FMI Awards Kroger's Morganthall With Highest Industry Award For Leadership

Miami – Food Marketing Institute (FMI) tonight awarded its celebrated Sidney R. Rabb Award to Executive Vice President, Retail Operations, The Kroger Co., and former FMI Chairman, Fred Morganthall. FMI honored Morganthall at its Foundation Gala.

Morganthall’s 37-year storied career in the grocery industry is as inspirational as the namesake of this award. Just as Sidney Rabb set the standard for reaching a higher purpose in the U.S. grocery industry by serving society, Morganthall’s approach to business has been described by his peers as equally as selfless, elevating the successes of the food retail industry beyond his own professional objectives.

“Fred has proven to be one of my most trusted counselors and his altruistic style of leadership is well documented in his many accomplishments, which include helping chart FMI’s strategic path and focus our organizational framework,” Leslie G. Sarasin, FMI president and CEO, said. “Fred embodies the spirit of collaboration and visionary inspiration needed in our industry, as we work to achieve a greater goal of feeding families and enriching lives.”

Sarasin further commented on Morganthall’s dedication to the food retail industry by seeing FMI through the strategic planning process and agreeing to a third year of his chairmanship, saying, “He is a persuasive part of our association’s legacy and the food retail industry’s history, as evidenced  in his leadership at Harris Teeter and now in his elevated role at Kroger.”

FMI Chairman Jerry Garland, retired president and CEO, Associated Wholesale Grocers, recollected in a video testimonial, “By soliciting feedback from the entire organization and working through various committee assignments, Fred oversaw the translation of those ideas to paper in the form of a structured, strategic plan for FMI. Of course, the hardest part of initiating such a plan is getting buy-in from his peer group – about 100 CEOs serving on the FMI Board. Fred was able to complete that project, and today that plan continues to serve as a road map for FMI.”

The Rabb award celebrates industry stewardship. To his credit, Morganthall took the helm as chair of the FMI Board of Directors during a period of transition and in the face of increasing regulatory challenges. Five years later, his commitment to making inroads on Capitol Hill and finding the opportunities for food retail businesses within the governing agencies is a success story. Morganthall continues to demonstrate statesmanship in the halls of government, participating in fly-ins and grassroots efforts, and he is well regarded for his leadership of FMI’s Political Action Committee and the FMI Leadership, Education, Advocacy, Development (LEAD) Fund.

His grocery roots run deep – beginning his career with Proctor & Gamble in 1973 and spanning leadership roles across Spartan Stores, Viking Foods and finally Harris Teeter Supermarkets, where he invested nearly three decades. Similar to his career, Morganthall’s foothold in the food industry starts with his ability to enhance the business relationship between retailers and suppliers. His track record is evident in the growth under his chairmanship of FMI's Industry Collaboration Committee and FMI’s Industry Relations Committee, expanding opportunities for smaller brokers and suppliers. Morganthall was once quoted in the press describing collaboration as a “requirement.”

Garland noted, “Fred is an exceptional leader who’s well respected throughout the food industry. Fred continues to work tirelessly for the industry: Setting agendas, chairing committees, and providing feedback to ensure that FMI stays focused.”

Morganthall served as FMI’s chairman from 2011 to 2014 and was a member of the Spartan Stores Board of Directors from 2007 to 2012. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Bowling Green State University. He has been married to his wife Judy for 41 years. They have two children and two grandchildren.


Food Marketing Institute proudly advocates on behalf of the food retail industry. FMI’s U.S. members operate nearly 40,000 retail food stores and 25,000 pharmacies, representing a combined annual sales volume of almost $770 billion. Through programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations, FMI offers resources and provides valuable benefits to more than 1,225 food retail and wholesale member companies in the United States and around the world. FMI membership covers the spectrum of diverse venues where food is sold, including single owner grocery stores, large multi-store supermarket chains and mixed retail stores. For more information, visit and for information regarding the FMI foundation, visit

Source: Food Marketing Institute