PFMA’s Alex Baloga Receives GMA’s Excellence in Government Affairs Award
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) has presented Alex Baloga, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association, with the 2018 GMA Excellence in Government Affairs Award. The ceremony took place Nov. 13 at the Food Industry Association Executives Annual Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
“Alex’s leadership and unwavering dedication are the embodiment of a true advocate,” noted Greg Costa, senior director of state affairs at Arlington, Va.-based GMA. “We are fortunate to have him representing the industry both in Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., and honored to recognize him with this award.”
The Excellence in State Government Affairs Award is given annually to a state association executive in recognition of his or her partnership with GMA to advance public policy initiatives in state and local jurisdictions that benefit consumer product manufacturers and retailers alike.
“At PFMA, we serve as the voice representing thousands of businesses and individuals working in the food and beverage industry in Pennsylvania and neighboring states," said Baloga. “We work hard every day to promote the industry and drive positive legislative change for our members statewide and in Philadelphia, which currently includes an ongoing effort to repeal a sugar-sweetened beverage tax that’s crippling businesses.”
During Baloga’s time at the helm of Wormleysburg-based PFMA, the organization has successfully lobbied on a range of issues on behalf of its membership, among them taking a lead role with regard to GMO labeling, which led to the pre-emption of state labeling laws. Baloga and PFMA also spearheaded the fight to halt taxes on beverages in Philadelphia and across the Keystone State, through the formation of the Ax the Bev Tax Coalition.
Baloga joined PFMA in 2013 as director of government affairs and then added communications to his portfolio a year later before becoming VP of external relations in 2015, and then president and CEO in 2017. He heads PFMA’s state, local and federal government relations efforts, Philadelphia Food PACs, and PFMA’s Legislative, Pharmacy and WIC Stakeholder’s committees.
Further, Baloga sits on the Classification and Ratings Committee for the Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau, and is a board member on the Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Fund. He also represents PFMA members on the newly created Pennsylvania Lottery Sales Advisory Council.
Baloga was previously deputy finance director for Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr.’s (D-Pa.) re-election campaign and a regional field manager in Casey’s Senate office.