Peter Larkin, president and CEO of the National Grocers Association, announced today that he will retire from the organization effective Dec. 31, 2019. Larkin’s retirement from NGA caps off a nearly 40-year career in the supermarket industry.
During Larkin’s tenure, NGA has experienced retail and wholesale membership growth that has more than doubled, ranging from single-store supermarkets to regional independent supermarket chains.
“Member engagement for the organization is at an all-time high as evidenced by the numerous member-driven share groups and committees, as well as the continued record-breaking growth of The NGA Show, which has nearly tripled its attendance levels with Larkin at the helm,” the organization said in a statement.
Under Larkin’s leadership NGA’s government relations and advocacy efforts have been recognized as one of the most effective in Washington, D.C., and have produced several wins for independent supermarkets over the years, while the NGA Grocers Political Action Committee, launched during Larkin’s term, has helped support candidates for Congress who champion important policies to Main Street grocers. Larkin also has revitalized the NGA Foundation, which has seen considerable growth and today is focused on programs and services that support independent grocers’ most important asset, their people, says NGA.
“Peter has led a renaissance of NGA and will be leaving an organization that is well prepared to support our industry for many years to come. Peter’s passion and enthusiasm for NGA and the independent grocer is infectious, which is evidenced by the tremendous growth that NGA and The NGA Show has experienced under his leadership,” said Cheryl Sommer, chairman of NGA board of directors and owner of Kaune’s Neighborhood Market. “Independent grocers serve as the cornerstones of their communities and ensure consumers have vibrant choice in the marketplace, making it critical for independents to have a strong advocate, such as NGA, to support our segment of the supermarket industry. Peter has elevated NGA as an organization and highlighted the important role independent grocers have in the US economy and our nation’s food distribution network. I wish Peter and Jody all the best in the next chapter in their lives.”
“When I started working for the Kroger Company 36 years ago, little did I know that I would one day have the honor to serve as the president and CEO of NGA. I am grateful to our members and board of directors for the privilege and opportunity to lead this great organization, which truly represents the best entrepreneurs in our industry and country,” said Larkin. “I’m proud of our accomplishments from growing our advocacy and government relations program, doubling our membership, re-launching the NGA Foundation and growing The NGA Show into the successful event that it is today. Given the rapidly changing marketplace I believe organizations like NGA are more important today than ever. NGA is financially strong and very well positioned to continue its mission that began in 1982 as an effective advocate and thought leader for independent grocers for decades to come.”
The NGA board of directors has authorized the creation of a search committee to replace Larkin that will convene in mid-January.