ARLINGTON, Va. — National Grocers Association here said Tuesday that Tom Wenning, executive vice president and general counsel, plans to retire effective Dec. 31.
Wenning became executive vice president and general counsel of NGA when the National Association of Retail Grocers of the United States (NARGUS) and the Cooperative Food Distributors of America merged in 1982. Prior to joining NGA he was a partner for nine years with his father-in-law, Henry J. Bison Jr., in the law firm of Bison and Wenning that provided Washington representation for NARGUS, National Food Brokers Association, and National American Wholesale Grocers Association.
"It has been a real honor and privilege to be a legislative, regulatory and legal advocate on behalf of independent retail grocers and wholesalers for the last 40 years before Congress, Presidential administrations, regulatory agencies, and the courts," said Wenning in a statement. "NGA has grown ever stronger over the years in its advocacy on behalf of the independent sector, and I've been proud to be a part of that tradition."
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Wenning has been involved in several legislative and regulatory initiatives on behalf of NGA, such as the passage of the Federal Anti-Tampering Act in 1983 and the enactment of the 1986 Tax Reform Act. In 1990 he led NGA's efforts before the Federal Trade Commission to preserve competitive rights for independent retail and wholesale grocers and played a leading role in the migration from paper Food Stamps to EBT. In 2005 he helped establish and guide the creation of the Merchants Payment Coalition and continues to lead NGA's efforts to seek payment-card interchange-fee reforms.
"There are probably only a handful of people who are as respected and admired both in Washington, D.C., and throughout the food industry than Tom Wenning," said Peter J. Larkin, president and ch0ief executive officer, NGA. "I've had the pleasure to call Tom a friend throughout my years in the industry, but it was not until I joined NGA that I had the honor to work beside him and witness firsthand the respect and admiration our members and so many in Washington, D.C., have for him."
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