Stephanie Johnson, a former legislative assistant to U.S. Sen. Jon Tester (D., Mont.), has joined the National Grocers Association (NGA) as vice president of government relations.
A registered dietitian with experience in food policy and public health, Johnson will oversee advocacy for NGA’s food and nutrition issues as well as advise the NGA Foundation on its federal nutrition program grant work, according to NGA, the trade group for the independent grocery industry.
During her more than three years with Sen. Tester’s office, Johnson (pictured left) served as the senior adviser on health, education, labor, nutrition, pensions, Social Security, families and appropriations for the Labor, Health, Education and Agriculture department and Food and Drug Administration subcommittees. Other positions she held in Tester’s office included legislative correspondent and assistant to the chief of staff.
Along with policy work, Johnson’s career includes four years of experience working at two independent supermarkets. There, she saw firsthand how federal policies, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, impact community grocery stores and their customers, NGA noted.
NGA also announced three other new hires: Max Wengroff as executive assistant at NGA and, at the NGA Foundation, Kelly Hanson as project assistant and Josh Anderegg as project manager for the foundation’s Technical Assistance Center.
Wengroff comes to NGA after serving as a federal legislative associate for the environmental policy group Environment America, while Hanson brings experience as a program specialist for the Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children and a public health nutritionist for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. NGA said Anderegg’s experience in the food and nutrition arena includes running a mobile food market for the Pittsburgh Food Bank that offered nutrition incentives.
“I’m excited to welcome these dedicated team members to NGA where they are already contributing to our important mission and serving our members in their new roles,” NGA President and CEO Greg Ferrara said in a statement. "Their knowledge, experience and passion for independent community grocers will help to advance our important work on behalf of independent retail grocers and the wholesalers that serve them.”