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NGA said the online-only Executive Conference provides a safer means of collaboration amid the COVID-19 crisis. The association's main annual event, the NGA Show, concluded in San Diego this year just as the virus hit U.S. shores.

National Grocers Association goes virtual with annual leadership event

‘Reimagined’ NGA Executive Conference planned for September

The National Grocers Association (NGA) this fall plans to hold its first-ever virtual leadership event, the NGA Executive Conference.

Scheduled for Sept. 22 to 25, the online-only meeting will serve as the independent grocery retail trade group’s new signature event for CEOs and their leadership teams, according to NGA. The association said the move to go virtual provides a safer means of collaboration and prioritizes the resources of members as they help their communities amid the COVID-19 crisis.

“As an industry that generates $131 billion in sales and is a major contributor to the U.S. economy, it is more important now than ever for industry leaders to convene, share best practices, and discuss our future together,” NGA President and CEO Greg Ferrara said in a statement. “After careful consideration and consultation with our leadership throughout the independent grocery retailing and wholesale industry, we have determined the best way to deliver a meaningful experience with valuable content that will inform and inspire our membership is through a virtual conference.”

Greg Ferrara-NGA Show 2020-keynoteGreg Ferrara, CEO of NGA (Photo by Russell Redman)

The “reimagined” NGA Executive Conference will provide attendees with big-picture data, best practices and actionable insights on today’s supermarket industry, NGA said. Sessions will include influential speakers exploring such topics as the upcoming 2020 elections, the U.S. economic outlook, supply chain pressures and shifting consumer trends, among other issues. 

On the opening day of the conference, Sept. 22, NGA will hold its Executive Committee and Board of Directors meetings. The middle two days of the event, Sept. 23 and 24, will each feature NGA Executive Leadership sessions, while the latter three days will include general sessions.

Each of the four days also will include one or two rounds of NGA Connect sessions. In these 30-minute exchanges, NGA retailer and wholesaler members will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with leading consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers, solution providers and service partners. Evening events include a “virtual happy hour” on Sept. 22 and a “virtual reception” on Sept. 23.

“NGA members are on the front lines, working incredibly hard to deliver the needed food, beverage, personal and household care products to their communities. While the coronavirus pandemic has unexpectedly impacted just about every aspect of our lives, we still must find ways to move forward in this new normal,” stated NGA Chairman Mike Stigers, CEO of Cub Foods. “NGA has always delivered high-quality thought leadership and provided a forum for our industry to collaborate, and the virtual 2020 Executive Conference will be no different. On behalf of the NGA Board of Directors, our teams, and members throughout the NGA community, I can confidently express our excitement to gather new insights and strengthen our connections with our suppliers and industry trading partners.”

The National Grocers Association (NGA) is the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale grocers that comprise the independent sector of the food distribution industry. An independent retailer is a privately owned or controlled food retail company operating a variety of formats.

NGA’s approximately 1,500 independent grocery member companies represent about 8,500 storefronts. The association’s membership includes retail and wholesale grocers, state grocers associations, manufacturers and service vendors.

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