And the winner is…
Candice Lastimado (second from left) of Metropolitan Markets, Seattle, defeated competitors from across the nation to claim a grand prize of $10,000 and the title of NBA Best Bagger Champion.
IGA at NGA
Mark Batenic (left), president and CEO of IGA — which held its 90-year convention just before the NGA meeting started — said the alliance plans to co-locate with NGA again next year and possibly in 2018 as well. Batenic, shown here with NGA’s Peter Larkin, will succeed Thomas S. Haggai as IGA chairman, effective April 1; Haggai will become chairman emeritus.
Members and guests of The National Grocers Association, led by president and CEO Peter Larkin, gathered in record-breaking fashion for the annual NGA Show in Las Vegas Feb. 28-March 2.
Chris Coborn, chairman of Coborn's, St. Cloud, Minn., received the Thomas F. Wenning Pinnacle PAC Award for helping to advance the role and presence of the independent grocer and NGA in government and political affairs. Left-to-right: Wenning, Coborn and Trig Solberg, T.A. Solberg and Co.
The gala featured entertainment by the Grammy Award-winning band The Mavericks and its “genre-defying melting pot of pop music.”
The event was packed with educational workshops and special sessions. Here, panelists addressing the topic "Competing with Convenience Stores" were, from left, Courtney Brown, VP and COO, Docs Food Stores; RF Buche, president, Buche Foods; Rich Niemann 3d, director of convenience operations, Niemann Foods; and moderator David Orgel, executive director, content, Supermarket News.
We're number 1
NGA Show-goers enjoy the festive atmosphere during Tuesday evening’s entertainment.
The super session “Palate Trips, Pairing and Profit With Craft Beers” got the audience involved in sampling craft beer, a red-hot beverage category.
Roger Lowe Sr., chairman of Lowe’s Supermarkets, Littlefield, Texas, received the Thomas K. Zaucha Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, given annually to an independent operator who exemplifies persistence, vision and creative entrepreneurship. Left-to-right: Peter Larkin, NGA; Rick Brindle, Mondelēz; Lowe; and Randy Arceneaux, Affiliated Foods.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal (USA-ret.) shared some “Lessons in Leadership” during the opening keynote address Sunday.
And they’re off!
The Women Grocers of America got Monday’s activities off to a running start with the 2016 WGA 5k Fun Run/Walk. All 5k proceeds benefit the Mary Macey Scholarship fund, dedicated to providing educational and professional opportunities for individuals in the independent grocery industry.
More than 300 companies showcasing innovative and game-changing products and solutions filled NGA’s sold-out Expo floor.
Ticket sales to the well-attended Chairman’s Dinner and Gala went to the NGA Foundation.
The big three
The National Grocers Association has a new chairman, Bob Ling (left) of Unified Grocers, shown during the opening session with NGA CEO Peter Larkin, NGA, and immediate past chairman Rich Niemann Jr. of Niemann Foods.
Friends and colleagues gather for the show’s dinner.
Paper, not plastic
Twenty-five baggers competed in the 30th Annual NGA Best Bagger Championship.
Standing room only
The opening session drew a big crowd — as did the entire show, which pulled in a record 3,300 attendees.