Steven C. Smith, president and CEO of K-VA-T Food Stores, received the Food Marketing Institute’s (FMI) highest recognition, the Sidney R. Rabb Award, for his exceptional service to the consumer, the community and the supermarket industry. The award was presented at FMI’s Midwinter Executive Conference in Orlando, Fla.
Smith started in the grocery industry as a child, learning from his father Jack Smith who opened his first Piggly Wiggly store in 1955. Throughout Smith’s 26 years of employment, his dedication and knowledge of store operations grew with the company, which now includes 93 Food City supermarkets throughout the tri-state regions of Southeast Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee, in addition to 11 new Super Dollar Discount Foods stores.
Smith’s understanding of the industry is apparent in his range of titles at K-VA-T Food Stores, which before president and CEO, included district manager, director of meat operations, director of advertising, store operations divisional vice president, executive vice president of store operations and chief operating officer. He was also the only executive to serve as Chairman on both FMI’s and National Grocers Association’s board of directors.
His dedication to the community parallels his commitment to the industry. Smith and Food City support organizations such as Muscular Dystrophy, Boy Scouts, United Way, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, American Cancer Society, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Santa Pals, YWCA, Boys & Girls Clubs and American Diabetes Association.
“Beyond corporate and social responsibility, Steve Smith represents the true meaning of community commitment,” Travis Staton, CEO of United Way of Russell and Washington Counties said. “From buying from local farmers to giving back to area schools, Steve is improving lives within the communities he serves. Thanks to his hard work and dedication, many have been given the opportunity to have a better place to live, work and raise a family.”
One of Smith’s long-time associates, Israel Quinn, stated, “Steve Smith believes that as a good corporate citizen, we have a responsibility to leave our community a better place than we found it…Steve Smith’s commitment to our region is unsurpassed.”