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Andronico’s Names Monford to Lead Its Resurgence Andronico’s Community Markets has a new CEO, chosen to lead “its resurgence as an innovator in the San Francisco Bay area’s specialty food retail business,” the five-store retailer announced at the beginning of June. Suzy Monford is now leading Andronico’s and its allwoman executive team. According to the grocer, Monford is recognized for her ability to innovate across key global growth markets, including grocery, lifestyle retailing and health/ fitness. She has been recruited internationally by leading corporations in Australia, the U.K., Canada and the U.S. Originally from Texas, Monford most recently was head of innovation for Woolworth’s, the largest retailer in the Asia Pacific region, to which she was recruited to lead strategic change and international joint ventures.
Previously she founded Food Sport International, working with Coles Supermarkets in Australia as her primary client. Other clients included Cheers Inc., a restaurant corporation in Texas, where she worked as president and CEO. A certified health coach, Monford has served on the executive board of directors for both the San Antonio Mayor’s Fitness Council and the YMCA; she actively teaches fitness and health in her
community. “At Andronico’s, one of our core merchant principles is to build healthy communities while we build our business. We believe that you can do well by doing good,” Monford said. “To that end, I’ll be introducing a new, innovative approach to health and wellness that is a major departure from the role that the supermarket industry has traditionally played. Fitness—in all aspects from kitchen to shopping to cooking to dining—will be the way ACM delivers on its promise to advocate for community and our own corporate health. We’ll pioneer recipes for fit living for our shoppers and teammates. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to continue the Andronico’s legacy,” Monford added. “We were born in Please see page 70
Majority Ownership of Raley’s Goes to Son Michael; New COO Named Jim and Joyce Raley Teel said in mid-May that they will transfer majority ownership of Raley’s Family of Fine Stores to their son, Michael Teel, who is president and CEO. Michael is the third-generation owner of the family business. His four sisters will hold minority ownership of the West Sacramento, California-based company, which owns and operates 127 stores: 76 Raley’s, 20 Bel Air Markets, 22 Nob Hill Foods supermarkets and nine Food Source stores as well as 13 Aisle 1 fuel stations in Northern California and Nevada. In a letter to Raley’s employees, Jim and Joyce Teel said: “This is a significant accomplishment, as fewer than 12 percent of family businesses transition to a third generation. With Mike’s passion and vision, we have great faith
he will guide and grow the business for future generations.” Mike Teel will own 92 percent of the company; his sisters equally will share the remaining 8 percent. “Other details of the deal are a private family matter,” the company said in a press release. “My grandfather saw the Please see page 70
Jerry Whitmore and Bob Wilson: 2015 Food Industry Hall of Fame inductees Michael Teel
A LOOK INSIDE
See our story starting on page 30
Montana Market Profile, page 12
Food Industry Hall of Fame JULY 2015
Whitmore and Wilson: Two Ice Cream Sales Guys Who Made a Difference to Many
Jerry Whitmore and Bob Wilson Jerry Whitmore and Bob Wilson are two worthy selections to the Food Industry Hall of Fame, based on the amount of feedback The Shelby Report received when members of the California food industry learned that these men had been chosen for the distinction. They gladly weighed in on these two gentlemen’s contributions not only to the company from which they are both retiring, Nestlé/Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, but to the industry as a whole as well the lives of their families and friends. Through these pages, it will become clear that Jerry Whitmore (who covered Southern California for the ice cream company) and Bob Wilson (who covered Northern California), while very successful in building the company’s business, realized that relationships with people were ultimately the most important. These two “trade
relations specialists”—a distinction that perhaps is fading away—knew the people they were calling on, both professionally and personally. And the term “calling on” actually meant picking up the phone and dialing to make a face-to-face appointment or get an answer to a question. While email and text have their place, these gentlemen know the value of real connection. Even when those they called on retired, they made sure to keep in touch, evidence that the relationships were built on more than just business. Though different in personality—Whitmore is more an extrovert and Wilson more an introvert—both excelled at their careers and were very active in giving back to their communities. And they both gave away a lot of ice cream. So they had a lot of fun, too.
The Shelby Report of the West • July 2015
Food Industry Hall of Fame Whitmore and Wilson Forged a Strong Bond Bob Wilson was Dreyer’s sales manager for Northern California, based in Oakland, when Jerry Whitmore joined the company in 1989. While they were in offices on opposite ends of California, they would get together regularly and have lunches with various supermarket executives. “Bob knew as many people in Southern California as I did,” Whitmore said. “And people in Southern California not only knew Bob, but they loved him. Every time he would come down here we would have like three lunches—Kevin (Davis) or Jim Lee or Don Baker or one of those would go to lunch with us. “Bob Wilson is another of those who lived and died by the culture of Dreyer’s. He and I are joined at the hip and I’m proud to know him, to have worked very closely with him. “Bob Wilson is a mentor,” Whitmore continued. “I respected everything Bob did in the industry, and I love him like a brother. I respected him so much I tried to do a lot of things like Bob would do. Bob was always giving back—always.” One reason Wilson was so well known in Southern California was his involvement in the Illuminators, adds Whitmore, who also has been a strong supporter of the organization over the years.
The Illuminators is “an organization of vendors and suppliers dedicated to developing and enhancing key relationships within the grocery industry, providing opportunities for education and leadership, and supporting the Illuminators Educational Foundation,” its website says. It was founded back in 1928, prior to the annual convention of the California Retail Grocers and Merchants Association, when a group of allied tradesmen gathered to consider a plan for improving methods of entertaining at grocery meetings. This plan met with unanimous approval, and the Illuminators was created. Today, the Illuminators works to make the conventions of the California Grocers Association (CGA) and Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC) successful events. The group also provides scholarships for youth who are affiliated with the grocery industry. “Illuminators is so strong, and they don’t realize it,” Whitmore said of younger members of today’s grocery industry. “As you go through your career you interface with all these people (through the Illuminators). The young kids aren’t getting it.”
The thing that has always impressed me about Jerry and his counterpart in Northern California, Bob Wilson, is that they really were the backbone for a brand that certainly was very important for the marketplace. It gets back to people, and they represented their brand extremely well, both of them did…I don’t think anybody really understood what they did for that Dreyer’s brand in California and elsewhere. I always gave a lot of credit for that brand’s success to those two fellows, who opened many doors. The trade relations part of the business…is a gone art. I don’t think it is evident today like it was. I’m not here to say it has to be, but it’s certainly not there, and I do think it’s still important. Jerry is the kind of fellow that didn’t always give you the news you wanted, but you always knew what he gave you was the truth. And he’s one of those fellows that no matter what he asked you to do as related to industry events, if you could, you would be there to support him. That wasn’t always the case. There were a lot of things I was asked to do that I didn’t do. I was thinking that when Jerry slowed down a little bit his golf game might get better, but in fact it’s getting worse! Dick Goodspeed Chairman of the Board Unified Grocers Formerly with Vons
July 2015 • The Shelby Report of the West
Food Industry Hall of Fame The ‘Grooves’ Culture at Dreyer’s Helped Shape Whitmore, Wilson Jerry Whitmore says the “Grooves” philosophy he and Bob Wilson learned at Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream helped form the basis of their successful careers. It’s an “I Can Make a Difference” philosophy. These excerpts are taken from the 2003 version. “At Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, we believe in the individual. We know that most people today relish their own uniqueness and want to be respected for their distinct characteristics, skills, strengths, weaknesses and idiosyncrasies. “We believe that if we hire good people and respect them as individuals, they will commit both their unique perspectives and their enthusiastic involvement to the goals we are trying to achieve together here at Dreyer’s. We seek individuals who want to enter into a relationship with our company, not just take a job. In return for committing their energy and enthusiasm to their jobs and identifying personally with the company’s goals and challenges, we understand that employees expect that company to value and respect their hearts and souls as well as minds and bodies. “We also know that people today want to be trusted. Trivial rules, procedures or policies that imply individuals cannot be trusted to do the right thing on their own used to be standard in the workplace. Today most employees consider them an insult. People want their company to assume that they will come to work on time, work hard and contribute to the cause each day without needing stopwatches, regulations, forms or rigid policies and procedures to ensure this behavior. The days when employees were blindly willing to do what they were told and follow their bosses’ instructions and their company’s policies without question are gone forever. Today, most people want a voice in how their work environment functions and want to contribute to as many decisions affecting their life on the job as possible. “At Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, we have always acknowledged and encouraged individual initiative and decision-making to the maximum extent practicable. We believe that only by truly empowering our people can we sustain their enthusiasm and personal satisfaction over time.” The company set down 10 “Grooves,” or tenets, that employees were challenged to operate by in their daily interactions with one another, within the company. Management Is People: Managers and supervisors are expected to hire, train, inspire, develop, coach and discipline each person in his or her department as well as foster an environment that encourages behavior consistent with the Grooves. Hire Smart: only look at the top 20 percent of all qualified candidates in hiring, which should eliminate the need to “manage tough” later on. Respect for the Individual: If you hire the right people, they
Congratulations to my friends, Jerry Whitmore and Bob Wilson, for their induction into the Hall of Fame. The dynamic duo! I’d also like to thank them for their support of City of Hope, which has allowed us to create more tomorrows for patients and their families, here and across the globe. Cheryl Kennick Senior Director of Corporate Philanthropy City of Hope/ Food Industries Circle
don’t need to be motivated, they need to be liberated to “do their thing.” People Involvement: Harness the thinking, ideas and energy of a wide cross-section of people, which also helps them grow as people and feel good about their contributions. Ownership: If you become “the best” at some aspect of your job, you “own” it. And “we expect everyone here at Dreyer’s to ‘own’ some aspect of his or her job.” Hoopla: Acknowledging individual or team accomplishments of all kinds because “we believe people deserve to be celebrated for their contributions.” Learn, Learn, Learn: Ensuring that people get the information and learn the skills needed to be effective in their jobs. Face to Face Communication: “We believe that everyone at Dreyer’s needs and deserves honest feedback on a regular basis.” Upside Down Organization: “We all need to recognize that people who are in the best position to impact the business on a day-to-day basis are the people on the ‘front lines’ of the organization.” This includes those who make the product, move them through the distribution system and do the accounting. Ready, Fire, Aim: “We want to encourage our people to learn by constantly trying new things and testing their ideas to see what actually works in practice. We call these tests ‘small starts.’ People will only experiment with small starts if they know it is okay to fail. We need to encourage ‘failing forward’ by recognizing people for trying new things and pushing the envelope, even if they don’t pan out.”
Big Saver Foods family would like to congratulate Jerry Whitmore on being inducted into the
FOOD INDUSTRY HALL OF FAME! We honor the man “who never had a bad day!”
The Shelby Report of the West • July 2015
Food Industry Hall of Fame
“Stone? Wilson.” That’s how every conversation would start… Every salesman wants to be Bob Wilson; Bob Wilson is what makes the grocery business so special. And Bob has everyone’s phone number. If you need a number, call Bob. He is the one guy that would do anything for you except share his ice cream! Mike Stone President and CEO Mollie Stone’s Markets
Like ice cream, Bob Wilson is all the flavors of a true gentleman: polite, intelligent, witty, talented, modest, loving husband, well groomed, and a great role model. Congratulations on being inducted into FIHOF.
Thanks, in most part, to being a member of the Illuminators, I have had the good fortune of having the advice, counsel and friendship of “Mr. Wilson” for many years. One of my fondest memories is when Bob was Headlite of the Illuminators in the year 2000 and partnered with then-WAFC president, Don Baker of Stater Bros. The two of them came out on stage and sang a duet of “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before.” They were dressed for it! Don was Julio Iglesias and Bob was Willie Nelson, gray braids and all. It was very special! Carole Christianson COO Western Association of Food Chains
Kent Kunsman Regional Manager ASR Group
Bob and Laura are two of the most genuine caring people we know. Bob wants to always know how you are doing personally and professionally before he ever discusses business. He consistently puts others first. He is a one-of-a-kind great man. Kevin Curry SVP-Sales, Merchandising, Marketing and Advertising Raley’s
I was riding with Jerry back some time ago. I told him that I was upset with a person who had done a bad thing to me, and I was going to send that person an email. He said, “Bob, give it the 24-Hour Rule. Wait 24 hours before you send the email. In 24 hours you may want to change what you say.” I’ve always considered that advice from Jerry. Bob Paul President DSD Solutions Inc.
July 2015 • The Shelby Report of the West
Food Industry Hall of Fame The best word I can use to describe Jerry is integrity. In 20-plus years he has never let me down. Not once. His word is his bond. My trust in him is complete and absolute. He is a positive force in our industry and we will miss him very much. And Jerry is an amazing hiker. Jerry Whitmore hiking the The first time we went out on Grand Canyon. the trail together we went on a 10-plus mile hike to the Bridge to Nowhere. I secretly thought we might have to stop and wait for him on the trail. No way. He was at the head of the pack. The only time he slowed down was to wait for the rest of us. Sue Klug EVP and Chief Marketing Officer Unified Grocers
For as long as I can remember, Jerry has been not only the “Ambassador” for Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, he has been a true food industry diplomat. I have known him for most of my 40-plus-year career in the business and know that even if he did, he would never admit to having had a “bad day.” Years ago, when he would give out Dreyer’s coupons to the receptionists at the grocery buying offices, he would always tease me that his coupons were more valuable than the ones that I would give for a six-pack of Coca-Cola. My response was that it was just further evidence that his stuff was overpriced! Love you, Jerry, and wish you a joyous, healthy and prosperous retirement! Carole Christianson COO Western Association of Food Chains
I have participated in Hike the Halo since the first year when Jerry Whitmore participated in the race right in front of me. I have a photo of us before we started the race and that is the last time I saw him until the end. Michelle Cassatt and Jerry Whitmore They staggered the racers participating in the 2012 Hike the Halo so he took off 30 seconds event for charity. in front of me and I never caught up to him and could not even see him in front of me by the time I got to the second level. I told Jerry that I have joined CrossFit and I have been training specifically to beat him so I hope he will come out of retirement to take me up on the challenge (again) this year. Michelle Cassatt Senior Account Manager-Retail Sales, California Region PepsiCo
Jerry has always embodied the true spirit of teamwork in our industry. His integrity and passion for his work have always set the bar high, and his legacy will not soon be forgotten. For those of us that know Jerry, he is a great storyteller, and he starts most of his stories with “true story” just to keep things clear. So, “true story,” Jerry is one of the best and will be greatly missed in our industry after his retirement.While we are not sure where we will find another ice cream coupon, we know he will keep the great stories of his hikes coming back to us. Best wishes, Jerry! Bryan Kaltenbach President Food 4 Less/Foods Co.
The Shelby Report of the West • July 2015
Food Industry Hall of Fame Jerry Whitmore Whitmore Sold Ice Cream with Lots of Warmth Jerry Whitmore is known to say, “I’ve never had a bad day.” And that remarkable attitude has led to a remarkable 51-year career for Whitmore in the Southern California grocery industry. His work life is nearly evenly split between two companies: Laura Scudder’s, where he spent 25 years, and Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, where he spent the past 26. The two companies have a couple of things in common: Both had a family-like culture, and both eventually were sold to larger companies. “When you’re working for the little company, you’re all in there together and just fight every day for a cause, and it helps build the company,” Whitmore said of his Every person that worked for years at Laura Scudder’s, where he eventuthem would get the Grooves.” ally became VP. “When I joined Dreyer’s, it Managers would be scored was like a family business even as big as we by those who reported to were. Everybody seemed to be rowing the them on how they were being boat together.” treated. He joined Dreyer’s as sales manager “It was all about how you covering Southern California, and held that were being treated within the title throughout his career at the company, company,” Whitmore said. which Nestlé purchased majority owner“This was how they perceive ship in in early 2006. their job and how they’re being At the peak, Whitmore had more than treated.” 20 people reporting to him, covering the On a scale of 1 to 10, if a grocery trade in Southern California. manager received a score of While he was responsible for the perfor3 or 4, they would be fired, mance of his staff, he shunned the word Whitmore says. “boss.” “Say we put you in Ohio “I always told everybody who ever worked as the manager running the for me, never use the word ‘boss.’ I hate the whole thing and all of a sudden word. It should be coach, trainer, teacher, At this year’s WAFC Pre-Convention Rally. your Groove scores are way whatever…I never, ever allowed anyone to down to 3 and California is call me boss.” up to 8 and this guy is 8, we’ve got a problem as a manager His feelings about his role as sales manager were largely because the people in town don’t like you. They don’t like the driven by the Dreyer’s culture (which is described more fully company; something is wrong,” Whitmore said. “They built a on page 33). business on the culture of the company and how we treated “I feel the company was built on not only innovation each other.” of products, but it was also the culture of the company,” Respect for the individual, an emphasis on training and Whitmore said. “There are 10 ‘Grooves’ that Dreyer’s used as personal empowerment form some of the basics of the it marched across the United States building this company. Grooves. “Dreyer’s built, to me, a business that may never be Jerry Whitmore is simply one matched,” according to Whitmore. of a kind. In my 25 years with In fact, Whitmore points to Rick Cronk, former president Ralphs and Vons, and in my role of Dreyer’s, as his mentor. as chairman of the City of Hope, Please see page 42 Jerry always “answered the bell” with genuine caring, friendship Our industry is as much about people as the Four Ps and generosity…he could be because of Jerry Whitmore. No one brings it all together, counted on. We wish him well while having fun, quite like him. Jerry’s passion for the in his retirement…he will be business is genuine and contagious...not only do you want sorely missed. to work with him, you want to be his friend. That is the
“What would my career have been if I was selling pickles? Probably a little bit different than being blessed to sell ice cream.” —Jerry Whitmore
Peets and Whitmore
Terry Peets Chairman Emeritus and Director City of Hope
legacy of Jerry Whitmore. Lori Raya President Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions
Whitmore recognized for service Jerry Whitmore’s involvement in industry groups and charitable organizations has earned him a number of accolades over the years. Among them: • Past president of the Food Industries Sales Managers’ Club (FISMC) of Los Angeles, recognized as a Legend of the Food Industry by the group, and recipient of its Presidential Award of Distinction • Food & Beverage Industries Humanitarian Award from the National Conference for Equality & Justice (CCEJ) • The Silver Beaver Award from the Boy Scouts of America • The “Good Scout Award” from the Southern California Grocery Industry and Boy Scouts of America • The Ted Eggers Honorlite Award, the highest honor from The Illuminators Whitmore has been or is actively involved in organizations, including the Orange County Boy Scouts of America Advisory Board; chairman of the In Kind Committee for the OC Boy Scout Council; The Stars & Stripes Committee for the OC Boy Scout Council; Board of Directors for the California Grocers Association; NCCJ nomination committee for the Humanitarian Award; City of Hope Industry Committee; Committee for the Olive Crest Home for Abused Children; and chairman of the Food Industries Sales Managers’ Club of Los Angeles Chairman of the Legends of the Industry Luncheon.
Congrats on your retirement, Jerry Whitmore! Your support of the Southern California Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Council will definitely be missed. Your customers will always value your honesty, integrity and passion for the business. Your colleagues—especially your Nestlé/Dreyer’s teammates—will miss you dearly. Your Nestlé/Dreyer’s friends will always be grateful for what you did to shape our careers. You were always there to support us when we needed support, helped us out when we needed help—but most of all you always put our success first, and for that we are all better off knowing and working with you. The very best to you, Jerry Whitmore! Mark Bowers SCFRC President Customer Development Account Manager Nestlé Sales Division
The Shelby Report of the West • July 2015
Food Industry Hall of Fame Jerry Whitmore From page 40
“The reason Rick is my mentor and always will be is Rick is what I call—and I don’t call too many people this in life—a man’s man. What I mean by that is, Rick Cronk was the president of Dreyer’s Ice Cream—he used to do the TV commercials—and you could put him in a room with presidents or chairmen of the company, and you knew he was something. But you could put him in the middle of an organization and you’d never know he was the president of a company. He fit right in,” Whitmore said. “And you could put him among the people working in our factories and you never knew he wasn’t one of them. That, to me, is a man’s man.” He said Cronk had an uncanny ability to know when Whitmore needed him to get involved in a situation, even though Whitmore never picked up the phone to call him. Whitmore says he remembers three specific occasions when that happened. After Cronk retired, Whitmore was in Oakland one day and asked Cronk to join him for lunch. As the meal was winding down, Whitmore leaned across the table and asked Cronk how he always knew when he was in trouble. He shook Whitmore’s hand and winked. Another of Whitmore’s mentors is Bob Wilson. “I respected him so much I tried to do a lot of things like Bob would do,” he said. Whitmore also has a great relationship with Mike Stamper, to whom he reported at Nestlé/ Dreyer’s prior to his retirement. With some changes at the corporate level about four years ago, Whitmore took on more public relations-type roles at Nestlé/Dreyer’s, with his sales reports shifted to other offices. But his sales manager title remained, and Whitmore continues to represent the company to accounts and at industry events, continuing to have a positive impact on sales.
Whitmore’s no-business-card philosophy
Whitmore realized that being unique was a key to success in the sales business, so “I built a career without a business card.”
Jerry Whitmore—Our Good Scout Passionate, committed and incredibly caring are just some of the adjectives we at the Boy Scouts of America, Orange County Council use to describe our longtime board member, Jerry Whitmore. Due to Jerry’s tireless efforts, the Boy Scouts of America, Orange County Council has received more than $6 million in program support and countless items for our camp programs, from hot dogs to charcoal. For 33 years, the Stars & Stripes Good Scout Award Luncheon has been a part of the council’s fundraising efforts, and Jerry has not only been instrumental in helping recruit the honorees and work on the committee, he was honored in 2002. Jerry is the embodiment of the Scout Oath and Law and believes in the opportunities that Scouting provides our youth in building their confidence, competency and character. He joined the Board of Directors of the Orange County Council in 1995 and since 1999 has been active chairing the Gifts-in-Kind committee—now known as the Food for Camp Campaign—that has provided well over $500,000 in donated products to Boy Scout summer and year-round camps. Jerry has a wonderful philosophy about life: “Each day is a new day!” and if you ask him how he is doing he will reply: “I’ve never had a bad day!” He believes that life is all about people and “giving back,” so it is not surprising that in addition to his involvement with Boy Scouts he is also committed to food industry organizations and charitable causes, including City of Hope, Easter Seals and Olive Crest. We at the Boy Scouts are so very proud of Jerry and his many accomplishments and are deeply grateful for his many contributions of time, talent and treasure to further the programs of the Boy Scouts in Orange County. Our 25,000 Scouts salute you!
“For 20 years it was a coupon. I never had a business card; you couldn’t get one from me. If I was having lunch with you for the first time, I would take your name and I would have you give me your address. And you would have a cooler of ice cream at your house.” At conventions, instead of handing out cards to “the chairmen, presidents, vice presidents, buyers, whatever…I would leave them a coupon. And I always knew they would take that coupon home to their wife or whatever. “I think you have to be different,” Whitmore added. “If you follow the crowd, I believe with all my heart, you’re going to go right with them, wherever they go. But if you do something different and unique, you’re going to be remembered.” Whitmore’s business philosophy also involves personal, rather than digital, contact. “I would never, never, not pick up that phone,” he said. “That phone has been my life and that’s got me to where I am. “I have a saying in my office: ‘A desk is dangerous place to watch the world go by.’ The world is so big,
A young Jerry Whitmore.
What comes to mind when you hear the words “ownership,” “competitive spirit,” “compassionate,” “mentor” and “never had a bad day”? For me, those are far more than words. They are the essence of my friend and longtime colleague, Jerry Whitmore. Jerry has been a mainstay in the Southern California food industry for over 40 years, the past 27 with Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream. During his long and illustrious career, he has developed business and personal relationships second to none. He has accomplished this through sincerity, unbiased support and giving back to those less fortunate than himself through charitable work. He has also scooped a “little” ice cream along the way in addition to handing out an “occasional” ice cream coupon. During his career, Jerry has received virtually every industry honor bestowed on a leader. He was deserving of every award given him over that time. He has led the (Food Industry) Sales Managers Club (FISMC) as the chairperson honoring various retail “Legends” in the industry over the years and is always willing to support whatever worthy cause is needed. For me personally, Jerry was the very first person to welcome me and support me in my professional career when I first joined Dreyer’s 26 years ago as a peer. After several moves with the company over a 10-year period, I landed back in Southern California, this time with a different level of responsibility. It made no difference to Jerry. Once again, he was the first one to greet me and my family and was determined (often he had to sit me down and explain how things really worked more often than he or I felt necessary) to teach, mentor and support me and our company to achieve better results but do so the “right way.” I have never forgotten, nor will I ever, the many meaningful “life lessons” from Jerry Whitmore. They are priceless, and I am honored to have been given each one of them as a “gift.” I am confident Jerry will continue his support of our industry by providing his insights, experience and passion toward providing others less fortunate with guidance and council. He will use his highly valued and respected relationships with others to better the food industry and positively touch the lives of many along the way. Jerry is my friend, a respected mentor and someone I admire not for all that he has accomplished but because of the honest, caring man he truly is. He is receiving this Hall of Fame award generously given to him by The Shelby Report as a highly deserving recipient and someone whose “day just got better!”
Sally Lawrence CFRE I Development Director Boy Scouts of America Orange County Council Santa Ana, California
Mike Stamper West Region General Manager Nestlé/Dreyer’s
Congratulations to Jerry Whitmore on your induction into the Food Industry Hall of Fame!!!!!
From the thousands of Scouts whose lives you have touched through the Stars & Stripes Good Scout Award Luncheon and the Food for Camp Campaign
We salute you for being OUR GOOD SCOUT!!!
July 2015 • The Shelby Report of the West
Food Industry Hall of Fame and you don’t want to miss it. I live by that. I think the younger generation, God bless them, they will have no people skills. I think it’s face to face and phone calls that build relationships…They say, ‘well, I can send the guy an email or something.’ I have 51 years in the business, and this touchy-feely stuff I grew up with, which I think is part of what we have in us, is kind of going away. It’s worse Jerry Whitmore with Kevin Davis of Bristol Farms. Jerry Whitmore with Donna Giordano of Ralphs. than sad. don’t know how many of those I’ve done, but I couldn’t “God, in life, gives you two choices when you’re born,” wait to do it. That part, I can tell you right now, will Whitmore quipped. “He said, ‘Jerry, you can either have be the biggest thing I’ll miss—scooping ice cream for one of the two choices: You can either have a people skill hospitals, churches, schools. They just get in line and or a brain, and I took the people skill. I may be lacking a they light up.” little on the other one, but the people skill that God has given me, I really feel, has helped me in my career.” Company enabled charitable work With his impending retirement, Whitmore began Whitmore is grateful to the company for the opporcalling top executives at the Southern California grocery chains to say, “Thank you for being so nice to me in my tunities it has afforded him to get involved in charitable activities. career.” “Dreyer’s allowed me to do all the stuff in the indusWhitmore knows that his career, at least in part, was try that you and I have been involved in—City of Hope, enhanced by the product he was selling at Dreyer’s. Whitmore, emcee of the FISMC Legends of the Industry event, with Bob “What would my career have been if I was selling Olive Crest, Boy Scouts, CCEJ, Legends of the Industry,” Stiles, retired president of Gelson’s, who was keynote speaker. pickles? Probably a little bit different than being blessed Whitmore said in an interview with The Shelby Report’s Bob Reeves. “They allowed me to do good for our to sell ice cream,” he said. In fact, he says what he will miss most when he retires industry.” “I think the company allowing people to go do differis being able to go and scoop ice cream at churches, ent charitable work also helped me in my career,” he said. schools and hospitals and see the happy faces. “I have a better time scooping ice cream than I did “I got to meet you and other people and it expanded me selling it. And I mean that very sincerely,” he said. “I beyond the grocery industry. If you give back just a little more, it comes back two-fold. It really does.” Whitmore has been responsible for getting industry Jerry is a throwback salesman to the days when legends to the Legends of the Food Industry event, vocal communication, your word and a handshake, sponsored by the Food Industry Sales Managers Club of got it done. He would rather talk to you face-toPlease see page 44 face or by phone to make it personal. His friendships were handled the same way and that has endeared him to all of us. I am proud to be considI have known Jerry for about 20 years. In that ered his friend. time I have come to know a man who wants to help his fellow man where he can. He is a huge Robert Stiles supporter of Scouting, charities and education. He President (retired) has been an Illuminator for as long as I’ve known Gelson’s Markets him. He and the Illuminators have been what makes the WAFC and CGA work so smoothly. Jerry almost sold me something at Costco, but his company pulled the rug out from under him at Jerry is a great supporter of not only the food the last moment (they downsized the ice cream industry, but every individual within it. He always has container). Not surprising, Nestlé didn’t get the a smile on his face, a willingness to help someone business. He has taken his “Ice Cream Road Show” out, and a spirit of hard work and drive that has to my grandchildren’s school, where every child made our industry great. I wish him well. was delighted with each scoop he gave them. He deserves the honor of Food Industry Hall Rob McDougall of Fame as much as anyone. It has been Chryl’s President and my pleasure to know him and Joanne. He has Gelson’s Markets worked tirelessly to promote the good this industry has to offer. Jerry, thank you. I’ve never John Eagan known Jerry VP/Senior General Merchandiser Whitmore to Costco Wholesale have a bad day. But I can tell you this: He’s made a lot of days awfully good for many Jerry is a true legend in the Southern California people over grocery industry. While many people may think the course of about ice cream coupons when they think about his career. He’s Jim Lee and Jerry Whitmore, Jerry, I think about Jerry’s commitment to help a good man to center, at a FISMC golf event. others. He has always been a leader when it comes have around. to supporting charitable causes, and he has been a Jerry is just the kind of guy you love to see coming great role model and mentor to the next generation. and you hate to see him go. When he eventually We will miss you, Jerry! really retires from our industry, he will truly be missed. He’s one of a kind; a definitive class act…I Donna Tyndall love the guy. SVP of Operations Gelson’s Markets Jim Lee USC FIM Program instructor Stater Bros. Markets (retired)
The Shelby Report of the West • July 2015
Food Industry Hall of Fame Jerry Whitmore From page 43
Los Angeles (FISMC), for a number of years. The goal is to have 30 Legends in attendance at each event. The event was April 15 this year, and just weeks before that, there were only 27 people signed up. That’s when Whitmore’s relationships in the industry were called into play. “You have to get on the phone and start calling people,” he said. “We ended up with 197, but I try and explain to these people that when they join a club, or when you do anything for a charity, you have to be all in. You really have to participate. That’s why you’re there. Not just to go to the event for somebody to see you. And I hope we never lose that in our industry.” The Southern California grocery business is a bit unique in that competitors often come together at conferences and meetings and actually share information. “We can all get in a room together, go to those functions, and tomorrow go out and just battle each other. I’m one of the luckiest guys in
Whitmore at the Grand Canyon.
the United States to be part of any of that,” Whitmore said. “In Southern California we have kept this together for many, many years, and I hope and pray that never goes away. I hope somebody is able to keep that torch lit.”
His next act
Whitmore, who is 72 years old, became an avid hiker about 15 years ago. A former colleague at Laura Scudder’s invited him to go on a hike, but he was skeptical. “I said, ‘Gail, we’ve got two stories on our building and I take the elevator! I don’t hike,’” he said. But one weekend, “they convinced me to Jerry and Joanne Whitmore at the Harvest Ball with Karen and Bob Paul. go out hiking with them, and it was like a duck to water, believe it or not. I loved it, Instead, they want to spend time with the took to it right away.” grandchildren. When I came to this market He has climbed Mt. Whitney in California and Whitmore lost his own son to cancer when his as a “newbie” four years ago, hiked for 11 days all over Utah. It has become son was just 23. He married Joanne, a mother of Jerry was the first vendor his passion, he says; he hikes the Grand Canyon four, more than 30 years ago, and her children partner to reach out to me three times a year. have given the couple eight grandchildren. They to invite me out to lunch. Like “As a people person, and dealing with people all live in the same vicinity, so they are able to everyone else that has come in my whole life…every day we’re dealing with spend regular days, as well as holidays, together. contact with Jerry, we became people. But when you’re in the mountains, it’s “It’s all about family,” Whitmore said. “Our instant friends within the first like it’s kicking your butt. But when you get to family is very, very close. 10 minutes. Probably some the top, you’ve accomplished something,” he “I’ve been a very blessed person. I mean that suppliers want to be your said. from the bottom of my heart.” friend to sell you product. Not He says he likes golf but doesn’t love it. “I Jerry; he is the real thing. He just really like hiking. I go loves the business, goes out on vacations I can hike on,” Whenever I speak to Jerry, his first words are, “Who cares?” of his way to make you feel at Whitmore said. Well…we know that Jerry cares more than anyone else. home, and will genuinely do While he feels blessed Thank you, Jerry, for all you have done over the years to support anything to help you find your to have been able to visit CCEJ. We will miss your dedication, guidance, commitment and way. His friendship and advice Hawaii when the Western friendship. are treasured and I have a Association of Food Chains special place in my heart where (WAFC) holds its convenKatherine McIlquham Jerry resides. tions there and to visit other VP-Development/Operations Congratulations, Jerry, I love places, he and his wife, The California Conference for Equality and you, man! Joanne, don’t really have the Justice desire to travel. Tom Herman Senior VP Northgate Gonzalez LLC CNG Ranch LLC
Food IndustrIes sales Managers’ Club
Congratulations to Jerry Whitmore, our very own legend in the food industry, on a well-earned tribute. Induction into the 2015 Food Industry Hall of Fame is testament to a career of forging and maintaining strong relationships to succeed in business. The Food Industries Sales Managers’ Club of Los Angeles extends best wishes for continued success in retirement.
I have known Jerry Whitmore for almost 40 years, dating back to my years as a store manager for Lucky Stores in the late ’70s and early ’80s. He called on me during my drug store years at Thrifty/ Payless in the early ’90s. Jerry is the ultimate definition of a true ambassador of the Southern California food industry. His support of the food industry is beyond compare, whether it be the FIC, City of Hope, Olive Crest, Boy Scouts of America, CCEJ, FISMC,WAFC, CGA, etc. Jerry, you are one of a kind... first and foremost you are a true friend, a great business leader and a true supporter of the charities affiliated with the food industry. Let’s keep in touch! I love you! Gary Rocheleau Owner GSR Retail Food & Drug Consulting LLC
The Shelby Report of the West • July 2015
Food Industry Hall of Fame Bob Wilson Wilson Driven by Passion for People and Life Whether at work, at home or out in the community, Robert “Bob” Wilson’s passions for people and for life are hard to miss. Recently retired from Nestlé/Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream as director of business development after 30 years, Wilson has spent virtually his whole life in the food and grocery business. Wilson got his start in the industry at age 14, when he became a checker for an independent grocery store in San Bruno. He loved it from the start. “In those days, there was no time clock. You came in an hour early and didn’t leave until the work was done. And that was fine,” he recalled. The job brought satisfaction in many forms, including the paychecks; Wilson was able to buy a new Corvette as a teenager and owned a total of six cars by the time he left high school. Wilson continued his studies at the University of California Berkeley, taking courses that he felt would help him build a strong business career, including psychology and finance.
Bob Wilson at the California Grocers Association (CGA) Strategic Conference in 2013.
“Only an idiot is totally happy. I must be close.” —Bob Wilson
Bob Wilson’s dad, left, was a huge influence in Bob’s life. the scouting organization’s popular cookies into the Dreyer’s product line. With the coordination of the Dreyer’s public relations, product development, manufacturing and marketing departments, it led to new flavors of ice cream featuring different Girl Scouts cookies blended in.
Giving back in many ways Bob and Laura Wilson While at the university, at age 19, he went to work for Oroweat Baking Co. He began as a route salesperson and held numerous other positions, including regional sales manager. In 1979, he joined International Baking Co. in Los Angeles, where he held the positions of sales manager and, later, VP of sales. He enjoyed being with International, but in 1985, his parents’ declining health drew him back to Northern California, where he joined Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream as sales manager. Over time, he began developing relationships with his customer base—all the major supermarkets—and became director of business development, charged with looking for other opportunities Dreyer’s could pursue as a company. One of the most interesting opportunities has been with the Girl Scouts. It began when a leader in the scouting organization called to inquire about doing some public community work together. After that, Wilson and Girl Scouts representatives began talking about ways they could incorporate
Bob Wilson has been the foundation of the Dreyer’s Ice Cream sales organization in Northern California for the past 30 years. He has worked throughout his entire career to build business and develop meaningful personal relationships with our customers at every level—store clerk to president. He loves interacting with people as they give him energy. He is highly respected by everyone that he meets, whether they are a friend, a co-worker or a vendor. They all know that Bob genuinely cares about them and their family over and above anything else. He is the first person to make a friendly call to cheer you up when you are having a tough day or just to offer his wisdom about “life” in general. He is always looking to support those less fortunate than himself, and with his lovely wife Laura, the Wilsons offer their time to “give back” and support local community events to help raise funds for various charities throughout Northern California.
Wilson has been active for years in state and national industry groups. He was with The Illuminators organization for 30 years, a national nonprofit supplier association supporting the grocery industry. He served on the board as Headlite (president) in the year 2000. He also has served on CGA’s Education Foundation board, with active involvement in scholarship funds.
My Friend, Bob Wilson
Bob Wilson and I have known each other for over five decades, and I have considered him a friend since we met. He was a young district manager for the Oroweat Bread Co., and I was a newly appointed Safeway store manager. Looking back to that first meeting I can chronicle our friendship by decade. In the late 1960s he would drop by my store to check out the bread table, but he always found time to chat about anything but bread. As luck would have it, in the early 1970s I was appointed Safeway Brands merchandiser. It was my responsibility to make sure the bread tables were set per “corporate” direction. Bob Wilson was appointed bread captain. What a team! We traveled all over Northern California setting bread tables. Since When I think of Bob Wilson, I get a smile on our job started at 4 a.m., my face and think, “How would Bob handle this it was often humor that particular situation?” in an effort to be a better got us through the day. person and “do the right thing.” Bob has a great sense of As Bob enters the next chapter in his life, his humor! One morning Bob legacy throughout our industry will continue. His (then a closet smoker) and passion to serve our many valued customers with I are on our knees adjustthe attitude of “they are my friends, I am blessed ing loaves of bread when to have them as customers, too,” will be the a rather attractive female example by which all other great business leaders customer approached us will be measured. These attributes among many smoking a cigarette. At the others are what make Bob Wilson a Hall of Famer time, smoking was allowed in my book! in grocery stores; in fact, Bob is a “class act” and a deserving recipient of most stores had ash trays this Hall of Fame award generously given him by placed around the store The Shelby Report. for the customers’ benefit. When the customer was Mike Stamper close enough to hear, West Region General Manager Nestlé
Bob turned on the charm. “Good morning, madam, may I bum a cigarette?” She gave him a dirty look and started to walk away when Bob followed up with, “Then I suppose lunch is out of the question!” She smiled and offered him a cigarette. In the late 1970s and early 1980s my career carried me to Salt Lake City, Denver and back to Oakland. Regardless of where I was stationed, Bob was always as close as a phone call or business trip that sent him my way.When my wife and I bought a house in Northern California we had the best neighbors ever, Bob and Laura Wilson. The surprise parade up our street that Laura arranged for Bob’s 50th birthday was truly a highlight. In the mid-1980s I was at the Safeway corporate office when we decided to kick off the annual Easter Seals fundraiser with a big event in North California.When I shared our plans with Bob, then with Dreyer’s, he volunteered to help. I left, Bob stayed and over time he has raised millions for Easter Seals. Very few people know that it was because of Bob that Bob Piccinini hired me. His kind words got me a great job with Save Mart in June 1992. If you know Bob Wilson, you know every conversation ends with his offer, “Anything I can do for you?” This time there is, Bob. Good times for you and Laura and frequent breakfasts at Nation’s! Art Patch Encore Associates Columnist for The Shelby Report Save Mart/FoodMaxx (retired)
July 2015 • The Shelby Report of the West
Food Industry Hall of Fame I can only imagine the number of friends and associates that will want to congratulate Bob Wilson on his retirement and recognize the contributions he has made not only to the industry but to all of our lives. Bob is one of those few people you meet in life that truly just gives to others without regard to recognition. He is always the first to show up when there’s work to be done. He takes responsibility and follows through, and his aim in life seems to be to make things better for everyone he meets. Bob is known by virtually everyone in the industry and he helped make the industry in the Bay Area what it was to many of us who spent our careers there. He included everyone in the events he planned and he never met a man or woman he didn’t befriend. He has been a role model for many both in his career and particularly in his personal life, and we feel blessed to have known him and be a part of his life. Jay & Rojon Hasker Safeway Bob and Laura Wilson are flanked by The Shelby Report’s Bob Reeves, left, and Paul Christianson, right.
“I love what CGA does for education, how they keep you informed on what’s going on in the industry and their effective lobbying efforts,” Wilson said. Wilson is also deeply involved in civic work, serving on a number of boards: City of Hope, Easter Seals, Muscular Dystrophy, Junior Achievement and Special Olympics, to name a few. He plans to continue serving the community now
that he is retired. He and his wife Laura recently moved to the foothills of El Dorado Hills, California, to be closer to their three children and nine grandchildren. “It’s great to still be close to the Bay Area but out of the hustle/bustle of the traffic and craziness—a
Wilson checking out the exhibit booths at a CGA event.
Bob Wilson and Dave Dimond.
I know Bob through the WAFC, CGA and the Northern California Sales Managers Club’s HiJinks events, and through Jerry Whitmore. Bob was the one that Jerry brought to our lunch outings. Jerry and I always took turns paying, but it seems that Bob NEVER paid, except once in Hawaii. Just along for the free ride. He has always been a supporter of the “Over and Above” things that this industry does. He epitomizes what the Illuminators stand for: “Education*Leadership*Partnering.” My wife Chryl and I have got to know Bob and Laura through the years and there are no better examples of GOOD PEOPLE. Bob deserves the honor. I am proud to know him. Thank you, Bob. John Eagan VP/Senior General Merchandiser Costco Wholesale
Please see page 48
Bob Wilson is a man who puts others first, well before thinking of himself. That quality in the competitive work environment is not the norm. He loves to assist others in their desire to succeed. The “I” word that Bob is known for is his integrity! That alone is why Bob Wilson has made a difference for the companies he has represented. Working beside Bob for over 18 years at Dreyer’s, never once did he infringe on my position through our friendship. We worked and played hard and had one goal in mind—do the right thing for the business as though it was our own! Congratulations, Wilson, you are most deserving! Luv ya! Jim Vlamis Dreyer’s (retired)
The Shelby Report of the West • July 2015
Food Industry Hall of Fame Bob Wilson From page 47
wonderful place to start our retirement,” Wilson said.
Challenges, but always a smile
Bob Wilson has a quick sense of humor, and is fond of teasing and joking. But beneath the lightheartedness is a man deeply grateful for life and all its riches. Wilson has had his share of illnesses—he has had and beat cancer three times: throat cancer, prostate cancer and chronic leukemia. He will never forget the support he received from his employer. One of the times he was in the hospital, Dreyer’s executives brought ice cream into the ICU unit for the doctors and nurses along with a plea to take good care of this favorite member of the management team. “The reaching out that I got from my company, my friends, my family… it’s something you never forget,” Wilson recalled. He has been given a lot in his life, he said. And he is a man who tries to give back any way he can, whether it’s been in financial advice, a new business relationship, an ice cream bar or just his trademark smile. He describes his outlook on life with a characteristic quip: “Only an idiot is totally happy. I must be close.”
Bob carried the Olympic Torch in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. With him are his sons Jim and John and daughter Diane.
Giving out ice cream at a Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC) event.
Wilson and Girl Scouts representatives began talking about ways they could incorporate the scouting organization’s popular cookies into the Dreyer’s product line. With the coordination of the Dreyer’s public relations, product development, manufacturing and marketing departments, it led to new flavors of ice cream featuring different Girl Scouts cookies blended in.
Bob Wilson with son John and grandson Hayes at Hayes’ wedding. I can honestly say that in my 38 years in the industry, nine moves to different states, and active involvement in the industry in all of those moves from Hawaii to Washington, D.C., there is not a better example of a servant leader in our industry than Bob Wilson. Bob is the epitome of integrity, he operates with courage and candor, he is humble and he strives for excellence in every task large or small. He has a disciplined approach to his life and his job. He has an outward focus on others that causes people with Bob to feel like
they are the most important person in the world. Bob also has the wisdom to recognize that each day is a gift to be lived to the fullest.What better example of servant leadership is there? I am proud to be associated with such an icon and feel blessed to call Bob my friend. Bob should be at the top of the list in the Hall of Fame.
Thank you for recognizing Bob with this prestigious distinction. There can never be enough acknowledgement, praise or thanks given to Bob in return for his contribution to our industry and to the many individuals he has personally touched. That personal phone call at just the right time wanting to know how one was doing and to let them know that he was thinking about them and truly cared. He was always the first one to volunteer and the most dedicated to work to help organizations with events to raise funds to support others in
Karl Schroeder SVP of Corporate Merchandising Albertsons/Safeway
need. Few people would ever know about Bob’s life’s challenges because he was always focused on serving others. Bob = Servant - Mentor Friend - Businessman - Role Model. Congratulations, Bob, on a well-deserved honor. Thank you for being the person you are and an example for all of us. Bruce Everette EVP of Retail Operations Safeway (retired)
Thank you for all you have done for our industry! Your friends at Mollie Stoneâ€™s
Jerry Whitmore and Bob Wilson Hall of Fame