NGA Show Opens With Strong Attendance, 2018 Board Named

Clarion and NGA Show

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.

See photos from the show here.

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

Ex-officio members

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


Keep reading:

NGA Honors Coborn’s, Hugo’s Execs As Top Industry Leaders

Cooley To Talk Balancing Benefits, Employee Retention At NGA Show

Larkin To ROFDA Wholesalers: Changes Ahead In These ‘Interesting Times’

About The Author

A word nerd, grocery geek and two-year member of The Shelby Report. She is a proud new homeowner and a great lover of avocado toast.

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