The National Grocers Association (NGA), the trade association representing the independent supermarket industry, concluded its Independent Impact Summit and Trading Partners Live event held at the NGA Fall Leadership Meetings Oct. 27.
Nearly 200 attendees gathered in Washington, D.C., where more than 300 senior level meetings between independent retailers and wholesalers with manufacturers and service suppliers were conducted to discuss mutual business opportunities, strategies and goals.
Leftover product from participating companies were donated to the Carpenter’s Shelter, a nonprofit organization that serves more than 600 homeless and formerly homeless children and adults each year.
NGA’s board of directors also voted unanimously to appoint Jay Ard, VP of industry affairs at The Coca-Cola Co., and Kevin Proctor, chief investment officer of Save-A-Lot Food Stores, to fill vacancies on the board.
Ard, who joined Coca-Cola in 1979 as a route driver for the Rainwater Coca-Cola Bottling Group, has held a number of different positions for the company over the years. By 1994, he’d moved up the ladder to become area VP for South Louisiana before earning a promotion to general manager of the Gulf States Division and Florida Division. He’s served as The Coca-Cola Co.’s VP of national sales, convenience retail since 2005.
As chief investment officer of Save-A-Lot Food Stores, Proctor offers a unique perspective and extensive background in both the retail and real estate markets. Before starting his career at Save-A-Lot, he spent more than 16 years with European discount giant Lidl, where he held various positions within the company in both operational and corporate roles.
Proctor also served as COO of Digicel Group, a mobile phone network provider that operates in 31 markets across the Caribbean, Central America and Oceania regions. His array of experience spans across Europe, the Caribbean and the U.S. Proctor received his bachelor’s degree in real estate development from Oxford Brookes University in 1997.
“I am pleased to welcome Jay and Kevin to NGA’s Board of Directors,” said Peter Larkin, president and CEO of NGA. “Both have broad industry experience and will bring insight that will be very valuable as we work to advance our organization and the independent supermarket industry.”