CHICAGO — Bill Henry, senior director of national accounts and industry relations for specialty channels and convenience stores at Kellogg Co., was named as the 2022 Convenience Distribution Association (CDA) Dean of the Industry on Sept. 13 at the Convenience Distribution Business Exchange (CDBX) in Chicago.
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 group said. The dean designation is a mark of excellence—in industry relations, initiative and understanding of the distribution industry—and a sign of appreciation from fellow industry members.
Henry has been in the industry for nearly four decades. Originally from Orlando, Fla., he joined Keebler in 1985. The company tasked him with expanding route sales in the mid-South. Five years later, Keebler promoted Henry to the corporate office in Chicago.
Henry then moved into several layers of route sales management before becoming director and general manager.
Henry served on the CDA board for four years and on the warehouse delivered snack committee as well as the education and research committee, on which he still serves.
“I started off working out of high school in commission sales, which is all about the money. 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,” said Henry.
“I have known Bill for many years as we grew up in the industry together,” said Ricky Jones, president of Andalusia Distributing Co. Inc., Andalusia, Ala. “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. 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,” said Thomas Wake, president of Naperville, Ill.-based Eby-Brown Co., now part of Richmond, Va.-based Performance Food Group along with Core-Mark.
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.
“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.”
The CDA, with headquarters in Chicago, is a 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.
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