LAS VEGAS — Winning the Thomas K. Zaucha Entrepreneurial Excellence Award means a lot to Archie McGregor.
“Being recognized this way has to be the biggest event that’s happened to me in my life,” McGregor told SN. “I’ve received awards over the years, but when I was told about this award, all I could say was, ‘Wow!’
“It came as a total surprise that I would even be considered for an award like this.”
McGregor, who operates two Archie’s IGA stores in the Pacific Northwest, was scheduled to receive the award here Saturday night at the NGA board of directors’ dinner, the day before the start of NGA’s annual convention.
Peter Larkin, NGA president, told SN McGregor (right) was an obvious choice for the Zaucha Award “because he exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit that makes independent grocers the backbone of our industry.
“He has two stores in two communities, and each is tailored to meet the needs of that community. He understands the need to differentiate and to respond to his separate markets — something I saw with my own eyes when I toured his stores.
“As with many other independent grocers, he has supported local community causes for years, and walking his store in St. Maries with him, it was clear he is regarded as a pillar of that community.
“He’s also been very involved with IGA and the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council, and he proves that a one- or two-store grocer can achieve great heights in the industry if he is willing to be a leader — and Archie McGregor is a leader.”
The Zaucha Award — named for the man who headed the National Grocers Association for its first 27 years prior to retiring in 2010 — recognizes retailers who have shown tangible examples of persistence, vision and creative entrepreneurship during their food industry careers.
McGregor said he has met Zaucha on a couple of occasions, “and he’s been one of my inspirations — and I believe he will continue to be an inspiration to independent operators that have known him or who will hear of him through this award.”