Grocery group celebrates industry icons

The Grocery Manufacturers Association inducted Richard Jurgens, chairman and CEO of Hy-Vee Inc. and Dean Pappas, CEO of Clement Pappas and Company Inc., into its Hall of Achievement.

The recognition came at a gala dinner Sunday night as GMA held its annual executive conference in Colorado Springs. The Hall of Achievement Award represents the highest honor given by the more than 100 year-old association.

“Lifetime achievement is the hallmark of the GMA Hall of Achievement Award, and by that standard, no two people are more deserving than Ric Jurgens and Dean Pappas,” said GMA president and CEO Pamela G. Bailey. “Their business savvy, their desire to make the world a better place and their compassion for their associates, their communities and their consumers sets them apart.”

A 42-year veteran of the company, Jurgens has been Hy-Vee’s top officer since 2006. He has bolstered the Hy-Vee reputation as an industry leader in health and wellness and has made a strong commitment to environmental sustainability. Jurgens served as chairman of the Food Marketing Institute and helped launch the industry’s Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation and groundbreaking front-of-package nutrition labeling initiative. He has also been asked by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad to co-chair the governor’s Healthiest State Initiative, a plan to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation over the next five years. In December 2011, Jurgens announced his plans to step down from the helm of Hy-Vee in June of this year.

Dean Pappas joined Clement Pappas and Company in 1962. He and his brother, Peter, grew the company to a leader in the supply of private label fruit juice beverages and cranberry sauce to leading wholesalers and retailers throughout North America. Pappas was chairman and CEO until his family’s recent sale of the business in June 2011. Pappas’s long-standing commitment to the CPG industry is evidenced by his 27 years of service on the National Food Processors Association (NFPA), Food Processors Association (FPA) and GMA Boards of Directors, including serving as chairman of NFPA in 2004. He also served as president of the National Juice Products Association and chairman of the Food Institute, New Jersey Food Processors Association, and the New Jersey Farm Workers Corp. This April, Pappas and his wife, Zoe, established the Dean C. and Zoe S. Pappas Visiting Scholar Endowment Fund, with a $1 million endowment to bring renowned speakers to Richard Stockton College.

“The GMA Hall of Achievement Award is presented to the best and brightest in the CPG industry and GMA is proud to honor these two men who have been so successful as business leaders and who have given so much back to the industry and to their communities,” concluded Bailey.

Past recipients of the GMA Hall of Achievement Award included Doug Conant of Campbell’s Soup, Rick Wolford of Del Monte Foods, AG Lafley of Procter & Gamble, Joseph Pichler of Kroger Co., Robert Rich of Rich Products Corporation and Stephen Sanger of General Mills, Inc.