The UFIA 2019 Annual Conference and Celebration was held on August 13th at the Davis Conference Center in Layton, UT.  New officers and directors were elected to lead the organization. Russ Neilson, Market Manager of 7-Eleven and Marsha Gilford, Regional Corporate Affairs Director of Kroger, were inducted into the Utah Food Industry Hall of Fame. Jerry Stevenson, a Utah State Senator, was also recognized with the industry’s Impact Award for his outstanding work in sponsoring the Alcohol Bill in the 2019 Legislative Session. This bill allowed grocery and convenience stores to sell a wider assortment of beer products, becoming one of the most significant changes in Utah Alcohol policy in 86 years.

The Keynote Speaker for this conference was Kevin Coupe; an author, speaker, and runs one of the “top industry news and information site[s].” In his presentation, ‘2020: What’s the future?’ he gave great advice and information concerning the coming year and how we can be better.

The Educational Speaker was Mike Schlappi; a Paralympian, Hall of Fame Gold Medalist, and inspirational speaker. In his session, he shared his story of hope entitled, ‘You Don’t Have to Stand Up to Stand Out.’

The Utah Food Industry Association also hosted its annual best bagger contest and crowned the 2019 State Bagging Champion Julina Call. Julina is a bagger at the Macey's Sandy store and captured top honors at the state contest hosted by UFIA. Julina won $500 and an all expense paid trip to San Diego to represent Utah in the National Best Bagger contest in February of 2019.



UFIA Hall of Fame


Russ Neilson  Market Manager 7-Eleven

Russ Neilson

Market Manager 7-Eleven

Marsha Gilford  Regional Corporate Affairs Director of Kroger

Marsha Gilford

Regional Corporate Affairs Director of Kroger


Utah's Best Bagger Winner
Makenzie Whiting


Makenzie Whiting (pictured center) takes home the title of Utah's best bagger. Makenzie will now compete against baggers from across the country at the National Best Bagger competition. Good luck Makenzie!

2nd Place: Kodie Dickson from Harmon’s (pictured right)

3rd Place: Yoselin Jussaino from Fresh Market (pictured left)