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Anthony Longo to receive Spirit of the Independent Award


Anthony Longo, president and CEO of Longo Brothers Fruit Markets, will receive the 2012 Spirit of the Independent Award.

The award, presented by the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers, recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to the growth of the entrepreneurial spirit of the independent.Recipients are seen as real role models for the industry.

Past award recipients include Omer Moncion of Moncion Grocers in 2010; Frank Lovsin of Freson Bros. IGA in 2009; Jim Pattison of The Jim Pattison Group in 2007; Dr. Thomas Haggai, Chairman of IGA Inc. in 2006; and the Hon. Lyle van Clief, former Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food in 2004.

After graduating from Humber College with a Business Administration Diploma in 1982, Longo went to work for the Longo’s Oakville location fulltime and quickly rose through the ranks by getting involved in direct-buying and accepting his father’s invitations to accompany him to meetings with lawyers and accountants–allowing him to learn how the business was run from behind the scenes.

In 1990, Longo was promoted to general manager and after working with a third-party consulting firm to help with succession planning, and was appointed president and CEO of Longo Brothers Fruit Markets Inc. in 1998.

"When I got the call from Brent Battistelli (CFIG chair), I didn’t think I was deserving of the award” Longo said. “Given those who have been recognized in the past–guys like Jimmy Pattison and Frank Lovsin–guys who have been around for decades and who have given a lot more to the community than I ever have. Just to be named in the same award is pretty humbling.”

Longo is the youngest to ever be honoured with the Spirit of the Independent Award.

“I take the lessons learned from my father and uncles and I ask: ‘how do we help people have better lives, whether it’s customers, employees or suppliers? There’s no master plan, just how do we continue to push each other, continually get better and give all we can to the community? Those are the key questions that we always ask ourselves,” said Longo.

Longo will receive the award at the Luncheon of Honour at Grocery Innovations Canada on Monday, October 2, 2012 in Toronto.

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