On March 19, Associated Food Stores (AFS) hosted the annual meeting for member retailers at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah.  

The meeting began with the national anthem performed by Christine Clevenger, an ARO team member who manages Starbucks at Macey’s Market in Pinebrook. Then, David Rice, president and CEO, welcomed the hundreds in attendance and introduced special guests.  

Chip Atkinson, chairman of AFS’ board of directors, introduced fellow members of the board and expressed gratitude for their efforts before Board Member Jonathan Badger announced this year’s election results. 

Following the election results, Dave and Board Member Paula Simerly announced the recipients of the “Donald P. Lloyd Spirit of Independents” award, Jerry and Connie Ridley. A video commemorating their accomplishments brought a standing ovation for the Ridley’s as they accepted Associated Food Stores’ highest honor. 

Following the presentation of the “Donald P. Lloyd Spirit of Independents” award, Board Member Jason Pollard introduced the “One Associated” award. As one of the company’s premier team-member recognition opportunities, the award is presented to a team member who exemplifies leadership, commitment and heart in driving the mission of Associated Food Stores.  

Todd Bell was named this year’s recipient of the “One Associated” award. Todd was given the award by Roger White and Todd was featured in this year’s annual report.

After the “One Associated” award presentation, Board Chair Chip Atkinson introduced a new award. “The Heart of Associated” award is presented to a team member whose commitment, exceptional leadership and compassionate heart embody the core mission of Associated Food Stores – enriching lives, one grocer, one family, one meal at a time. Recipients of “The Heart of Associated” award shine as beacons of outstanding servant leadership within the Associated Food Stores’ system. With former CEOs Rich Parkinson and Neal Berube participating, along with current President and CEO David Rice, longtime corporate secretary and remarkable team member Lezlie Sanders received the award and was featured in this year’s annual report. 

Following the award presentations, Dave introduced the rest of the executive team. Executive team members Travis Boman, Tim Conner, Roger White, Glen Keysaw, Jason Sokol, Justin Atwater, Steve Miner and Darin Peirce all provided updates on key projects and initiatives including: 

  • AFS’ financial performance 
  • Team member education and Learning Hub 
  • Project ROAR (warehouse modernization) 
  • AFS’ Go-to-Market strategy (marketing and advertising modernization) 
  • The future of pharmacy 
  • Store development 
  • Retail operations modernization 

To conclude the meeting, Dave addressed the importance of retailers not being alone in their efforts and that with AFS’ many team members, partners, national allies and community connections the company is well positioned to build now and continue building in the years to come. 

As Dave finished his remarks, he voiced his confidence in the power and ability of “One Associated” to be the premier wholesaler in the west. A full video of the meeting will be available soon.