ARLINGTON, Va. — Food Marketing Institute here last week said Tim Hammonds plans to retire as its president and chief executive officer once a successor is found.
Hammonds, 64, joined FMI in 1975 and has been president and CEO of the association for the past 15 years. The announcement of his retirement, made by FMI Chairman Steve Smith, occurred just days before the 2008 FMI Show in Las Vegas, where Hammonds is scheduled to address attendees on the state of the industry and other topics.
His departure also comes as FMI seeks to restructure its annual exhibition into an alternate-year event, with an educational forum called Future Connect scheduled to take place during odd-numbered years. (See Page 38 for more on Future Connect.)
Smith, who also is CEO of K-VA-T Food Stores, Abingdon, Va., told SN last week that he expects a successor to be named “around the end of the year.”
He said the association is looking for someone who “can look down the road.”
“I don't think we have any preconceived notions of what the candidate should be,” he said. “They should be a good leader, someone with good vision and a good communicator.”
Ron Pearson, a former FMI chairman and chairman emeritus at Hy-Vee, West Des Moines, Iowa, is chairing a search committee to find a successor.
“We will be looking for somebody with a big skill set that understands retailing and all the public affairs involvement that's needed at FMI,” Pearson told SN in an interview last week.
In a prepared statement, Smith said Hammonds “has made a major contribution to the expansion and enhancement of a number of programs that will continue to be of significant benefit to the food industry, especially in the areas of food safety, social responsibility, industry relations and political action.”
Prior to joining FMI in 1975, Hammonds spent five years as a professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Oregon State University in Corvallis.