The National Grocers Association (NGA), the trade association representing the independent supermarket industry, has retained the services of Steptoe & Johnson LLP, a Washington, D.C.-based law and lobbying firm that will boost NGA’s advocacy capabilities. Steptoe will provide legal, regulatory and advocacy representation and expertise on a wide range of issues.
“Steptoe’s deep, bipartisan ties across Congress, as well as their relationships and expertise across every federal agency, will enable NGA to be an even more effective advocate for the independent supermarket industry,” said Greg Ferrara, NGA president and CEO.
Steptoe partner Doug Kantor will serve as lead liaison and NGA general counsel under this new agreement. Kantor works in every aspect of the public policy process to assess his clients’ needs, draft legislation and advocate for the right outcome. His experience and recognition are extensive, including being named to The Hill’s “Top Lobbyist” list as well as The Legal 500 list under Government Relations.
“On behalf of the Steptoe team, we look forward to integrating our deep government experience with the NGA team’s and being a part of their efforts to obtaining major wins that allow for independent grocers to succeed and better serve their communities,” Kantor said.
As an added benefit for NGA members supporting the Advocacy and Legal Fund, Steptoe will provide initial consultation for grocers who need assistance on legal and regulatory compliance challenges.
Additionally, NGA has announced the promotion of Molly Pfaffenroth to senior director of government relations. In her role, Pfaffenroth will have an expanded issue portfolio and will work to help manage the government relations department.
“Molly’s list of accomplishments over her three-year tenure with NGA clearly demonstrates her ability to lead and notch wins for independent grocers. She had been instrumental in key wins, such as obtaining a fix to the retail glitch and ensuring independents are key private partners in federal nutrition programs, especially SNAP,” said Chris Jones, SVP of government relations and counsel.
Pfaffenroth came to NGA three years ago after working in the private and public sectors on matters of food and agriculture, including stints with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of Communications, International Dairy Foods Association and National Association for Biomedical Research. She received her undergraduate degree in animal science from Cornell University and a graduate degree in media and public affairs from George Washington University.
“Building off the growth and momentum gained last year, now is the time to take NGA advocacy efforts to the next level. We have an exciting year ahead with tremendous opportunity to expand our outreach and influence in Washington, D.C., and to give independent grocers and wholesalers a seat at the table in the policy debates that will shape the future of our industry,” Ferrara said.
NGA also has unveiled a new website focused on bringing necessary information to retailers across the nation that are interested in nutrition incentives, like those funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP). See story, here.