The National Grocers Association (NGA) opened its 2018 NGA Show yesterday with more than 3,000 attendees and experienced a 12 percent increase in its retailer/wholesaler attendance.
Attendees heard from General Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and NSA, during Sunday’s opening keynote address, sponsored by The Kraft Heinz Co.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue also provided remarks during the opening session, speaking on the negative impacts of burdensome regulation. Perdue said he wants to fully understand from a USDA perspective how to remove burdensome regulations for the supermarket industry. While addressing the crowd, he said independent retailers represent the bedrock of communities across the nation.
“Independent retailers are known for their innovation and drive, and this year’s NGA Show is full of activities and opportunities to further boost their performance,” said Peter Larkin, NGA president and CEO. “Over the next three days, retailers and wholesalers will leave with the necessary tools and solutions to address a rapidly changing grocery industry and grow their bottom line. We should not underestimate the importance of having more than 3,000 people from the same industry who have the opportunity to be face to face, sharing new ideas.”
This year’s NGA Show will feature more than 40 educational workshops with seven different tracks, ranging from tech trends and people development to building bigger baskets and operating for excellence. The sold-out expo floor will feature more than 350 exhibitors across categories such as produce, meat, technology, and ethnic and specialty food products.
NGA names new board
In addition to NGA Show events, the NGA Board of Directors, by recommendation of its nominating committee and a subsequent vote by the NGA membership, announced the 2018 board of directors, officers and executive committee members, as well as the election of 11 new board members.
“We’re excited to welcome pioneers throughout the independent supermarket industry to NGA’s board of directors,” Larkin said. “These industry leaders come at a crucial time for independent grocers as we develop tools and resources for store operators to thrive in today’s rapidly changing marketplace.”
The 2018 NGA Board of Directors includes:
Appointed board of directors officers and executive committee
Chair: Cheryl Sommer, president, Kaune’s Neighborhood Market
Immediate Past Chair: Rich Niemann Jr., president and CEO, Niemann Foods Inc.
Vice-Chair: Mike Stigers, EVP, wholesale and supply chain services, Supervalu Inc.
Secretary: Ted Balistreri, co-owner, Sendik’s Food Markets
Treasurer: David Smith, president and CEO, Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc.
President and CEO: Peter Larkin, president and CEO, NGA
At-Large: Christopher Brown, SVP, independent sales, C&S Wholesale Grocers
At-Large: Kim Eskew, president and CEO, Harps Food Stores Inc.
At-Large: Roger Lowe Jr., CEO, Lowe’s Market
At-Large: Richard Morgan Jr., president and CEO, North State Grocery Inc.
At-Large: Jeff Reagan, SVP, Wakefern Food Corp.
Incoming board members
Jennifer Bosma, VP, Harvest Market
David Bullard, president and CEO, Piggly Wiggly Alabama Distributing Co.
Ron Graff JR., owner and VP operations, Columbiana Foods Inc.
Neil Greenstein, president, Brookdale/Newark ShopRite
Winston Griffin, CEO and chairman, Laurel Grocery Co.
Michelle Hurd, president, Iowa Grocery Industry Association
Brian Moyer, CEO, Freshop
Eligio Pena, president, Compare Foods
Art Rosenberg, VP, industry development, PepsiCo Inc.
Ern Sherman, VP industry affairs, The Coca-Cola Co.
Joe Wolf, president, Alliance Retail Group
Returning board members
Terrie Baker, VP, Baker’s IGA
Denny Belcastro, VP industry affairs and customer development, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
Neal Berube, president and CEO, Associated Food Stores Inc.
Kimberly Brackett, owner, Brackett’s Market Inc.
Trent Brookshire, EVP, corporate development, Brookshire Grocery Co.
RF Buche, president, GF Buche Co.
Guy Chiarello, president , First Data
John Derderian, president and COO, Allegiance Retail Services LLC
Rudy Dory, president, Newport Avenue Market
Jesse Garcia, SVP and chief customer officer, Post Consumer Brands
Jan Gee, president and CEO, Washington Food Industry Association
Steve Heggelke, EVP of merchandising and procurement, Bozzuto’s Inc.
Tim Henderson, owner, Henderson’s IGA
Maria Kamberos, president and CEO, Treasure Island Foods
Reed Kessler, owner and EVP, Kessler’s Inc.
Nolan Lockwood, president and COO, Walla Walla’s Harvest Foods
Kristi Magnuson-Nelson, president, Hugo’s Family Marketplace
Bob McTeir, president, Merchants Distributors LLC
David Mitchell, president, Mitchell Grocery Corp.
David Ochs, SVP, East region-sales, KeHE Distributors
Larry Pierce, EVP merchandising and marketing, SpartanNash Co.
Daniel Shanahan, chairman and CEO, Buehler’s Fresh Foods
Ray Sprinkle, president and CEO, URM Stores Inc.
Eric Stille, president and CEO, Nugget Market Inc.
Jeff Strack, president and CEO, Strack & Van Til
Michael Violette, president and CEO, Associated Grocers of New England Inc.
Zulema Wiscovitch, EVP and chief administrative officer, Associated Supermarket Group
Carole Bitter, Ph.D., president and CEO, Friedman’s Freshmarkets
Jay Campbell Jr., retired, Associated Grocers Inc.
Chris Coborn, president, CEO and chairman of the board, Coborn’s Inc.
Michael Needler Sr., executive chairman, Fresh Encounter Inc.
John Ross, president and CEO, IGA Inc.
Joe Sheridan, president and COO, Wakefern Food Corp.
Steve Smith, president and CEO, K-VA-T Food Stores
NGA thanked the following outgoing board members for their service and leadership:
Jim Badalati, Crossmark
Julie Bitter, Unilever
Emile Breaux, Associated Grocers Inc.
Rick Geyer, Geyer’s Markets Inc.
Bob Ling, Unified Grocers/Supervalu Inc.
Rich McMenamin, McMenamin Family ShopRite
Mike Ridenour, The Kraft Heinz Co.
Ellie Taylor, Alabama Grocers Association
Erick Taylor, Pyramid Foods
Jimmy Wright, Wright’s Market