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NGA Establishes Peter J. Larkin Award For Community Service

Peter Larkin
Peter Larkin

The National Grocers Association has established the Peter J. Larkin Award for Community Service in honor of Larkin’s retirement at the end of 2019. The new award was announced during the opening keynote session of The NGA Show. It will be presented annually to an independent retailer or wholesaler for his or her dedication and commitment to the communities he or she serves.

“Peter’s passion for our industry and the independent grocer is unwavering, but it’s the independent grocer’s commitment and service to their community that he is most proud of,” said Cheryl Sommer, chair of the NGA board of directors and owner of Kaune’s Neighborhood Market.

Larkin’s retirement from NGA at this end of this year will cap off a nearly 40-year career in the supermarket industry. During Larkin’s tenure at NGA, the organization has experienced growth in retail and wholesale membership as well as member engagement in share groups and committees and attendance at The NGA show.

Additionally, NGA’s government relations and advocacy efforts have expanded and produced numerous wins for independent supermarkets under Larkin’s leadership, and the NGA Grocers Political Action Committee, which was launched during Larkin’s term, has helped support candidates for Congress who champion important policies to Main Street grocers.

He also has revitalized the NGA Foundation, which is focused on programs and services that support store associates and the next generation of the independent supermarket industry.

NGA board of directors elected

Also at the 2019 NGA Show, the NGA board, by recommendation of its nominating committee and subsequent vote by the NGA membership, announced the 2019 board of directors, officers and executive committee members, as well as the election of nine new board members.

“These industry leaders come to NGA’s board of directors at an imperative time for independent grocers as we enhance NGA’s benefits and resources for store operators to thrive in today’s rapidly-changing marketplace. I look forward to working with each of them to advance the independent supermarket industry,” Larkin said.

The 2019 NGA board of directors officers and executive committee include:

Incoming board members include:

Returning board members include:

Ex-offico members include:

  • Carole Bitter, Ph.D., Friedman’s Freshmarkets
  • Jay Campbell Jr., Retired, Associated Grocers
  • Chris Coborn, Coborn’s Inc.
  • Michael Needler, Fresh Encounter Inc.
  • John Ross, IGA
  • Joe Sheridan, Wakefern Food Corp.
  • Steve Smith, K-VA-T Food Stores

NGA also recognized outgoing board members for their service and leadership:

About the author



An 11-year employee of The Shelby Report who writes for and about food. In previous lives, she worked at a police department in Texas and an amusement park in Arkansas. She also was a newspaper publisher for more than a decade. Not sure which of those qualified her for this job.

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