Stephen Kouri, vice president of sales and trade marketing for Smucker Foods of Canada Corp., and Dave Powell, president of Powell Group of Companies, have been recognized as "Life Members" by the Canadian Federation of independent Grocers (CFIG).
Powell, who is based in Newfoundland, is the recipient of the 2020 award in the Independent Grocer category. Kouri, who just announced his retirement, receives the award in the Industry Builder category.
In 1948, Dave Powell’s father Herbert opened Newfoundland’s first supermarket in a small store in the town of Carbonear. In 1987, the family decided to focus solely on full-service retailing, opening supermarkets in Carbonear and Harbour Grace. By 1990, Powell decided the company needed a guaranteed source of supply, rather than relying on wholesalers who owned competing outlets, so he formed the Wholesale Division.
Today, the Powell Group operates the largest wholesaler to independents in Newfoundland and Labrador. He oversees a business that is one-third retail, one-third wholesale to other customers, and one third foodservice.
Asked about CFIG, Dave says, “it’s the best move I ever made in regard to running a business. I’ve made life-long friends, and the opportunities to learn from others and exchange ideas have been invaluable.”
Stephen joined what was then Lever Brothers as assistant brand manager on Sunlight laundry detergent. It was the beginning of a 22-year career culminating with positions as VP of Sales at Unilever. While at Unilever, Stephen’s marketing team launched the Axe brand and played an instrumental role in developing Dove’s campaign for Real Beauty. The Dove work reflected Stephen’s strong social conscience. In 2009, Kouri moved to Smucker as VP sales and trade marketing. With his new position, he continued to be an active member of CFIG’s Associate Members’ Council, one he has part of since 2005.
Stephen says that CFIG gave him the opportunity to better understand the role and importance of the independent in our industry.
Powell and Kouri will be officially recognized on November 25, during CFIG's GIC Live @ Home virtual grocery trade show and conference, which runs November 24-26.