Wade Payne Receives NGA Spirit of America Award

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Washington, D.C. –  The Alabama Grocers Association has presented Wade Payne with the prestigious National Grocers Association Spirit of America Award, recognizing his commitment to the independent grocery industry.

Payne, director of retail operations for Food Giant/Mitchell Grocery, received the award during AGA’s 2022 Annual Convention, held July 25-27 at the Sandestin Beach Resort in Destin, Fla.

“For more than 50 years, Wade Payne had dedicated his time and efforts to independent grocery, which has had a lasting impact on Alabama communities as well as our overall industry,” said Ellie Taylor, AGA president and CEO. “From the store to the statehouse to our nation’s capital, Wade’s ongoing efforts keep a vital industry top of mind for policymakers, reminding them of the impact grocers have in cities and towns across our state and the nation.”

Payne has served on the AGA board since 2013. He has served as VP legislative chairman and currently serves as VP membership chairman. Payne is also active with NGA, where he serves as chairman of the association’s government relations committee.

“Wade’s leadership in government relations have helped define NGA’s direction and reinforce its mission to advocate for independent grocers at the highest levels in Washington,” said Greg Ferrara, NGA president and CEO.

Payne has been a part of Food Giant since starting as a bagger in 1971. Having held many positions with the company, he currently heads up its Birmingham district and is also responsible for DSD and financial, among other things, for all corporate retail stores served by wholesaler Mitchell Grocery Corp. in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. A 1978 graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Payne and his wife have two daughters and five grandchildren.

Established in 1982, the NGA Spirit of America Award honors key industry and community leaders in the areas of community service and government relations on behalf of the independent supermarket industry. NGA has proudly presented this award to distinguished individuals who serve the grocery industry and the public interest, including Presidents George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford.

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Additional Media Resources

Click here to view a photo of Wade Payne receiving the award from Jay Mitchell, VP of Retail at Mitchell Grocery Corporation

About AGA

The Alabama Grocers Association promotes the growth and success of the food industry in the state of Alabama through advocacy, education, public relations and networking. AGA member services include training programs, advocacy on the state and local levels, and an annual convention. More information is at https://alabamagrocers.org.

About NGA

NGA is the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale community grocers that comprise the independent sector of the food distribution industry. An independent retailer is a privately owned or controlled food retail company operating a variety of formats. The independent grocery sector is accountable for about 1.2 percent of the nation’s overall economy and is responsible for generating more than $250 billion in sales, 1.1 million jobs, $39 billion in wages and $36 billion in taxes. NGA members include retail and wholesale grocers located in every congressional district across the country, as well as state grocers’ associations, manufacturers and service suppliers. For more information about NGA, visit www.nationalgrocers.org.

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