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2012 N.G.A. Show Attracts Record Numbers


Last updated on August 30th, 2022 at 03:12 pm

The National Grocers Association (N.G.A.) has concluded its 2012 N.G.A. Show in Las Vegas, Nev.—reaching important milestones and fulfilling its promise as the place to be “Where Independents Gather” to discuss “Real Issues with Real Grocers and forge Real Solutions.”

The annual four-day event was the largest in the trade association’s history, with more than 2,400 independent grocers, wholesaler and industry partners attending. The N.G.A. Show featured nearly 35,000 s.f. of exhibit floor space, a 25 percent increase. More than 200 exhibitors participated in the expo, a 10 percent increase from the previous year.

Nate Filler, president of the Ohio Grocers Association (OGA), spoke to Geoff Welch, Midwest regional manager for The Shelby Report, about the show.

“For me, this has been a real treat because it’s been my first time to attend the N.G.A. Show as a new executive,” Filler said. “I’ve probably been impressed beyond my expectation by the quality of presenters and the show that they’ve put on.

“But also, you forget how much the grocery industry is just a people business. There are so many good people working in this business. To come to these conventions, it’s always kind of a reset and a refresh that we’re out there making a difference, helping people with good people. That’s what this has reminded me.”

Filler said he definitely plans to attend the show again.

“I absolutely would come back, and look forward to promoting it to all the other members of OGA who haven’t been able to make it out yet, because it’s well worth the time,” he said.

OGA’s annual show will take place April 14.

“It’s the largest gala in the food industry in Ohio. We’re going to have a great night of entertainment and fun, and really bring it home for our grocers in Ohio,” Filler added.

The N.G.A. Show also expanded industry partnerships and opportunities for independent grocers to increase collaboration. For the first time, N.G.A. co-located the show with IGA’s Global Rally, created a produce pavilion with the Produce Marketing Association and created a Center for Collaboration with the Grocery Manufacturers of America. These additions, among other N.G.A. Show features, were designed to bring greater value to N.G.A. members and attendees.

“Our goal for this year’s show was to strengthen the value proposition for attendees by expanding the trade show and increasing opportunities for more industry collaboration,” said Peter Larkin, president and CEO of N.G.A. “As a result we experienced record attendance and increased participation, which could not have happened without the support of our sponsors, partners and independent grocers who gave their time and resources to make this show a success.”

2012 Woman of the Year named

The 2012 show concluded today, Feb. 15, by awarding two industry honors.

Sanders with student

The Women Grocers of America (WGA) named Barbara Thomas, director of training for K-VAT Food Stores Inc./Food City of Grundy, Va., as the 2012 Woman of the Year. The WGA Woman of the Year award recognizes an industry woman whose leadership has contributed to the success of her company. The woman must be a member of N.G.A. and other industry organizations whose participation and involvement contributes to the overall well being of the grocery industry, and be involved in the community and civic affairs.

Thomas has been affiliated with the Food City franchise since 1974, when she became a part-time cashier while attending Grundy High School. Company founder Jack Smith hand selected Thomas to head up the company training program in 1979, and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.

“Barbara is first and foremost a mentor, not only for her company, but in the community where she works and lives,” said Larkin. “She is an innovator in advancing strong training programs to increase customer service and satisfaction, while also being a life-long leader in her community.”

 Case Competition winner announced

Also announced at the conclusion of the N.G.A. Show was the winner of the annual Food Industry University Coalition Student Case Competition hosted by the Asparagus Club. Louisiana State University (LSU) won first place, winning $8,000 in cash and scholarship prizes. Arizona State University (ASU) came in second place, winning $1,000. Seven universities competed in the competition, which provides students attending the N.G.A. Show the opportunity to analyze a real world, contemporary retail business challenge. Working in teams, students work collaboratively to examine, present and then respond to questions posed by a panel of judges. This year’s topic was: “How can independent retailers, wholesalers and co-ops implement mobile coupons to drive sales and profits?”

Additional highlights at this year’s show included the launch of a new user-friendly, technologically advanced N.G.A. website (www.nationalgrocers.org); a moving opening session speech by former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates; idea exchange sessions; business-to-business sessions; and educational forums about key industry topics. N.G.A. also honored several industry veterans and announced winners of the Best Bagger and Creative Choice Best in Show. Singer LeAnn Rimes was the N.G.A. Show’s headline entertainment at the chairman’s gala Tuesday.

Next year’s N.G.A. Show will return to The Mirage in Las Vegas on Feb. 9-13, 2013.



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Featured Photo PLMA Annual Private Label Trade Show
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Chicago, Illinois
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