CHICAGO -- Food Marketing Institute presented the 2001 William H. Albers Industry Relations Award last week to Roger E. Enrico, vice chairman of PepsiCo, Purchase, N.Y.
oving the entire grocery system and exemplary community service, was named in honor of the first chairman of Super Market Institute, FMI's predecessor organization.
Accepting the award, Enrico, 56, reflected on his 30-year career with Pepsi, saying, "What a great ride it's been. There's nothing better than selling something people enjoy. We make people happy, and what could be better than that?
"But as much fun as it's been, the real excitement lies ahead. The golden age is not behind us -- it's right in front."
Enrico received the award from Ron Pearson, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Hy-Vee, West Des Moines, Iowa, and newly installed FMI chairman, who cited Enrico's impoverished childhood as his inspiration for funding almost $4 million worth of scholarships for 300 children of front-line employees -- including donating his entire salary since 1998 to the scholarship fund.
"That generosity is part of a broader commitment to education," Pearson said. "In 1993 he took a sabbatical to mentor other company executives through leadership conferences to prepare executives for top positions.
"In addition, under his leadership Pepsi established a foundation to support youth, education and diversity programs, which supported more than 1,000 community groups last year with grants totaling $15.7 million."
Pearson said Pepsi has also made special efforts to work with companies owned by minorities and women, including purchases from those companies of $383 million worth of goods and services last year. In addition, he said Pepsi was one of the first supplier companies to contribute to the FMI Foundation with a pledge of $100,000.
He also said Enrico was instrumental in helping supermarkets develop end displays featuring combinations of products that consumers use together, "which increased sales for supermarkets and his company."
Enrico served as chairman and CEO of Pepsi from 1996 until May 2, when he stepped down to become vice chairman.