Michigan Grocers Association (MGA) will become a division of Michigan Retailers Association (MRA), effective Jan. 1, 2018. By joining forces, both organizations hope to strengthen their advocacy for members when it comes to sales taxes, recycling policy, food safety and other issues.
Additionally, Linda Gobler, president and CEO of MGA, who has championed the retail food industry for 32 years, will retire at the end of the year, but will work as a consultant. MGA staffers will stay on as part of the MRA team, and the monthly Michigan Food News will continue to be published.
“Our strength has been legislative and regulatory representation, and that won’t change,” said Gobler, whom Food Marketing Institute honored for government relations excellence in 2013.
“The interests of the two organizations align on many issues, so this is a wonderfully logical pairing,” noted James Hallan, president and CEO of MRA, based in the state capital of Lansing. The transition isn't unprecedented: MRA has joined forces in the past with the Michigan Retail Hardware Association, the Michigan Shoe Association, the Michigan Jewelers Association, and the Michigan Tire and Vehicle Association.
MRA, also based in Lansing, is the largest state retail association in the nation, representing more than 15,000 stores and ecommerce websites across the state. It’s known as a leader in providing members with premier customer service, legislative advocacy, competitive credit-card processing, workers' compensation insurance and other cost‐saving benefits.