At the Convenience Distribution Business Exchange (CDBX) in Chicago on Sept. 13, Bill Henry, Kellogg Co., was named as the Convenience Distribution Association’s (CDA) Dean of the Industry.
CDA’s Dean of the Industry award recognizes the value and importance of distributors’ many trading partners. It honors manufacturers and other industry members who have demonstrated a strong, continual partnership with, and support of, the distribution class of trade. The Dean designation is a mark of excellence — in industry relations, initiative and understanding of the distribution industry — and a sign of wholehearted appreciation from fellow industry members.
Henry has been in the industry for nearly four decades. Originally from Orlando, Fla., he was approached by Keebler in 1985 and was tasked with expanding the company’s route sales in the mid-South. Five years later, Henry was promoted to the corporate office and moved his family to Chicago.
Henry then moved into several layers of route sales management, before becoming director/general manager. During this time, he moved from Birmingham, Ala., to Chicago to Houston and back to Chicago, all while taking on more responsibilities.
Throughout his career, Henry has been an active member of the industry, helping to keep it moving forward. As a supporter of CDA, he served on the board of directors for four years and on the Warehouse Delivered Snack Committee as well as the education and research committee, where he still serves today. His leadership and dedication to CDA and the industry are traits that colleagues have admired over the years.
“I started off working out of high school in commission sales, which is all about the money,” said Henry. “Then you go through life raising children and getting the job done, so you don’t think about days like today. It’s about relationships. I’ll be moving on to my next career as a grandfather.”
“I have known Bill for many years as we grew up in the industry together,” said Ricky Jones, president of Andalusia Distributing Co. Inc. “He is a positive and energetic person who brings his company to every conversation you have with him. I had the opportunity to attend the Kentucky Derby with Bill. He is just as genuine in a social environment as he is in a business situation. Bill is a true Dean of the Industry and the distributor’s kind of guy.”
“Bill has exemplified tireless work for our industry,” said Thomas Wake, president of Core-Mark Eby-Brown Co. “Beyond his day job, his support of broader category management for the benefit of convenience retailers and the wholesale supplier network was unrelenting. Bill’s ability to bring people together and forge strong friendships and bonds in the many networking opportunities demonstrated his superior leadership skills.”
“We’re so pleased to celebrate Bill and his achievements with CDA and the industry,” said Kimberly Bolin, CDA president and CEO. “Bill is an inspiration and champion of the industry.”
Henry plans to retire from Kellogg at the end of this year to spend more time with his family, including his wife of 39 years Kim, son Alex and daughter Megan, who are both expecting babies in the fall.
The CDA is the trade organization working on behalf of convenience product distributors in the United States. Its distributor members represent more than $102 billion in U.S. convenience product sales, serving a wide variety of small retail formats. Associate members include leading convenience product manufacturers, brokers, retailers, suppliers and others allied to the industry.