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PFMA Highlights Trends, Shares Update During Conference


Pennsylvania food and beverage industry leaders gathered May 9-10 at the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square during its annual conference hosted by the PFMA. 

“Our Annual Conference provides valuable time for us to connect with our members and  sponsors to discuss what is happening in the food and beverage industries,” said Alex Baloga,  president and CEO of PFMA.

Alex Baloga and Andrea Karns

“These events always provide attendees with valuable insight from the most innovative leaders in the industry. This year, we also had guest speakers from the WIC program and Auditor General Tim DeFoor, who had valuable information to share on state and federal issues affecting our industry.” 

Prior to the conference kickoff, the PFMA Board of Directors approved several new board members, including Jason Bassett, director of government affairs for Sheetz; Tom Gumkowski, VP of business development for Tripifoods Inc.; Jess Reese, VP of sales, small format and value for UTZ Snacks; and Tim Murray, manager, industry engagement for Altria Group Distribution Co.  

The conference commenced with a mini-trade show where 12 vendors showcased their products and had conversations with association members and guests. Vendors included Dri Mark Products, Facility Cleaning Solutions, Federated Insurance, Healthy Brand Oil, Westfield Egg  Farm, Poly Craft, Portogallo Peppers, PWI/Tank Installers, The Webber/Smith Group, TripiFoods, Watchfire Signs and World Kinect Energy.  

The association welcomed attendees May 9 to a cocktail hour and dinner. During the event, PFMA presented the 2023 Food Industry Trailblazer Award to Andrea Karns, VP of marketing and sales for Karns Quality Foods. Association members also honored the 2022 Thomas R. and Laura Ridge Scholarship awardees with a special message from Gov. Tom Ridge. 

Alex Balogna and Tim DeFoor

May 10 began with a panel presentation from federal and state officials updating the association on WIC initiatives and changes. Panelists featured officials from Supplemental Food Programs at USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services, PA WIC Programs and the Bureau of WIC.

The second session of the conference covered industry trends and included leaders from Square One Markets Inc., Karns Quality Foods and Flashfood. In the final session, PFMA discussed the right approach to attracting and retaining customers with leaders from UNFI, Pa Dairymen’s Association and Seltzer’s Smokehouse Meats.  

To conclude PFMA’s 2023 Annual Conference, it welcomed Tim DeFoor, Pennsylvania Auditor General, for a lunch and learn. He shared several special initiatives and fielded questions from association members.  

The PFMA 2023 Fall Legislative Conference is scheduled for Oct. 10-11 at the Hershey Country Club.

To read more association news from The Shelby Report, click here.

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Featured Photo PLMA Annual Private Label Trade Show
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Chicago, Illinois
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