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NGA Elects New Members To Its Board Of Directors

NGA new members
NGA's new board members

The National Grocers Association, the trade association representing the independent supermarket industry, has elected new members to its board of directors. Nine individuals, by recommendation of the NGA Board nominating committee and subsequent vote by the membership, and one appointed individual will join re-elected board members to serve on the 2021 NGA Board of Directors.

Among retailers, the new board members are Melissa Buonadonna-Hernandez, president of Buonadonna ShopRite; Carlos Castro, president of Todos Supermarket; and Jimmy Nichols, chief operations officer of Houchens Industries.

The two newly elected wholesalers are Manard Lagasse, president/CEO of Associated Grocers Inc.; and Michele Azar, president of Merchant Distributors Inc.

Other newly elected board members include Robert Graybill, president and CEO of FMS Solutions; Rick Brindle, VP of industry development for Mondelez International; Mike Ridenour, head of industry relations and sales operations for The Kraft Heinz Co.; and Kathy Kuzava, president of the Georgia Food Industry Association. Scott Widtfelt, EVP commercial, natural and independents for KeHE Distributors, was appointed to fill a vacancy.

Re-elected board members include Jennifer Bosma of Harvest Market, Neil Greenstein of Brookdale ShopRite, David Bullard of Piggly Wiggly AL Dist. Co., Winston Griffin of Laurel Grocery Co., Lori Raya of SpartanNash and Joe Wolf of Alliance Retail.

“I’m pleased to welcome our newly elected members to the board of directors and thank them for their willingness to serve our organization. Being a representative for the membership of NGA is a great responsibility, and I know each of these members will provide valuable contributions and perspective that will help guide NGA as we approach our 40th anniversary,” said Mike Stigers, NGA chairman of the board and CEO of Cub Foods. “I also want to extend my deep appreciation for our outgoing board members who have provided invaluable service to the membership, especially over the past year as our industry navigated the challenges of the COVID pandemic. Their contributions and leadership have ensured NGA is an effective advocate for its membership.”

NGA would like to thank the following outgoing board members for their service and leadership: Neal Berube of Associate Food Stores, Michelle Hurd of Iowa Grocery Industry Association, Roger Lowe Jr. of Lowe’s Market, Bob McTeir of Merchant Distributors Inc., Richard Morgan of North State Grocery Inc., Brian Moyer of Freshop and and Eligio Pen of Compare Foods.

“I’m grateful to our outgoing board of directors members who have volunteered countless hours away from their businesses to serve our association, particularly over the past year,” said Greg Ferrara, president and CEO of NGA. “Their guidance and support have kept NGA on a strong path of growth and effective advocacy for independent grocers. I’m also looking forward to working with our newly elected board members, who represent a diverse cross section of the independent supermarket community. I know their unique perspective and leadership will be essential as we guide NGA into its 40th year of being the voice of the independent supermarket industry.”

Also elected were officers and members to the NGA Foundation Board of Regents for 2021-22:

  • Chairman: Kirk Clark, director of merchandising for Mitchell Grocery Corp.;
  • Vice Chairman: Dante Franceschelli, director of corporate development for C&S Wholesale Grocers;
  • Secretary: Kelli Schaefer-McSpiritt, director of advertising for Wakefern Food Corp.;
  • Treasurer: Robert Graybill, president and CEO of FMS Solutions Holdings; and
  • Members: Heidi Huff, VP of business partnerships for IGA Inc.; and Thomas Gioielli, head of industry relations – customer development for Unilever.

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