Alumnus selected for Jewel-Osco Marketing Honors
March 25, 2010,
Former SIU graduate, Derryl Reed, was selected by Jewel-Osco as their "Marketing Innovator of the Year" during their annual Black History Month kickoff reception in support of Jewel-Osco’s black suppliers.
Mr. Reed is the current President and CEO for Smokin’ Joe which was formed in the mid 1990s by Frank Walker, a dear friend to Reed. In May of 2008 after the death of Mr. Walker, Reed acquired the rights to the company. Although running a company that made hot sauce was not part of Reed’s strategic plan, his 30+ years of previous sales and marketing experience with Fortune 500 companies made it a good fit for him. Working for Smokin’ Joe gives Reed an opportunity to utilize his diverse skills.
When asked about being named "Marketing Innovator of the Year," Reed replied," Being selected by Jewel-Osco for their Marketing Innovation Award is a tremendous honor. Ever since I can remember Jewel-Osco has been the number one grocery account in Metro Chicago and Northern Indiana. That is a tremendous accomplishment for any company…. I have the utmost respect and appreciation for Jewel-Osco because of their commitment to supporting minority vendors and Black Entrepreneurs."
While attending SIU as an undergraduate, Reed majored in math and minored in chemistry. "My original goal was to give back to my community by becoming a teacher. However, there was so much red tape trying to get a position with the Chicago Board of Education I had to consider other options," Reed recalled, "During this process I was offered a position in sales with American Can Company, calling on grocery store managers. It was the best thing that could have happened to me."
Reed said his current objective is to transform Smokin’ Joe from a successful regional product into a national brand. This will provide a number of different options for the future of the company. As he grows older, he wants to focus more of his time on things that he really enjoys and set his own pace. He loves to travel and spend time with family and friends. He would also like to start a nonprofit organization helping small African American and Hispanic business become more successful.