The Virginia Food Industry Association (VFIA) has been formed to serve as an advocate for retail and wholesale food industries in the commonwealth of Virginia. With members representing more than 55,000 people statewide at more than 530 retail locations, the new association says it will provide resources and public affairs support to the food industry as its members work to serve their customers and nourish local communities across the commonwealth.
Parker Slaybaugh has been chosen to lead VFIA as its executive director. Slaybaugh most recently served as director of communications for Virginia Speaker of the House Kirk Cox. Prior to working for the House of Delegates, Slaybaugh was a television news reporter/anchor in Richmond and Lynchburg, Virginia.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to lead an organization with members who are focused on bettering the communities in which they serve,” said Slaybaugh. “Grocery stores are where families come together to plan holiday dinners, birthday celebrations and school lunches. Grocery associates are community resources, always there to lend a helping hand, and it is an honor to serve as their advocate before our legislature and government officials.”
“Parker brings an extensive knowledge of the Virginia legislature, and he is well respected in the Capitol Square community,” said Jennifer Gardner, government affairs manager for Retail Business Services, the services company of Ahold Delhaize USA, and VFIA board chair. “We are excited for Parker to join the association, and we appreciate his leadership and vision as we grow and develop VFIA, as well as address issues integral to the retail and wholesale food industries.”
“State associations are vital to ensuring the food industry’s voice is represented across the country as we enter a new decade filled with opportunities, innovations and challenges. The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) strives to work closely with state association partners, and we look forward to working with Parker Slaybaugh and VFIA on their priority issues. When called upon, FMI provides state association partners with resources in the form of studies, research, testimony and regional and national meetings to assist our mutual members,” said Elizabeth Tansing, FMI’s senior director for state government relations.