Legislative Leadership Award

(Photo) Brett Bremser, executive vice president, chief merchandising officer, Hy-Vee (right), presents Iowa Representative Megan Jones with the Legislative Leadership Award.

Representative Megan Jones, a leader in the Iowa Legislature, has been a strong supporter of the Iowa Grocery Industry Association and its members.

According to IGIA President Michelle Hurd, Representative Jones has made an incredible effort to consider how different rules and regulations impact the grocery industry, and understands the vital role grocers play in Iowa communities as employers and providers of healthy, wholesome food. “Megan actively listens to how the issues will impact our members and consumers, and works tirelessly as an advocate on behalf of her constituents,” Hurd says.

Jones, who is currently serving her fourth term in the Iowa House, representing Iowa’s 2nd District, which covers Clay, Dickinson and Palo Alto counties, has served on the Administrative Rules Review Committee for four years. She also serves on the Local Government, Judiciary and Ways & Means committees.

A graduate of Spencer High School, Jones attended Drake University, where she balanced a full-time job while earning a degree in law, politics and society, as well as a business degree. She then went on to earn her Juris Doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law, in St. Paul, Minnesota. While not currently practicing law, Megan remains an active member of the bar.

Past Retailers of the Year, left to right: Scott Havens, former Scott’s Foods; Denny Dietrich, Gary’s Foods; Lyndon Johnson, Hometown Foods; Reynolds Cramer, president & CEO, Fareway Stores; Fred Greiner, former president, Fareway Stores; Doug Fallgatter, Fallgatter’s Market; and Brian Burnam, Keith’s Foods.

Past Lifetime Achievement Award Winners, left to right: Rich Stearns, senior vice president retired, Fareway Stores; Fred Greiner, president retired, Fareway Stores; Bob Myers, CEO retired, Casey’s General Stores and Phil Yurgae, president retired, Mueller Yurgae Associates.