Board member Manard Lagasse agrees that several things are needed for ROFDA’s growth initiatives: to hire the new president (which recently happened), to include retailers to be able to attend the ROFDA shows and then broaden the organization’s scope beyond retail-owned food distributors.
“Obviously, those are the three key things in order for ROFDA to grow,” said Lagasse, who also is president and CEO of Associated Grocers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “And it’s really exciting that the group today is looking at making those changes, because they’re needed, they’re warranted.”
The first initiative is now complete, as Lagasse was part of the interview committee that hired longtime AWG executive Jeff Pedersen as president. To see his comments, read the story on page 1.
The other two initiatives will complement the added value of share groups, which he believes are the backbone of ROFDA, and present an opportunity for members to talk about the grocery industry and help each other.
“Being a CEO [for Associated Grocers] for two and a half years and going through everything that we’ve gone through, it’s nice to have others who are in similar situations as me to talk to about the issues that we are dealing with each and every day,” Lagasse said.
“It was nice that the group got together, especially the HR side, when it came to employees. Everybody had the opportunity to talk about what they’re doing right now to attract and retain employees and what their plans are in the future…if it’s working for others, there’s a good chance it could work for you.”
Associated Grocers brought several members from its team to the ROFDA show in November, along with some new ideas and initiatives to share.
“They have a lot of relationships that they have built…the groups do talk on a regular basis or individuals talk on a regular basis as well,” Lagasse said.
“I think it really helps to have peers that you can call on and talk to and bounce ideas off. Because that’s what we do in the group, we talk rather frequently. I have been very fortunate to get to spend a lot of time with the other ROFDA board members and, quite frankly… it’s really helped me in my career. I think somebody could get a lot out of that.”
For more information, visit rofda.com.