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Food City Pharmacist Receives John McNiel Award (Tri Cities)


ABINGDON, VA (Wednesday, April 24, 2013) – James Gross, R.Ph., pharmacist for the St. Paul, VA Food City was recently named the recipient of the 2013 John McNiel Customer Service Award.  

“Food City is dedicated to providing our customers with exceptional customer service and exceeding their expectations,” says Steven C. Smith, Food City president and chief executive officer.  “James is passionate about helping people and that’s part of what makes him such a great pharmacist.  He is an asset to our company and his community as a whole.”   

Each year, Food City recognizes a pharmacist from each of their two operating divisions for their outstanding customer service achievements.  Gross was named this year’s award recipient for the Tri-Cities Operating Division.  

The award was established in honor of John McNiel, Food City’s first pharmacist.  The company opened their pilot pharmacy location in Harlan, KY in 1997.  McNiel’s huge success, due primarily to his outstanding customer service and care for his patients, led in large part to the company’s expansion of the pharmacy concept.  Today, Food City operates 77 pharmacies throughout their 105 store supermarket chain.     

“Winning the John McNiel Customer Service Award was especially meaningful to me, as our entire staff works extremely hard to maintain the highest level of customer service,” says Gross.  “Every customer that enters our store has the right to select where they prefer to shop, and I appreciate them choosing Food City Pharmacy.  My personal goal is that each customer who leaves our pharmacy will want to allow us to serve them again in the future.”

With over sixteen years of pharmacy experience, Gross is a graduate of St. Paul, VA High School and Emory & Henry College in Emory, VA.  He received his degree from the Medical College of Virginia.  Gross is a life-long resident of St. Paul, VA, where he currently resides with his lovely wife, Stephanie and their son, Jacob.  

“It’s a pleasure recognizing someone so dedicated to their profession,” says Mickey Blazer, Director of Pharmacy Operations for Food City.  “James has a strong desire to improve the quality of life for his patients and play a major role in their healthcare.  It’s an honor to be able to present this award to James.”   

Headquartered in Abingdon, Virginia, K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc. (Food City’s parent company) operates 105 retail supermarkets throughout the tri-state regions of Southeast Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.