Many store owners from members of Associated Food Stores and team members from Associated Retail Operations and AFS participated in the Utah Food Industry Association’s (UFIA) annual conference this week at the Davis Conference Center in Layton, Utah.

As the conference began, Dave Davis, president and chief legal officer for UFIA, shared a story about his daughters. He said his children struggle to accurately describe what he does for a living. With the story as a foundation, Dave shared UFIA’s purpose statement which is as follows: “We advance and protect the interests of the companies that feed your communities.” With that purpose in mind, UFIA is a trade association representing Utah grocery and convenience stores and their wholesaler and supplier partners in state and national government.

Kent’s Market received the Impact award for their continued cooperation in supporting military families in the communities they serve. Upon receiving the award, Jon Fawson, president and CEO of Kent’s, said, “I challenge everyone to find their own ‘why’ and how you can give back to other in your community.”

Bob Obray was posthumously named to the UFIA Hall of Fame. 

The keynote speaker at the conference was Mark Miller. Miller recently retired from the position of vice president of high-performance leadership at Chick-fil-A. He shared ideas and recommendations for building a vibrant and enduring culture built on three principles: aspire, amplify and adapt.

Miller encouraged attendees to be smart and strategic about their culture, to communicate it clearly and to ensure all leaders and team members understand their roles as ambassadors for the company.

The second session of the conference featured Robert Spendlove. Spendlove is a senior vice president and the economic and public policy officer for Zions Bank. He provided the large gathering with updates on the state of Utah’s economy and how stores can prepare for uncertainty as Utah’s economy continues to pivot.

“Utah continues to emerge as the strongest state in the country,” said Spendlove. “We’re not impervious, but I’m very confident the state economy will continue to thrive in the future.”

The last portion of the conference was dedicated to the state-level best bagger competition. Baggers from around the state participated in a competitive and energy filled event.