Peter Valjean Gregerson, Sr. is the founder and longtime president of Gregerson’s Foods, Inc. Gregerson’s Foods was founded in 1969 and still remains in operation today. At its heyday, Gregerson’s Foods employed more than 1,200 people and included 15 stores, making Gregerson the largest independent grocer in the state.
Along with Gregerson’s Foods, Mr. Gregerson also served as president of Super Valu for Alabama and Georgia.
As a member of the National Speakers Association, Mr. Gregerson lectured across America as well as in Hong Kong, Vienna, Austria and South Africa. He shared the platform with such speakers as Dick Cheney, Tom Landry, Roger Staubach and Bob Richards. His speeches have been published in “Vital Speeches – The Best Thoughts of the Best Minds on Current National Questions” and “The Congressional Record.”
Mr. Gregerson has been extremely active in civic affairs and was the founder of several organizations in Gadsden including The United Way Leadership Giving program, the Keep Etowah Beautiful program and Gadsden’s winning All-American City committee. He was co-founder of Gadsden’s Riverfest celebration and was instrumental in roses being planted along Rainbow Drive and Meighan Boulevard.
He served as president of The Gadsden/Etowah County Chamber of Commerce, The Gadsden-Etowah Industrial Development Authority, American Heart Association, Gadsden Rotary, United Way of East Alabama and Salvation Army. He also served on the board of the Alabama Power Company and as chairman of the very successful Gadsden State Community College Endowment Campaign.
One of the projects for which he is most known, Mr. Gregerson served as founder and chairman of the committee that built “The Spirit of American Citizenship,” a magnificent 65-foot obelisk monument along the Coosa River in downtown Gadsden.
In 1992, he was selected as Alabama’s “Outstanding Civic Leader” by the National Society of Fundraising Executives and later as “Gadsden’s Most Influential Citizen” as voted by the local citizenry. He was one of Gadsden’s original “Pillars of Gold” recipients, was chosen by the Veterans Association to their “Patriots Hall of Fame” and was awarded the “Medal of Honor” by the Daughters of the American Revolution. The National Grocers Association awarded him “The Sprit of America” award and later their most prestigious award, “The Great American.”
Mr. Gregerson is a Gideon and for many years, visited the Etowah County Jail on Saturdays. He is a member of the First Baptist Church of Gadsden and has written three booklets including “The Golden Rule, The Best Way to Live.”
Mr. Gregerson and his wife, Janet, have been married for nearly 70 years. They have seven children and a large, loving family of more than four dozen grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Mr. Gregerson is a lifelong reader with more than 5,000 books in his personal library. History, psychology, the Bible, philosophy and alternative medicine are his main interests. His most passionate hobbies have been raising roses and Koi fish.