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Live From NGA: Top Grocers Honored

The National Grocers Association (NGA) presented two grocers with its top awards during the 2017 NGA Show in Las Vegas on Feb. 12.

Rich Niemann Jr., president and CEO of Quincy, Ill.-based Niemann Foods Inc., received the Thomas K. Zaucha Entrepreneurial Excellence Award. Niemann joined the company in 1977 and became president and CEO in 2005. He serves on the NGA board of directors as immediate past chairman.

“A passionate leader, who has his eye always to the future, Rich is continuously inspiring others in the independent supermarket industry to find new and innovative ways to better serve their communities," said NGA President and CEO Peter Larkin. "NGA is proud to honor such a distinguished individual for his service and dedication to his stores, his community and our industry.”

The Thomas K. Zaucha Award, named after NGA’s first president/CEO and presented by Mondelez International, has been given annually since 2009 to recognize an independent grocer who exemplifies persistence, vision and creative entrepreneurship.

Roger Collins, chairman of Springdale, Ark.-based Harps Food Stores received the Thomas F. Wenning Pinnacle PAC Award, which is presented to a NGA member who helps advance the role and presence of the independent grocer and NGA in government and political affairs.

“As a supporter of the Grocers PAC and NGA’s government relations efforts, Roger understands the importance of cultivating relationships with policymakers whoesen will be champions for the independent supermarket industry," noted Greg Ferrara,SVP of government relations and public affairs at Arlington, Va.-based NGA.. "He has been a strong advocate for the independent grocer on all levels of government."

Collins joined Harps in 1986 as CFO and VP of finance before being named CEO in 2000. He stepped down as CEO last year, but remains chairman. Throughout his career, Collins has served on several industry boards and was awarded the Thomas K. Zaucha Entrepreneurial Excellence Award in 2015.

The Thomas F. Wenning Pinnacle PAC Award was established in 2014 to honor Tom Wenning for his 40 years of service to NGA and the independent supermarket industry.

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