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NGA Elects New Board Members and Executive Committee

2022 Best Bagger Champion also crowned at trade show
Best Bagger 2022 NGA Show Main Image
At the NGA Show, Alexa Sobsey (second from right), of Nugget Markets, was crowned the 2022 Best Bagger Champion.

The National Grocers Association (NGA), the trade association representing the independent grocery industry, revealed during the organization’s annual convention, the NGA Show, its 2022 board of directors and executive committee members. Nine people, by recommendation of the NGA board nominating committee and subsequent vote by the membership, and one appointed person will serve with the re-elected board members.

The new retailer members are Richie Morgan, North State Grocery Inc.; Garrett Piklapp, Fareway Stores Inc.; and Paul Rowton, GES Inc./Edwards Food Giant.

The board also revealed new wholesaler members: Richard Chapman, G&C Food Distributors; Steve Henig, Wakefern Food Corp.; Jay Mitchell, Mitchell Grocery Corp.; Bob Obray, Associated Food Stores Inc.; and Ray Sprinkle, URM Stores Inc., and new manufacturer/supplier members Joe Mueller, Kellogg Co., and Casey Fannon, National Cooperative Bank.

The officers appointed to the 2022 executive committee were Chairman Ted Balistreri, Sendik’s Food Market; Vice Chairman Mike Stigers, Cub Foods/UNFI; Treasurer Richie Morgan, North State Grocery Inc.; Secretary David Smith, Associated Wholesale Grocers; and Immediate Past Chair Cheryl Sommer, Kaune’s Neighborhood Market.

Finally, the board thanked the following outgoing board members for their service: Kristi Magnuson Nelson, Hugo’s Family Marketplace; Mike Violette, Associated Grocers of New England; Steve Heggelke, Bozzuto’s Inc.; Dave Conroy, Fiserv; and Stratton Sigler, Unilever.

“I’m grateful to our board of directors who have volunteered countless hours to serve our association, particularly as we continue to navigate challenges brought on by the pandemic and return to a new normal,” said Greg Ferrara, president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based NGA. “As we kick off a year-long celebration of NGA’s 40th anniversary, I look forward to working with the board of directors to help the organization enhance resources for our members and strengthen the independent supermarket industry.” 

In other NGA Show news, Alexa Sobsey, of Woodland, Calif.-based Nugget Markets, was crowned the 2022 Best Bagger Champion. The PepsiCo-sponsored contest was held on the second day of the trade show, which brings together independent retailers and wholesalers, food retail industry executives, food/CPG manufacturers and service providers for opportunities to learn, engage, share, network and innovate. Besides Sobsey’s win, the final contest results were second runner-up Justin Dea, Macey’s (Utah); third runner-up Destiny Edwards, K-VA-T Food Stores Inc. (Virginia); fourth runner-up Justin Marshall, Kowalski’s Market (Minnesota); and fifth runner Up Morgan Spears, K-VA-T Food Stores Inc. (Kentucky). For the second time, the competition featured an executive round that pitted independent grocery c-suite leaders against one another in a checkout lane showdown.

The NGA Show runs through March 1 in Las Vegas at the Caesars Forum Convention Center. 

Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern comprises nearly 50 members that independently own and operate 363 supermarkets under the ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage and Fairway Market banners in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. The company is No. 23 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 listing of North America’s top food and consumables retailers in North America. Kansas City, Kan.-based cooperative food wholesaler Associated Wholesale Grocers is No. 36 on PG’s list, while Providence, R.I.-based UNFI, the largest publicly traded grocery distributor in America, is No. 47; Abingdon, Va.-based K-VA-T, Food City’s parent company, with 134 retail outlets throughout southeast Kentucky, southwest Virginia, east Tennessee, north Georgia and Alabama, is No. 70; Salt Lake City-based retailer cooperative Associated Food Stores is No. 74; Cheshire, Conn.-based wholesale distributor Bozzuto’s is No. 80; Boone, Iowa-based Fareway, with 128 stores in six Midwestern states, is No. 81. 

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