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Wenning Announces Retirement From NGA

NGA's Tom Wenning

Last updated on August 14th, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Tom Wenning, EVP and general counsel for the National Grocers Association (NGA), has announced his retirement, effective in December.

“It has been a real honor and privilege to be a legislative, regulatory and legal advocate  on behalf of independent retail grocers and wholesalers for the last 40 years before Congress, presidential administrations, regulatory agencies and the courts,” said Wenning. “NGA has grown ever stronger over the years in its advocacy on behalf of the independent sector and I’ve been proud to be a part of that tradition.”

Wenning became EVP and general counsel of NGA when the National Association of Retail Grocers of the United States (NARGUS) and the Cooperative Food Distributors of America merged on Oct. 1, 1982. Prior to joining NGA, he was a partner for nine years with his father-in-law, Henry J. Bison Jr., in the law firm of Bison and Wenning, which provided Washington, D.C., representation for NARGUS, the National Food Brokers Association (NFBA) and National American Wholesale Grocers Association (NAWGA).

“When I joined Henry Bison in 1973 I was quickly exposed to the passion and dedication which drove our representation of family-owned, privately held retail grocers and the wholesalers that serve them. It is that entrepreneurial spirit that I’ve been so proud to represent and I leave knowing that NGA is ever stronger today in representing the independent sector before Congress and President Obama’s administration,” Wenning said.

“There are probably only a handful of people who are as respected and admired both in Washington, D.C., and throughout the food industry than Tom Wenning,” said Peter J. Larkin, president and CEO of NGA. “I’ve had the pleasure to call Tom a friend throughout my years in the industry, but it was not until I joined NGA that I had the honor to work beside him and witness firsthand the respect and admiration our members and so many in Washington, D.C., have for him.”

Wenning has played a major role in numerous legislative and regulatory initiatives, such as the passage of the Federal Anti-Tampering Act in 1983 and the enactment of the 1986 Tax Reform Act. In 1990 he led NGA’s efforts before the Federal Trade Commission to preserve competitive rights for independent retail and wholesale grocers and played a leading role in the migration from paper Food Stamps to EBT. In 2005 Wenning helped establish and guide the creation of the Merchants Payment Coalition and continues to lead NGA’s efforts to fight for swipe fee reforms.

“Tom’s wisdom and counsel have been indispensable to me and NGA, but most importantly it’s his friendship I’ve come to value most,” said Larkin. “While Tom and Anne begin a new chapter in their lives, Tom’s influence and presence in our industry will carry on forever.”


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