David F. Sobey
Doctor of Commerce
Grandson of the founder of Sobeys Inc., David Sobey began his working life sorting vegetables in the basement of a company store in Stellarton. Today, he is chairman and president of the company, which employs 10,000 people; operates more than 115 retail stores from Ontario to Newfoundland; and has major wholesaling, food services and manufacturing operations.
After studying at Dalhousie University, Mr. Sobey joined the family firm and, except for one year with First National Stores in Boston, has been with it ever since. After a period of managing one of the Sobeys stores in Halifax, he became Director of Merchandising and Advertising; Vice-President (1961); and in 1974, President. Under his leadership and guidance, Sobey’s Inc. has grown from $150 million to over $1.8 billion in annual sales.
In 1990, he was made a Knight of the Golden Pencil, an honour which recognizes personal commitment and a significant long-term contribution to the Canadian food industry.
Mr. Sobey’s community service includes work with Junior Achievement of Canada; a directorship with the Retail Council of Canada; and the Food Marketing Institute. He serves on a number of boards of directors, including Dominion Textile, Provigo, Hannaford Bros., CHC Helicopter Corporation, and Evangeline Savings and Mortgage Company, as well as Empire Company and other associated businesses. He was appointed to the Board of Governors of Saint Mary’s University in 1986 from whence he continues to serve the institution.