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Show Is Opportunity To Work On Business

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Greg Ferrara

The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is one of the busiest times for grocers. The late fall and winter holidays bring a rush of shoppers eager to please family and friends at their seasonal gatherings.

The traditional hectic holiday pace would be a whirlwind for grocers without the added pressures of inflation and supply chain challenges. No doubt, independents would appreciate some calm after the storm.

Even so, many grocery operators may find themselves hard pressed to step away from their stores for any amount of time. Still, it’s important to occasionally get away to work on your business, and there’s no better place for independent community grocers to do that than the NGA Show.

Held annually during the year’s first quarter, the show is the largest gathering of independent grocery retailers and wholesalers, food retail industry executives, manufacturers and suppliers.

Running Feb. 26-28, 2023, at the Caesars Forum Convention Center in Las Vegas, the show features more than 40 sessions and workshops on the latest trends and best practices in the food retail industry. Education tracks encompass digital commerce, market-ing, merchandising, operations, people development and technology.

In addition, the show’s expo floor offers more than 300 exhibits representing a diverse range of product categories on innovations, solutions and new items to drive customer satisfaction and prosper in a post-pandemic marketplace.

The show will continue the momentum of the new Women Grocers of America Executive Female Leaders Network, which held its inaugural meeting this fall in Washington, D.C. Created by Women Grocers of America and supported through the NGA Foundation, this professional development group’s participants gathered for a day and a half of interactive leadership development, trend analysis and networking.

Among the speakers was a female executive panel with Katie Hotze, founder and CEO of Grocery Shopii; Amy Nemetschek, president and CEO of Certco Inc.; and Stephanie Becker, SVP, general counsel and chief legal officer for Associated Wholesale Grocers.

I’m truly impressed by the response and support that EXFL has received. Part of the mission of NGA and the NGA Foundation is to enhance the career development of leadership throughout the industry. The EXFL Network provides the opportunity for women in the retail, wholesale, supplier, manufacturer and vendor communities to meet, share ideas and experi-ences and face complex issues in independent grocery.

Under the leadership of WGA President Kristin Popp, EVP of Woodman’s Food Markets, the group provides a space where women leaders can learn together, discuss industry trends, solve problems, connect and strengthen our industry.

WGA rolls on into The NGA Show with a luncheon and reception on Feb. 26, the annual presentation of its Woman of the Year award and other network activities soon to be announced.

Meanwhile, the show’s opening keynote kicks off that afternoon with a message of dedication and commitment from world-class blind adventurer Erik Weihenmayer, whose life story is an example of perseverance, commitment and passion for life. Despite losing his vision at age 14, Weihenmayer is an accomplished climber, paraglider, skier and kayaker who never allows blindness to interfere with his pursuits. The opening keynote session is sponsored by The Kraft Heinz Co., a long-time supporter of NGA and the independent supermarket industry.

In addition to the education session and exhibit hall, the show will honor the winners of NGA’s annual Creative Choice marketing and merchandising awards, as well as crown this year’s winner of the Best Bagger Championship.

About the author

Greg Ferrara

President and CEO of NGA

Greg Ferrara is the president and CEO of the National Grocers Association is the trade association representing the U.S. independent community supermarket industry. NGA members include retail and wholesale grocers located in every congressional district across the country, as well as state grocers’ associations, manufacturers and service suppliers.

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