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FMI honors three supermarket leaders for community efforts

BY Michael Johnsen

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Food Marketing Institute on Monday honored three supermarket executives for their achievements in the industry during FMI’s Midwinter Executive Conference here, the association announced.

Danny Wegman, CEO of Wegmans Food Markets, was awarded the inaugural Food Marketing Institute Robert B. Wegman Award in honor of his entrepreneurial leadership in the design of retail strategies and imaginative merchandising. FMI instituted the newest award in honor of Robert B. Wegman, whose half-century leadership of Wegmans Food Markets was marked by a creative retail savvy that grew the family grocery business into one of the largest privately held companies in the United States.

Steven Smith, president and CEO of K-VA-T Food Stores, received the FMI Sidney R. Rabb Award in recognition for his exceptional service to the consumer, the community and the supermarket industry. “Beyond corporate and social responsibility, Steve Smith represents the true meaning of community commitment,” stated Travis Staton, CEO of United Way of Russell and Washington Counties. “From buying from local farmers to giving back to area schools, Steve is improving lives within the communities he serves.”

FMI also honored Richard Parkinson, former president and CEO of Associated Food Stores, with the FMI Herbert Hoover Award for his humanitarian service in the food retail and wholesale industry.

An FMI video presentation of the 2012 FMI Robert B. Wegman Award can be seen here.

An FMI video presentation of the 2012 FMI Sidney R. Rabb Award can be seen here.

An FMI video presentation of the 2012 FMI Herbert Hoover Award can be seen here.

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Report: H-E-B commits $100 million to Austin market

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN ANTONIO — H. E. Butt Grocery has made a $100 million commitment to expand into the Austin market, according to an American-Statesman report published Saturday.

The capital expenditures will be used to remodel a number of stores throughout the market, as well as to build a new 75,000-sq.-ft. grocer in the area. The "Mi Tiendo" Latin format expansion, reported earlier this year by the American-Statesman, is a part of that push into the Austin market.

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Several Congress leaders caution Tricare on proposed ESI-Medco merger

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Several Congress leaders last week penned a letter to the Department of Defense’s Director of Tricare Management Activity warning of potential cost increases should the proposed merger between pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco Health clear regulatory hurdles.

The joint letter to the department was signed by Reps. Walter Jones, R-N.C.; Joe Courtney, D-Conn.; Mo Brooks, R-Ala.; Bill Owens, D-N.Y.; Martha Roby, R-Ala.; Mike Rogers, R-Ala.; and Austin Scott, R-Ga. The lawmakers noted that the merger would leave the department with just two national PBMs to choose from. "We are concerned these limitations would undermine Tricare’s negotiating leverage and limit Tricare’s ability to demand a quality prescription drug benefit," the Congress leaders stated.

For a copy of the letter, click here.

Separately, the National Community Pharmacists Association recently sent the Pentagon advice as the Department of Defense prepares to bid out a new five-year contract. NCPA suggested Tricare require more transparency from its PBM, such as in setting adequate maximum allowable cost limits for generic drug reimbursement.

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