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NC Food Dealers, Retail Merchants Associations Merge

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The North Carolina Food Dealers Association and the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association have announced plans to merge. Once the deal is completed Oct. 1, a new N.C. Food Dealers Council will be established within the Retail Merchants Association (NCRMA).

As a division of NCRMA, the N.C. Food Dealers Council will elect its own board, control its own budget, have full-time staff, and will be represented on NCRMA's executive, finance, and legislative committees. Under the council's guidance, food dealers will continue to hold their annual trade show and convention and will maintain many of their current programs. The council will be based at NCRMA offices in Raleigh.

Those involved in negotiating and structuring the merger say it will result in a stronger overall alliance for North Carolina retailers. "I am extremely enthusiastic about this merger," said G. Everett Suddreth, e.v.p. of the N.C. Food Dealers Association, who has led the organization for 40 years. "The merger will give members of North Carolina's food industry a larger presence in the General Assembly and across the state. At the same time, the specific needs of grocers will continue to be met."

Grocery executives in North Carolina supported the merger, citing the increased lobbying resources and access to research data the NCRMA can provide. "This merger is a great day for all retail merchants in the state. The bonding of these two established and well-respected associations brings added strength and benefits to all its members," said Chuck Richards, owner and operator of Reid's Fine Foods.

The merger "will allow the Food Dealers Association to continue to its everyday functions but add the valuable lobbying efforts of the NCRMA," added Fred Morganthall, president of Harris Teeter, Inc. "We are excited by the merger and look forward to working with the new organization."

Suddreth will retire in October when the merger occurs. He served as the organization's president in 1961-62 and then became its full-time e.v.p. in 1963. The N.C. Food Dealers Council, founded in 1927, represents approximately 2,000 retail grocery stores in North Carolina.
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