Stater Bros. chief executive officer presented with honorary doctorate
Stater Bros. president and CEO Jack Brown (center) is congratulated by Dr. Behrens (right) upon receiving an honorary doctor of humanitarian service degree. Looking on are Dr. Hart (left) and Dr. Hadley (between Mr. Brown and Dr. Behrens).
The president and chief executive officer of Stater Bros. Markets was honored during Loma Linda University School of Medicine commencement ceremonies held on Sunday, May 28.
Jack Brown was presented with an honorary doctorate, the doctor of humanitarian service degree.
Born and educated in San Bernardino, Mr. Brown attended San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) as a business administration major.
While a student at SBVC, he served as founding president of the lettermen’s fraternity, Beta Tau Omega. He continued his studies on a football scholarship at San Jose State University, but he decided against pursuing sports as a career after suffering two fractured legs. His education was interrupted by two years of military service with the Pacific Fleet; but after being discharged from the military, he enrolled in the University of California at Los Angeles and resumed the business course.
With his education and military service behind him, Mr. Brown returned home to San Bernardino and the supermarket industry to which he had been introduced as a 13-year-old box boy at Berk’s Market Spot. He went to work at Sage’s Complete Markets; and by the time he was 28 years of age, he had risen to the position of vice president for sales and merchandising ––becoming the youngest person in the history of the company to hold a position at this level.
Positions of increasing responsibility followed with several supermarket companies––corporate vice president for Marsh Supermarkets, Indianapolis, Indiana; and president and chief executive officer for Pantry Food Markets, Inc., and American Community Stores Corporation, Omaha, Nebraska.
In 1981 Mr. Brown returned to San Bernardino as president and CEO of Stater Bros. Markets, a Fortune 500 company. Today he serves as chair of the Colton-based grocery chain––the largest in the Inland Empire, with 155 stores.
Throughout the years, Mr. Brown has committed his energy and management skills to public service and philanthropy. He was founding chair of the First Fund of Children’s Resources of San Bernardino County, an agency devoted to assisting abused and at-risk children. He has served on the boards of a number of organizations, including: American Red Cross, Kiwanis, Rotary, Navy League, Goodwill Industries, Inland Empire Symphony Association, YMCA, Southern California Grocers Association, and California Retailers Association.
In addition, he has donated generously of his time and means to assist California State University at San Bernardino. He also serves as a University of Redlands trustee.
Mr. Brown’s humanitarian, civic, and professional contributions have been recognized on a number of occasions, including: Sidney R. Rabb Award, presented by the Food Marketing Institute honoring a lifetime of exceptional service to the community, the consumer, and the supermarket industry; Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital Foundation Shirley N. Pettis Award for outstanding dedication and distinguished service to children (2004); George Washington Honor Medal, presented by the Freedom Foundation of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, for patriotism; Business Executive of the Year Award, presented by the University of Southern California; California Community Colleges Distinguished Alumni Award; and the Horatio Alger Award, presented by the Horatio Alger Association in recognition of outstanding contributions to America and the “American Dream.”