Publix’s Crenshaw, Wakefern’s Colalillo honored by FMI
The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) recognized former Publix Super Markets CEO and current chairman of the board of directors Ed Crenshaw with FMI’s highest honor, the Rabb Award.
FMI acknowledged Crenshaw for excellence in serving the consumer, the community and the industry at a celebratory event at FMI’s Midwinter Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz.
During the awards ceremony, Publix CEO Todd Jones praised Crenshaw’s 42-year career saying, “It’s a reflection of our company culture and the legacy that you have built. You’ve weathered recessions and fluctuating market trends. You’ve taught us how to be humble. You’ve been a mentor in our careers, a supporter of our communities, and built solid business relationships. And perhaps most importantly, you’ve given us your time and invaluable counsel.”
Crenshaw’s career began as a stock clerk for the company. And throughout his corporate journey, he held management, buying and store operations positions until he earned the titles of executive vice president of retail in 1994 and president in 1996, eventually taking the helm as CEO in 2008. Crenshaw’s reputation for exceptional leadership is well regarded in the business and trade communities, according to FMI.
“Publix is consistently recognized as one of the top companies to work for (19 consecutive years), and it’s Ed’s remarkable leadership that has nurtured Publix’s reputation for two decades,” FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin remarked. “We honor Ed tonight because he has truly been integral to the strategic development of FMI policies and positions — including the development of industry resources, its health care agenda, labeling issues and its political action committee — all while keeping the needs of the consumer in a clear line of sight.”
FMI also honored Joe Colalillo, president of ShopRite of Hunterdon County Inc. and chairman and CEO of Wakefern Food Corp., with the Wegman Award for exercising entrepreneurial leadership in the design of retail strategies and imaginative merchandising.
“Joe is a champion of new ideas – he has consistently embraced new industry initiatives that empower businesses to better serve the consumer,” Sarasin said. “For instance, Joe was a leading proponent of the food safety training program SafeMark, ensuring all of his employees were trained and certified. Joe is a straight-talking, honest broker of goods and services, and he inspires our industry to maintain its relevance by his keen commitment to doing what is right for the customer.”
Colalillo has served on multiple boards and board-level committees, including the FMI Board of Directors and the Food Safety Committee. He has been recognized in the past for launching consumer-facing technologies, initiating seafood sustainability programs, cultivating associate engagement and implementing health and wellness solutions in ShopRite stores.
Colalillo is also a member of one of FMI’s non-competitive share groups that exchanges new ideas to better their businesses, the industry and the communities which they serve.
“I can’t think of anyone more deserving than Joe to receive an award that is named in the honor of an industry icon, Robert Wegman,” said fellow share group member Norman Mayne, CEO of Dorothy Lane Market, a Dayton, Ohio-based supermarket chain.
Colalillo has maintained his family-owned business, founded in the late 1940s by his father, Joseph A. Colalillo. The Colalillo family owns and operates three ShopRite stores in New Jersey, which together employ more than 1,100 associates.