At Dairy-Deli-Bake 2017, the annual convention and tradeshow for the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA), held June 4-6 in Anaheim, the association presented its Chairman’s Award to Dennis Clark, group vice-president, marketing and merchandising support, for Albertsons Co., Boise, Idaho.
“Each year the award recognizes a lifetime of service and contribution,” said Jewel Hunt, IDDBA chair group vice-president, bakery, for Albertsons. “It’s reserved for those who have served with vision and dedication.”
With a lifetime in the supermarket industry, Mr. Clark began working as a bagger at Safeway when he was 16 years old. He climbed the ranks of management during high school and while attending the University of Utah.
He has served in a number of areas at Albertson’s at both the store and corporate levels, including merchandising, marketing, home brands, integration and store operations.
“Regardless of the position, Dennis always remembered his roots and the importance of putting customers first,” Ms. Hunt said upon presenting the award at the June 4 opening general session. “He is a mentor to many throughout the Albertson’s Companies and in the industry.”
Ms. Hunt started her career working in Albertson’s bakery department under Mr. Clark’s leadership.
“Many people look up to him because of his positive attitude,” she said. “He teaches and trains, and he finds the right resources to tackle any project or opportunity. He embodies inspiration, motivation, appreciation and shared experiences.”
When he accepted the award, Mr. Clark recognized the manufacturers, vendors, suppliers and retailers who make up the in-store dairy, deli and bakery categories that IDDBA serves.
“This is an exciting industry,” he said. “Because it’s been so exciting — and also challenging — every opportunity that was in front of me created more opportunities to learn and grow.”
Mr. Clark proudly stated he has worked for only two companies in his career: Safeway and Albertsons, which acquired the Safeway business in 2015.
“It’s nice to have the two companies come together,” he recalled.
Mr. Clark advised attendees to focus on two important areas to grow the industry into the future.
“Don’t forget your team members and the impact they have not only on you but also on your company,” he said. “And don’t forget the consumer. We do all of this for them— not for ourselves— so take care of them. Without these two things, we are nothing, and nothing else we do will matter.”