Jay Mitchell, VP of retail at Mitchell Grocery Corp, and Spirit of America Award winner Paul DeMarco
The National Grocers Association (NGA) has presented Paul DeMarco with its prestigious Spirit of America Award, recognizing his commitment to the independent grocery industry.
DeMarco, general counsel to the Alabama Grocers Association (AGA) and a former member of the Alabama House of Representatives, received the award July 11, during AGA’s annual show at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Miramar Beach, Fla.
“Throughout his distinguished legal career and as a state legislator, Paul has always given his full support to Alabama’s grocery industry,” said Ellie Taylor, AGA president and CEO. “He exemplifies the zeal, the concern and the commitment that make our community and our country great.”
Greg Ferrara, NGA president and CEO, added, “We are grateful for Paul’s leadership and diligent efforts to advocate for the independent food distribution industry.”
DeMarco primarily practices in the defense of premises liability, products liability, construction law, workers compensation, medical and pharmaceutical malpractice, and automobile and truck liability claims. He is also a registered mediator with the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution.
A native of Birmingham, DeMarco graduated from Auburn University cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He then graduated from University of Alabama School of Law before returning to Birmingham to work at the law firm of Parsons, Lee & Juliano.
In 2005, he was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives, where he served for nine years. He chaired the House Judiciary Committee from 2010 to 2014, and also served as chairman of the Joint Alabama Legislature Committee on Homeland Security.
In addition to AGA, DeMarco has served as counsel for numerous businesses in the hospitality industry across the state of Alabama and is a member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, Transportation Lawyers Associations and Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys. He has also advised on operational and risk management issues for the retail and hospitality industry.
Established in 1982, the NGA Spirit of America Award honors key industry and community leaders in the areas of community service and government relations on behalf of the independent supermarket industry. NGA has proudly presented this award to distinguished individuals who serve the grocery industry and the public interest, including Presidents George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford.