Pamela G. Bailey, President and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), which represents the world’s leading food, beverage and consumer products companies, has revealed her intention to retire later this year, after almost 10 years at the trade organization’s helm. Bailey will remain with GMA while the board of directors seeks her successor. Leslie Hortum, of New York-based executive search firm Spencer Stuart, has been retained to lead the endeavor.
“GMA’s members are dedicated to improving the quality of life for their consumers, and they are fortunate to be led by a dedicated board of industry leaders, committed to ensuring the association can help its members continuously improve the health, safety, affordability and sustainability of their products,” noted Bailey. “As GMA’s board continues to engage in the reinvention process to build the association of the future to meet the consumer needs of the future, it is best that they do so in concert with their leader of the future. I look forward to continuing to work with the GMA board as they engage in that process to identify that leader.”
“We want to thank Pam for all her hard work during her nearly 10 years at GMA,” said Chris Policinski, chairman of the GMA board of directors. “Her leadership was valuable during an evolving time in the industry. As the industry evolution continues, GMA’s board is committed to building an association that is the leading voice for a major sector of our nation’s economy and that works collaboratively with industry and consumer partners to address our challenges ahead.”
During Bailey’s years leading the organization, GMA backed the modernization of U.S. food and product safety laws and regulations, leading to passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act; reforms to the Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) review process; and passage of the Toxic Substances Control Act, the last of which improved the nation’s chemicals management laws. Additionally, the organization supported a federal law setting a uniform national standard for required disclosure of food and beverage ingredients from biotechnology, resulting in its 2016 with broad bipartisan support.
Further, GMA collaborated with Arlington, Va.-based Food Marketing Institute on major industry-wide initiatives to ensure that consumers have the tools and information they need to make choices for their families. Among these initiatives are SmartLabel, a digital disclosure tool to give consumers more information than can fit on a label; Facts Up Front, a voluntary front-of-pack nutrition labeling system; and a Product Code Dating program to reduce consumer confusion by streamlining more than a dozen product code dates to just two.
Before joining GMA, Bailey led three national trade associations, as founding president and CEO of the Healthcare Leadership Council; president and CEO of AdvaMed, the Advanced Medical Technology Association; and president and CEO of the Personal Care Products Council. Earlier in her career, she worked in the White House for three U.S. presidents.