Food City Executive Named TGCSA Retailer of the Year

 Food City Executive Named TGCSA Retailer of the Year

Abingdon, VA Monday, Jun 16, 2014.

Jody Helms, Executive Vice President/Director of Store Operations for Food City’s retail grocery chain was named 2014 Retailer of the Year by Tennessee Grocers & Convenience Store Association during their annual convention.  Each year, TGCSA selects one outstanding Tennessee retailer who exemplifies the high standards of integrity and efficiency upon which the organization was founded to be named Retailer of the Year.  

TGCSA is a Nashville based trade organization representing the interests of the Tennessee food market.   The association’s primary function is to educate and promote the welfare of its business members, which are comprised of retail grocery, convenience and food industry suppliers throughout the state of Tennessee.   TGCSA hosted its annual convention at the Music City Center in Downtown Nashville, Tennessee June 12-14, 2014.

“I am honored to have been chosen as TGCSA Retailer of the Year.  It is a very humbling experience to be counted among the ranks of such a great assembly of industry leaders.  I would like to thank Tennessee Grocers & Convenience Store Association for their many efforts and the tremendous impact they make upon our industry,”  said Helms. 

A native of Montgomery, Alabama, Helms began his career in the grocery industry in 1973.  During the next 25 years, he worked with two prominent Southern Regional grocery chains.  Helms quickly climbed the ranks from his starting position as a courtesy clerk to a number of positions, including store manager and district manager and was later promoted to Division Vice President, directing the operation of three separate regions.  

Helms joined the Food City team in December 1999, assuming the position of Executive Vice President over the company’s Knoxville, Tennessee Division.  In 2004, he was promoted to his current position of Executive Vice President/Director of Store Operations.  Helms’ duties include directing the operation of all 94 Food City supermarkets, 10 Super Dollar Discount Food Stores, two  convenience stores and one wine and spirits location.  These stores cover a tri-state area in Southeast Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.  He also directs the operation of 81 Gas N Go fuel stations and 77 Food City Pharmacies.

Helms is dedicated to supporting the communities in which he has lived and operated.  These include countless organizations, such as March of Dimes, Cystic Fibrosis, United Way, Boys and Girls Club, St. Jude’s Children Hospital, Alzheimer’s Association and others. Helms was a charter member of the Rankin County, Mississippi Civitan Club and served as a Board of Director of the Memphis Food Bank.  He has also served for many years as a Board of Director for the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association and has held various positions, up to and including Chairman.

Helms attended college at Auburn University of Montgomery.  He and his wife, Julie, have been married more than 38 years and reside in Blountville, Tennessee.  They have three grown children and eight grandchildren.  He and his wife are members of Colonial Heights Baptist Church in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Headquartered in Abingdon, Virginia, K-VA-T Food Stores (Food City’s parent company) operates 106 retail food outlets throughout the tri-state regions of Southeast Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.  For more information, visit their website at