Former Food Town CEO Rich Iott launches bid for US Congress
Toledo-area businessman and Monclova resident Rich Iott launched a bid for U.S. Congress Tuesday.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at WTOL-TV Toledo.
#1 Jan 18, 2010
Iott is rather like the guy who was born on third base and thought he'd hit a triple.
I miss FoodTown. Thanks for the good work, Rich.
#2 Mar 1, 2010
HE (rich) did not care about the people taht wroked
for food town for years
I would not vote for him
!!!!!!!!!!HE IS OUT RICH IOT!!!!!!!!!!
OVER 3000 OUT OF Work THANK YOU RICH
#3 Mar 1, 2010
HE is out for rich iot..................
#4 Mar 23, 2010
Rich is out for Rich and Rich only if it werent for him running food town in the ground they would still be around and successful still Shame on you. He never was interested in manufacturing then what changed now? And the television ad with him wearing a carhart? whats up with that he would never be causght in nothing less than a 2000 dollar suit. Should ask his ex-wives what they think of him i bet they as well have nothing good to say. But on the other hand his dad Wally was a good and caring man if he were running i would vote for him but not for Rich BE CAREFUL DONT VOTE FOR RICH HE IS FOR HIMSELF AND HI FULLUTEN FRIENDS
#5 Apr 4, 2010
Wearing the Carhart is more genuine than his GI Joe togs for that Play Soldier Unit that he belongs to. It is hilarious that Iott thinks so little of the chumps whose votes he courts. Iott has never seen active duty in 30 years membership in that wannabee organization and I would wager that his standing as an officer is largely the product of tenure and financial support.
What an insult to actual military vets and current troops to see Iott trying to ride on their coat-tails.
#6 Apr 13, 2010
rich charged his home remodels, and home repairs to food town remodels, new stores, and the pharm projects his adopted father wally iott did the same thing. rich needed light, and heat for his chicken coup. arco, laibe electric, along with other contractors that bernie crouse set up before he passed, would make sure there was kick backs. bernies riding lawn mower was serviced every year by one of the above contractors. do you want to have a rep who uses your money
#7 Apr 13, 2010
well, al least you can't say he doesn't have the experience to be a member of congress.......
#8 Apr 28, 2010
Brett, Toledo, OH says: "Should ask his ex-wives what they think of him...."
Hey Brett, you must be thinking of Jack Smith, Iott's Republican opponent, when you say "ex-wives" LOL!!!!
#9 Apr 28, 2010
Rich Iott has a heart birth defect that forced him to have open heart surgery many years ago. A valve in his heart is rubber. He actually tried to enlist to fight in Vietnam but the army would not take him because of the heart condition. The reserve is the closest thing he could participate in with his heart the way it is. Your statement about him riding coattails of actual vets is entirely inaccurate. What does that even mean? The army and the state reserves have little interaction. You not only imply (guess, actually) that he is too cowardly to join the actual military and that he bribed his way in, you actually insult and condescend everyone in the military reserve. How dare you.
#10 Apr 28, 2010
Everybody hated to see Food Town go south. However, there are some "inconvienent" facts you need to consider:
1. FT was a public company; nothing was done without the approval of the Board and shareholders.
2. FT was too big to enjoy the non-union costs of a small chain but too small to compete with the massive change the Board saw coming in the industry. At the time, WalMart was JUST getting into the food business - today thay are larger than the next two chains combined. Food Town - as a regional chain - was doomed unless it grew.
3. Rich AND his father wanted to give the company the best possible chance of survival; they were worried about their employees.
4. The best way to grow big enough, fast enough, was to merge with someone else. Spartan was a very good wholesaler but a marginal chain retailer (they had about 100 stores that ran in independant groups). It seemed to be a perfect marriage - Spartan brought the wholesale volume while FT brought the chain-store expertise.
5. Their fears were right - many regional chains either sold or tanked.
6. Knowing there would be lay-offs in the consolidation, FT crafted a severance policy (actually written by Rich)before the merger (so that Spartan had to legally honor it)that was simply based on salary and time-in-service. It was exactly the same for yesterday's new hire as for Wally Iott. There were no special deals or parachutes.
7. As a result of the merger, the officers of the company could not "take the money and run". They got the same deal as every shareholder:$5 per share plus one share of Spartan. Most shareholders sold when things looked like it was going south. But the officers were prohibted from selling any stock for three years. The rest of the shareholders were exempt from this restriction. During that time the stock went from about $15 to 99 cents. No officer got "fat" on that deal. It did come back but every officer took that chance; most people didn't have to.
8. As part of the merger, Rich served two years on the Spartan board. He opposed many of the stupid decisions Spartan made but his objections were viewed as "sour grapes". In fact, he lead a behind-the-scenes board effort to sack Chairman Jim Meyers based on his incompetence. Sadly, Jim got wind of it and retired suddenly, taking his "golden parachute" with him.
9. Rich was part of the search committee which brough a new CEO to Spartan. And then his two years service were up. He left the Board.
10. Eventually, Spartan had been bled so badly that it had to cut off the Food Town stores to save Spartan.
11. Timeline: 2000 - merger
2002 - Iott leaves board
2003 - Spartan starts closing
If you are going to blast the FT issue, then you better know what you are talking about. Rich and Wally - with the board - did what they thought was the best thing to preserve FT and to preserve thousands of jobs. Unfortunately, the next company seriously screwed up the program.
#11 Apr 28, 2010
Well, I am not sure you know the facts. Rich and his family have had horses at home since 1975. He has raised steers and chickens. His kids grew up taking care of these animals on the farm along with Rich. His daughter, Devon, showed Quarter Horses and was the World All Around Champion in 1999 - that is out of 28,000 youths in 28 countries. Those Carharts are very real. Rich often said that he enjoyed clening stalls... it was an escape from the business world and it sort of put the whole world in perspective.
#12 Jan 15, 2012
Get a life Belcher.
#13 Apr 5, 2012
I met Rich over 25 years ago. I had a little idea to put coke machines in front of grocery stores. I found out he was the man to see and struck a deal. On a handshake! I don't think he believed it would be as big a deal as it became. He was an honest guy to deal with.
However, after a short time, when it started paying big profits, it got the boards attention. I have to say, Rich went to bat for me, but the board saw the opportunity for more profit by cutting out the middle man. Me. Moral of the story is always get your deal in writing up front. I didn't hold it against Rich. I really admired him as a business man.
His confidence in me helped build my confidence in myself. I had already started another business that was really taking off so I just move on with it.
I never saw him again after that time, but looking back I appreciate his giving me a shot when I was young and ambitious. For that I will always be grateful to him. It was a great experience and while it lasted, we all made a lot of money. Thanks Rich!!
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