Greg Ferrara has been named as the new president and CEO of the National Grocers Association (NGA).
NGA said Friday that Ferrara, currently executive vice president at the independent grocery retailer trade group, is slated to take the reins in the new post on Sept. 1. He succeeds Peter Larkin, who is slated to retire on Dec. 31. Larkin will remain an adviser through the end of the year.
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead an organization and an industry that I care so passionately about,” Ferrara (left) said in a statement. “Independent grocers are the bedrock of thousands of communities across this country, and NGA has played an essential role in ensuring that those entrepreneurs have the support they need to grow and be successful. The future is very bright, and I look forward to working closely with our board of directors and members to grow NGA’s influence and resources in support of our membership.”
NGA had announced Larkin’s retirement in late October. The board formed a search committee to find a successor and retained an executive search firm.
In his current role as executive VP, Ferrara is NGA’s chief lobbyist and oversees the Arlington, Va.-based organization’s advocacy and lobbying efforts, public relations, industry relations, and retail and wholesale membership. He represents NGA and its membership before members of Congress, federal agencies as well as directs the association’s political and grassroots affairs, including the NGA Grocers PAC, and relationships with state trade association partners.
Ferrara first joined NGA in November 2005. His years of grocery industry experience include managing his family’s century-old supermarket in New Orleans, which later was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
“As a former independent grocer, Greg’s passion for our industry is second to none, and his leadership over the years as NGA’s chief lobbyist, among other roles, has prepared him well to lead this organization into the future,” NGA Chairwoman Cheryl Sommer and Vice Chairman Mike Stigers stated. “We look forward to working with Greg to support his efforts to build upon the strong foundation that Peter Larkin has laid for NGA.”
Larkin, who has four decades of experience in the supermarket industry, has served as president and CEO of NGA since July 1, 2010. He also has served as president of the NGA Research and Education Foundation.
“I’m proud of our accomplishments, from growing our advocacy and government relations program, doubling our membership, relaunching the NGA Foundation and growing The NGA Show into the successful event that it is today,” he said last fall in announcing his retirement.
NGA’s more than 1,400 retailer members include independent supermarket operators and the wholesalers and cooperatives that support them. Nationwide, the independent grocery channel includes nearly 21,000 supermarkets and generates about $131 billion in annual sales, or almost 25% of the total domestic market, according to NGA.