The National Grocers Association this week presented Ronald Fong, California Grocers Association (CGA) president and CEO, with its Association Leadership Award for his commitment and service to the independent supermarket industry.
“On behalf of the independent supermarket industry, I am pleased to honor and recognize Ron for his talent and dedication for the independent supermarket industry. Ron has been a passionate and enthusiastic industry leader throughout his career in his government relations work and successfully helping CGA to grow its membership,” said Peter J. Larkin, president and CEO of NGA.
Fong assumed the reins of CGA as president and CEO on March 31, 2008. CGA serves a membership comprising 400 retail members, including national and regional grocery chains, independent operators, convenience stores and grocery wholesalers, and more than 150 manufacturers and suppliers. As CGA’s president and CEO, he is responsible for the association’s strategic direction and staff, which includes departments in government relations, communications and business conferences. He also is president of the CGA Educational Foundation, which funds college scholarships and tuition reimbursement for member employees and their family members.
During his tenure at CGA, Fong worked to defeat California’s Proposition 37, the mandatory GMO labeling for grocery retail; the passage of SB 270, the first statewide plastic bag ban; and most notably, he successfully navigated the merger of the California Independent Grocers Association into CGA while ensuring that a strong voice for the state’s independent operators would be maintained, says NGA.
Fong joined the association after 12 years with the California Credit Union League (CCUL), where he was VP of state government affairs. He was responsible for the league’s 10-person Sacramento office and directed its advocacy program.
Prior to that, he was corporate president for United Market Inc., his family’s independent grocery company operating neighborhood stores in the Sacramento region. He grew up working in his family’s stores and understands the grocery industry from the backroom to the boardroom. In 1941, his grandfather started Carmichael Supermarket, the first grocery market in his home town of Carmichael.
NGA initiated this award more than a decade ago to honor and recognize state association executives who work tirelessly in their states on behalf of the independent supermarket industry.
Past recipients of this honor include Kathy Kuzava, president of the Georgia Food Industry Association; Tom Woodmansee, former president of the North Dakota Grocers Association; Brandon Scholz, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Grocers Association; Jan Gee, president and CEO of the Washington Food Industry Association; Kathy Siefken, executive director of the Nebraska Grocery Industry Association; Jim Olsen, president of the Food Industry Association Executives; Tom Jackson, former president/CEO of the Ohio Grocers Association; Dan Shaul, state director of the Missouri Grocers Association; Jim Rogers, retired president and CEO of the Food Industry Alliance of New York; Pat Hicks, retired executive director Kentucky Grocers Association; and Jerry Fleagle, former president and CEO Iowa Grocery Industry Association.