The 2018 NGA Show Opens with Strong Attendance

The 2018 NGA Show Opens with Strong Attendance

Feb 12, 2018
The 2018 NGA Show Opens with Strong Attendance

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Monday, February 12) – The National Grocers Association (NGA) opened its 2018 NGA Show yesterday with over 3,000 attendees and experienced a 12% increase in its retailer/wholesaler attendance.

Attendees heard from former director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA), General Michael Hayden, during Sunday’s opening keynote address, sponsored by The Kraft Heinz Company.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue also provided remarks during the opening session where he spoke on the negative impacts of burdensome regulation and said he wants to fully understand from a USDA perspective how to remove burdensome regulations for the supermarket industry. While addressing the crowd, he said independent retailers represent the bedrock of communities across the nation.

“Independent retailers are known for their innovation and drive, and this year’s NGA Show is full of activities and opportunities to further boost their performance,” said Peter Larkin, NGA president and CEO. “Over the next three days, retailers and wholesalers will leave with the necessary tools and solutions to address a rapidly changing grocery industry and grow their bottom line. We should not underestimate the importance of having over 3,000 people from the same industry who have the opportunity to be face to face, sharing new ideas.”

This year’s NGA Show will feature more than 40 educational workshops with seven different tracks, ranging from tech trends and people development to building bigger baskets and operating for excellence. The sold-out EXPO floor will feature over 350 exhibitors across categories such as produce, meat, technology, and ethnic and specialty food products.

In addition to NGA Show events, the NGA Board of Directors, by recommendation of its nominating committee and a subsequent vote by the NGA membership, announced the 2018 Board of Directors, Officers and Executive Committee members, as well as the election of 11 new Board members.

“We’re excited to welcome pioneers throughout the independent supermarket industry to NGA’s Board of Directors,” Larkin said. “These industry leaders come at a crucial time for independent grocers as we develop tools and resources for store operators to thrive in today’s rapidly-changing marketplace.”

The 2018 NGA Board of Directors includes:

Appointed Board of Directors Officers and Executive Committee

Chair: Cheryl Sommer, President, Kaune's Neighborhood Market

Immediate Past Chair: Rich Niemann, Jr., President & CEO, Niemann Foods, Inc.

Vice-Chair: Mike Stigers, Executive Vice President, Wholesale and Supply Chain Services, SUPERVALU, INC.

Secretary: Ted Balistreri, Co-Owner, Sendik's Food Markets

Treasurer: David Smith, President & CEO, Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc.

President & CEO: Peter Larkin, President & CEO, National Grocers Association

At-Large: Christopher Brown, Sr. Vice President, Independent Sales, C&S Wholesale Grocers

At-Large: Kim Eskew, President and CEO, Harps Food Stores, Inc.

At-Large: Roger Lowe, Jr., CEO, Lowe's Market

At-Large: Richard Morgan, Jr., President/CEO, North State Grocery Inc.

At-Large: Jeff Reagan, Senior VP, Wakefern Food Corp.


Incoming Board Members

Jennifer Bosma, Vice President, Harvest Market

David Bullard, President and CEO, Piggly Wiggly Alabama Distributing Company

Ron Graff JR., Owner/VP Operations, Columbiana Foods Inc.

Neil Greenstein, President, Brookdale/Newark ShopRite

Winston Griffin, CEO and Chairman, Laurel Grocery Co.

Michelle Hurd, President, Iowa Grocery Industry Association

Brian Moyer, CEO, Freshop

Eligio Pena, President, Compare Foods

Art Rosenberg, VP, Industry Development, PepsiCo, Inc.

Ern Sherman, Vice President Industry Affairs, The Coca-Cola Company

Joe Wolf, President, Alliance Retail Group


Returning Board Members

Terrie Baker, Vice President, Baker's IGA

Denny Belcastro, VP Industry Affairs and Customer Development, Kimberly-Clark Corporation

Neal Berube, President & CEO, Associated Food Stores, Inc.

Kimberly Brackett, Owner, Brackett's Market, Inc.

Trent Brookshire, EVP, Corporate Development, Brookshire Grocery Co.

RF Buche, President, GF Buche Co.

Guy Chiarello, President , First Data

John Derderian, President & COO, Allegiance Retail Services, LLC

Rudy Dory, President, Newport Avenue Market

Jesse Garcia, Senior Vice President & Chief Customer Officer, Post Consumer Brands

Jan Gee, President/CEO, Washington Food Industry Association

Steve Heggelke, Executive Vice President of Merchandising and Procurement, Bozzuto's Inc.

Tim Henderson, Owner, Henderson's IGA

Maria Kamberos, President/CEO, Treasure Island Foods

Reed Kessler, Owner & EVP, Kessler's Inc

Nolan Lockwood, President/COO, Walla Walla's Harvest Foods

Kristi Magnuson-Nelson , President, Hugo's Family Marketplace

Bob McTeir, President, Merchants Distributors, LLC

David Mitchell, President, Mitchell Grocery Corp.

David Ochs, Senior Vice President, East Region-Sales, KeHE Distributors

Larry Pierce, Executive Vice President Merchandising and Marketing, SpartanNash Company

Daniel Shanahan, Chairman & CEO, Buehler's Fresh Foods

Ray Sprinkle, President/CEO, URM Stores Inc

Eric Stille, President / CEO, Nugget Market, Inc.

Jeff Strack, President & CEO, Strack & Van Til

Michael Violette, President/C.E.O., Associated Grocers of New England, Inc.

Zulema Wiscovitch, Executive Vice President/Chief Administrative Officer, Associated Supermarket Group

Ex-Officio Members

Carole Bitter, Ph.D., President/CEO, Friedman's Freshmarkets

Jay Campbell, Jr., Retired, Associated Grocers, Inc.

Chris Coborn, President, CEO & Chairman of the Board, Coborn's, Inc.

Michael Needler, Sr., Executive Chairman, Fresh Encounter, Inc.

John Ross, President & CEO, IGA, Inc.

Joe Sheridan, President & COO, Wakefern Food Corp.

Steve Smith, President & CEO, K-VA-T Food Stores


NGA would like to recognize and thank the following outgoing board members for their service and leadership:

Jim Badalati, CROSSMARK

Julie Bitter, Unilever

Emile Breaux, Associated Grocers, Inc.

Rick Geyer, Geyer's Markets Inc.

Bob Ling, Unified Grocers/SUPERVALU, INC.

Rich McMenamin, McMenamin Family ShopRite

Mike Ridenour, The Kraft Heinz Company

Ellie Taylor, Alabama Grocers Association

Erick Taylor, Pyramid Foods

Jimmy Wright, Wright's Market



With over 60 specialized educational workshops led by retailers for retailers and more than 400 companies on our EXPO floor showcasing innovative and game-changing products and solutions, The NGA Show provides countless opportunities to learn from your peers and other industry thought leaders. Bring your whole team to The NGA Show and bring home ideas that will drive profitable growth for your company.