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Singer and Sevigny awarded with Golden Pencils


Two new Golden Pencil winners were honoured Monday night in Toronto as the grocery industry handed out its highest award. Tom Singer (above left) of Reinhart Foods, and Pierre Sevigny (above right) of Sobeys Quebec were given the Golden Pencil in recognition of their outstanding lifetime of service to the industry and their communities.

Sevigny, senior vice-president of retail operations for Sobeys Quebec, helped grow the IGA banner in Quebec during his 30-year tenure from 98 stores to more than 260 and created its training programs. In introducing him to the stage, Sobeys president of operations in Quebec, Marc Poulin, called Sevigny the “conscience of Sobeys' Quebec merchants.”

Sevigny, who got his start working at Steinberg when he was 16, said in his acceptance speech that he was “deeply honoured to receive this prestigious award.” He also said that he has been fortunate enough to work with several past Golden Pencil recipients who inspired him during his career, including Sam Steinberg.

Singer, president of Reinhart Foods, manufacturer of such brand names as Allen’s vinegar, Dalton’s and Jaffa, joined his family’s business in 1976 and has been active within the food industry through Food and Consumer Products of Canada, where he was chair in 2004. On Monday he was introduced by his son Scott, who described his father’s tireless dedication to both his work and his family.

“The Golden Pencil is steeped in a long, rich history,” Tom Singer told the audience after. “To say I’m honoured is an understatement." He also urged greater partnership and co-operation between manufacturers and retailers. “We do need to look beyond the next quarterly statement,” he said.

The Food Industry Association of Canada has handed the Golden Pencils out every year since 1957. The award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the Canadian food industry, and who have made a meaningful difference to their community. The list of past winners is a who’s who of grocery industry legends and includes such names as Sam (Shopsy) Shopsowitz, Frank Sobey, and Harrison and Wallace McCain.

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