NOVEMBER 2, 2010


2010 Kentucky Grocer of the Year Award
recipient Johnny Cecil (Food City)

FRANKFORT, KY, NOVEMBER 2, 2010: The Kentucky Grocers Association, Inc. (KGA) has named John Cecil, Executive Vice President of Store Operations for Food City, the 2010 Kentucky Grocer of the Year.

The award was presented to Cecil during the 2010 Kentucky Grocers Association, Inc. Annual Meeting and Industry Awards Dinner held Saturday October 30th at the French Lick Springs Resort in French Lick, IN. The award recipient is determined by the KGA Board of Directors and based on an individual's outstanding contribution to their family, community, and the good of the retail food and food distribution industries in Kentucky. The Kentucky Grocer of the Year Award has been presented annually since 1972.

Food City President and CEO Steve Smith introduced Cecil telling dinner attendees that his friendship with Cecil actually began when they were students at James Madison University in Virginia-striking up a conversation and friendship that has lasted over 30 years. Smith stated, "Johnny is a people person. He has faith in the people he works with to get a job done and when Johnny says he is going to do something, you can consider it done."

In 1980, following his graduation from James Madison University, Cecil began working for K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc. as store manager of an experimental new store entitled Sav-U-Discount Foods. Although the concept was terminated a year-and-a-half later, Cecil found a home with the Food City team, quickly learning the ropes of the grocery industry and working his way up the ranks.

Throughout his career with K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc., Cecil has served in numerous key positions, including store manager, administrative assistant to the president and district manager, before accepting his current position as executive vice president of store operations for Food City's Tri-City Division. Cecil is currently responsible for the total operation of 54 supermarkets in Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee, including the supervision of five district managers.

Cecil is involved in various political and charitable activities and has served on the board of directors for the Kentucky Grocers Association, is a member of the National Grocers Association and a recipient of their NGA Spirit of America Award. He also established and chaired the board for Prestonsburg's Community College Educational Foundation, implemented the Food City Scholarship Program in association with KGA/KACS and has been instrumental in helping pass legislation beneficial to the Kentucky grocery industry.

Cecil earned a Bachelor of Science degree from James Madison University. He currently resides in Pikeville, Kentucky with his wife, Jane.

2010 KGA/KACS Chairman Tom Litzler commented that "Johnny has been a tremendous asset to the Kentucky grocery industry in working legislative issues on behalf of the entire industry. When legislation impacting our industry was proposed or even moving, Johnny was always there to help lead the charge."

In accepting the award, Cecil said, "He was still in shock over being named 2010 Grocer of the year that he owes so much of his personal success to the Food City organization." Cecil also said "The KGA/KACS is a great organization and I am so proud to be a part of it."

About the Kentucky Grocers Association & Kentucky Association of Convenience Stores (KGA/KACS):
Founded in 1941, the Kentucky Grocers Association and Kentucky Association of Convenience Stores is a joint statewide trade association representing approximately 550 member companies operating in a retail food and convenience marketplace of approximately 1,900 locations across Kentucky. Membership includes retailers, wholesalers, distributors, and related suppliers to the grocery, supermarket, and convenience store industries.

About Food City:
Headquartered in Abingdon, Virginia, K-VA-T Food Stores operates 105 retail food outlets throughout the tri-state regions of Southeast Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.


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