WASHINGTON — George E. Deese, chairman of the board of Flowers Foods, Inc., and Gary M. Rodkin, who recently retired as chief executive officer of ConAgra Foods Inc., will be honored later this year with the Grocery Manufacturers Association Hall of Achievement.
The G.M.A.’s highest honor, the Hall of Achievement award “recognizes the service and extraordinary contributions of distinguished food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry leaders,” the group said.
Also to be honored will be Greg Wasson, former president and c.e.o. of Walgreens. The honorees will be presented with the award at G.M.A.’s Leadership Forum in August at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo.
“Gary Rodkin, Greg Wasson and George Deese are prime examples of leaders in the consumer packaged goods industry who are committed to strengthening our industry and who are making a difference in the everyday lives of consumers,” said Pamela G. Bailey, president and c.e.o. of G.M.A. “It will be an honor to present these three individuals with the 2015 Hall of Achievement Award.”
With Flowers beginning in 1964 as a route salesman in Alabama, Mr. Deese was successively promoted to higher levels of responsibility. He was president and chief operating officer of Flowers Bakeries from 1983 until 2002, when he was promoted to president and chief operating officer of the company. He was elected president and chief executive officer in 2004, chairman of the board in 2006 and non-executive chairman in 2014. He is credited with growing Flowers Foods into the second-largest baking company in the United States through organic growth, market expansion and strategic acquisitions and for helping to develop the Grain Foods Foundation.
Mr. Rodkin joined ConAgra Foods in 2005 and led the company’s portfolio and organizational restructuring together with significant culture change. Prior to joining ConAgra Mr. Rodkin held numerous roles with PepsiCo, Inc. and General Mills, Inc.Mr. Wasson’s tenure at Walgreens dates to 1980 while he was a pharmacy intern concurrent with his studies at Purdue University’s School of Pharmacy. Following numerous promotions, Mr. Wasson was put in charge of the company’s operations and then became chief operating officer. In 2009 he was promoted to president and c.e.o. During his time at the company’s helm, Mr. Wasson is credited with leading Walgreens through a rebranding campaign that revamped the look and feel of its stores as well as enhancing and expanding services. In 2010, he spearheaded the acquisition of New York-based pharmacy chain Duane Reade.