Over the first two days of its annual meeting, the National Grocers Association recognized leaders of the independent grocery industry and announced its 2020 board of directors, officers and executive committee members, as well as the election of new board members.
During the opening session of the NGA Show on Sunday, NGA presented Associated Grocers of New England (AGNE) with the inaugural Peter J. Larkin Community Service Award. The award, named for the previous NGA president who retired last year, is presented to an independent grocer or wholesaler company for their dedication and commitment to the community which they serve.
“AGNE’s commitment to serving their community and employees is a shining example for the independent grocery industry,” said Greg Ferrara, NGA president and CEO. “From their Helping Hands program that offers monetary assistance to employees unable to afford life-essential bills to the Volunteer Committee that makes it easier for employees to find opportunities to give back, AGNE makes service to the community and each other part of their mission.”
Also during the Opening Session, the NGA board of directors, by recommendation of its nominating committee and subsequent vote by the NGA membership, announced the 2020 board of directors, officers and executive committee members, as well as the election of new board members.
“These additions to the board of directors will bring keen insight on the industry that will help the organization enhance resources for our members,” said Ferrara. “I look forward to working with this team over the next year as we develop future strategies to strengthen NGA.”
Appointed Board of Directors Officers and Executive Committee
Chair: Mike Stigers, UNFI
Immediate Past Chair: Cheryl Sommer, Kaune’s Neighborhood Market
Vice Chair: Ted Balistreri, Sendik’s Food Market
Treasurer: David Smith, Associated Wholesale Grocers
Secretary: Jeff Reagan, Wakefern Food Corp.
At-Large: Kim Eskew, Harps Food Stores, Inc.
At-Large: Roger Lowe, Jr., Lowe’s Supermarket
At-Large: Richard Morgan, Jr., North State Grocery Inc.
At-Large: Jeff Reagan, Wakefern Food Corp.
At-Large: Zulema Wiscovitch, Associated Supermarket Group
At-Large: John Derderian, Allegiance Retail Services
Incoming Board Members
John Abbene, BRdata
John Bole, Yoke’s Fresh Markets
Emily Coborn, Coborn’s, Inc.
Dave Davis, Utah Food Industry Association
Bob Jaskolski, T.A. Solberg Co. (Trigs)
Lauren Johnson, Newport Avenue Market
Amy Niemetscheck, Certco, Inc.
On Monday night, NGA presented the Thomas K. Zaucha Entrepreneurial Excellence Award to Rudy Dory, executive chairman at Newport Avenue Market.
Newport Avenue Market in Bend, Ore., opened in 1991, focused on offering a variety of specialty and international foods. In 2015, the operation became the first employee-owned grocery in Central Oregon, with a staff invested in providing a unique shopping experience.
“When you think of what it means to be an entrepreneur, Rudy Dory comes to mind,” said Ferrara. “He’s worked almost his entire professional life in the grocery industry, growing Newport Avenue Market over the last 25 years into an innovative and strong business.”
He continued, “The company is dialed into the local community, providing excellence and quality to their customers. For Rudy, his love and passion for what he does is as strong as ever and our entire industry is better because of him. I congratulate Rudy on receiving this award and look forward to working with him for years to come as we continue to advance the interests of our industry.”
Since 2009, the Thomas K. Zaucha Award, sponsored by Mondelēz International and named after NGA’s first president and CEO, is presented annually to recognize an independent grocer’s persistence, vision, and creative entrepreneurship.