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UPDATED: 4/3/20 - 1:00 p.m.

Food Lion and Catawba College Premiere "Lessons in Leadership" Film to Honor Grocery Co-Founder and Salisbury Native, Ralph W. Ketner

August 28, 2015

Category: Business & Economics, Events, Students, Teacher Education



Grocer and College Distribute Film for North Carolina Student Education in Leadership and Business

Food Lion and Catawba College premiere "Lessons in Leadership," a documentary film featuring the life and business lessons students and professionals can learn from Ralph W. Ketner, Food Lion co-founder. In September, Catawba College will distribute the film, in both digital and physical formats, to North Carolina high schools.  

The film features stories and advice from those who Ketner touched throughout his long-tenured career, from leaders in the Salisbury community to family members and colleagues. To help schools use the leadership lessons from Ketner, Catawba College has created lesson plans allowing students to take the concepts featured in the video and apply them in a practical way in a classroom setting.

"For more than 50 years, Food Lion has been an important part of the City of Salisbury's history and all of this was made possible by our company's founders, including Mr. Ketner," said Meg Ham, president of Food Lion. "When approached by Catawba College about this opportunity to preserve the rich heritage of Mr. Ketner's impact on this community, from the founding of Food Lion to his pro bono work with Catawba, we couldn't think of a better way to honor our founder and all he has given to us. We were honored to underwrite this video to preserve the history and lessons Mr. Ketner has taught all of us as part of his vision to build a company with the focus of always taking care of the customer, having the lowest prices in North Carolina and being a good corporate citizen, which are all strong pillars of our business today."

lessonslead15.jpg"We are delighted to be involved in such a wonderful project – one that both captures the story of Ralph Ketner and the story of the growth and evolution of Food Town into Food Lion," shared Catawba College President Brien Lewis. "Catawba's role will be to continue sharing this video resource, and the five lesson plans created to accompany it, with educators across the state for use in their classrooms. By helping bring Mr. Ketner's lessons into today's classrooms, we hope to inspire a future generation of entrepreneurs who will dream a big idea and work diligently to make that idea a reality."

The video can be viewed at or

About Food Lion
Food Lion, based in Salisbury, N.C., since 1957, has more than 1,100 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states and employs more than 63,000 associates. By leveraging its longstanding heritage of low prices and convenient locations, Food Lion is working to own the easiest full shop grocery experience in the Southeast, anchored by a strong commitment to affordability, freshness and the communities it serves. Through Food Lion Feeds, the company has committed to provide 500 million meals to individuals and families in need by the end of 2020. Food Lion is a company of Delhaize America, the U.S. division of Brussels-based Delhaize Group. For more information, visit

About Catawba College
Founded in 1851, Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C., is the sixth oldest college in the state. It is a private, coeducational college that has a student body of close to 1,300 students. The institution offers over 70 fields of academic study and fields 18 NCAA Division II athletic teams. Students enjoy small classes with an average student to faculty ratio of 14-to-1. More than 70 percent of students live on the 276-acre campus. For more information on Catawba, which is known for its nationally ranked theatre arts, music, business and science programs, visit

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