Food City employees, customers share in Dale Carnegie Leadership Award

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Before Food City President and CEO Steve Smith accepted the Dale Carnegie Leadership Award, he asked some media folks to shift positions so they would not be in the way of store’s customers.

After Steve received the award he walked up to groups of employees gathered at the Morrell Avenue Food City in Knoxville to chat and share the award with them.

Food City Dale Carnegie ceremony

Food City has received the Dale Carnegie Leadership Award, a global honor.

Those instincts – valuing customers and employees – are embedded in Food City’s culture and, along with an intense community service ethic, were major factors in the company’s selection for Dale Carnegie Training’s highest honor.

The Dale Carnegie Leadership Award recognizes a company’s commitment to providing excellent service and quality products; dedication to employee growth; recognition of employee value; and a sense of obligation which brings a high level of community involvement. Only 10 companies across the world receive the Carnegie Leadership Award each year. Food City joins giants that have included Boeing, Campbell Soup, Hormel, Wegman’s, China Steel, Axis Bank in India, Daimler–Chrysler Corporation, and, in Tennessee, The Lampo Group.

A family-owned company, Food City has 104 supermarkets in Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky and uses Dale Carnegie to train new managers and up-and-comers in the company. 

Dale Carnegie CEO Peter Handal, Food City CEO Steve Smith and John Jones, Food City's executive VP of the Knoxville division, during the award presentation

Dale Carnegie CEO Peter Handal, Food City CEO Steve Smith and John Jones, Food City’s executive VP of the Knoxville division, during the award presentation

“We sell groceries but we are in the people business,” Steve told Dale Carnegie Training CEO Peter Handal before the awards ceremony. “Any time you get recognized for something you do for your people it is wonderful.” Peter Handal, who also is Dale Carnegie Training Chairman of the Board, came to Knoxville for the event. “Clearly you invest in your people,” Peter said. “I can see why you received this.”

The most telling moments at an awards ceremony often don’t take place during the “official proceedings.” They unfold during real conversations, when the cameras aren’t snapping and no one is following a script.

Then, true character and core values shine through. Here at Dale Carnegie Tennessee, we salute Steve Smith, Food City and its 13,000 associates for their commitment to professional, personal and community growth.

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