NGA announces key staff promotions and new additions to its team

ARLINGTON, Va., 2018-Jan-09 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today (Jan 8, 2018), the National Grocers Association (NGA), the national trade association representing the independent supermarket industry, announced key staff promotions and new additions to its team that will help the organization expand its member benefits and advocate policies to better serve America’s independent grocers.

“The grocery business is changing faster than ever and we’re devoting significantly more resources to ensure independent supermarket operators thrive in today’s competitive marketplace,” said Peter J. Larkin, president and CEO of NGA. “I’m pleased to announce the promotion of eight staff members and the addition of three new members to our team whose valuable experience will help advance our work throughout the supermarket industry and on Capitol Hill.”

Key promotions and personnel changes include the following:

  • Greg Ferrara has been named Executive Vice President of Advocacy, Public Relations, and Member Services. Ferrara will continue in his role supervising the government relations and communications and marketing department, in addition to overseeing the member services department.
  • Matthew R. Ott has been named NGA Executive Vice President and COO and Executive Director of the NGA Foundation. In addition to his role as Executive Vice President and COO at NGA, Ott will have an expanded role in leading the NGA Foundation and continue to oversee the association’s business development, technology initiatives, office administration.​
  • Adrian Rios has been promoted to Manager of Accounting and Information Technology. Rios will continue managing the association’s account receivables and take on the day-to-day information technology responsibilities.​
  • Annie Stoltenberg has been promoted to Manager of Marketing and Web Content. Stoltenberg will manage the association’s marketing efforts to increase awareness and engagement for NGA and NGA Foundation programs and events.​​
  • Channing Pejic has joined NGA as Coordinator of Political and Legislative Affairs. Pejic will manage the association’s political action committee and grassroots advocacy efforts.​​
  • Kevin Liao has been promoted to Manager of Executive Offices and Programs. Liao will manage the association’s share group program and serve as a liaison to the board of directors, in addition to administration for the executive offices.​
  • Maggie White has joined the NGA Foundation as Manager of Donor Relations and Development. White will manage the NGA Foundation’s fundraising efforts, as well as the organization’s student programs and university coalition.​
  • Matt Foley has been promoted to Director of Government Relations. Foley will lead the association’s advocacy efforts around a portfolio of issues, including labor relations, data security, and judiciary matters.​
  • Matt Klein has been promoted to Senior Director of Operations and Finance. Klein will oversee the association’s day-to-day finances, information technology, and human resources.​
  • Sarah Tillman Reeves has joined NGA as Membership Services Administrator. Reeves will serve as a liaison between the association’s members and internal departments, as well as support membership outreach efforts.​
  • Su Li has been promoted to Manager of Accounting and Administration. Li will continue managing the association’s account payables, as well as taking on day-to-day administrative responsibilities.​
  • Travis Van Horn has been promoted to Manager of Communications and Media Relations. Van Horn will manage strategic communications efforts to elevate NGA’s voice in the news media and position the association as a thought leader.

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Additional Media Resources:

  • For staff headshots, click HERE.

SOURCE: National Grocers Association

MEDIA CONTACT
communications@nationalgrocers.org

National Grocers Association welcomes Molly Pfaffenroth at its government relations department as senior manager

ARLINGTON, Va., 2017-Dec-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Grocers Association (NGA), the trade association representing the independent supermarket industry, today announced that Molly Pfaffenroth has joined its government relations department as a senior manager. In her role, Pfaffenroth will primarily manage the association’s tax portfolio and assist on healthcare, trade, and nutrition issues.

“Molly’s experience in the food policy arena makes her a great addition to the association’s team at such a crucial moment for the independent supermarket industry,” said Chris Jones, vice president of government relations and counsel. “With once-in-a-generation tax reform heading to conference, she will significantly expand our efforts to advocate for independent grocers as we urge Congress to send a final bill to the President’s desk as soon as possible.”

Pfaffenroth began her career as the sales and marketing manager at Lambertville, N.J.-based Fulper Family Farmstead. In 2014, she joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of Communications and began working on federal public policy as a legislative affairs assistant with the International Dairy Foods Association in 2015. Most recently, she served as public policy manager for the National Association for Biomedical Research.

She received her undergraduate degree in animal science from Cornell University and a graduate degree in media and public affairs from George Washington University.

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Additional Media Resources

  • For Molly Pfaffenroth’s headshot, click HERE.

SOURCE: National Grocers Association

Media inquiries: Please email communications@nationalgrocers.org.

The National Grocers Association calls for entries for its annual Creative Choice Awards

Winners will be revealed and highlighted at The NGA Show

Arlington, VA , 2017-Jun-29 — /EPR Retail News/ —  The National Grocers Association (NGA) is calling for entries for its annual Creative Choice Awards to honor and recognize the best marketing and merchandising programs in the grocery industry. Creative Choice winners will be honored at The NGA Show, February 11-14, 2018 in Las Vegas, NV.

Retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, suppliers, and advertising agencies engaged in the creation and use of marketing and merchandising programs for grocery stores may enter.  However, the Creative Choice Awards Contest is a retailer awards competition, and therefore the retailer will be awarded for the entry if it is chosen as a category winner.

This year’s contest will once again feature 10 categories from which two winners for each category, one entry from a 1 – 15 store operator and one entry from a 15+ store operator will be selected.

Entries will be judged based on the criteria of creativity, clarity, and effectiveness by a panel of industry experts. From the category winners, one “Outstanding Marketer” and one “Outstanding Merchandiser” winner will be selected from a list of category winners and determined by both the judges, and through online voting. The “Outstanding Merchandiser” and “Outstanding Marketer” titles are the highest award of the Creative Choice Awards Contest.

The annual Creative Choice Awards Contest, sponsored by Kellogg’s and Unilever, honors the best marketing and merchandising programs in the independent supermarket industry that have boosted store traffic, increased item or department sales, positively impacted overall store sales or provided a unique benefit to the community. Marketing campaigns and merchandising events or promotions held between December 1, 2016 and December 1, 2017 are eligible for this year’s contest. All entries are due via online submission portal by Monday, December 11, 2017. More information, as well as the online submission portal, can be found at www.NGACreativeChoice.com.

For over 30 years, The NGA Show has been the place where independents gather, connecting grocery retailers and wholesalers, food manufacturers and service providers from around the world to share innovative solutions and best practices that support and strengthen the independent supermarket channel. More information on The NGA Show can be found at www.theNGAshow.com.

SOURCE: NGA

Contact:

Tel: (703) 516-0700
Fax: (703) 516-0115

 

National Grocers Association opposes the reintroduction of the Financial CHOICE Act

Arlington, VA, 2017-Apr-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Grocers Association (NGA) today announced its strong opposition to the reintroduction of the Financial CHOICE Act, which would nearly double the rates food retailers pay each time a consumer uses their debit card. A discussion draft of the Financial CHOICE Act was released by U.S. Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and includes a provision to overturn the debit swipe fee reforms, also known as the Durbin Amendment, which passed as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010.

“Although the Durbin Amendment brought transparency and competition to a marketplace historically void of it, independent grocers continue to pay the highest swipe fees in the world,” said NGA president and CEO Peter J. Larkin. “Congress should be protecting Main Street independent grocers from price-gouging, not writing it into law.”

The Durbin Amendment successfully reformed anti-competitive price fixing in the debit marketplace by requiring that at least two unaffiliated debit routing networks be available for all purchase made using debit cards. The provision also limited debit interchange fees to 21 cents per transaction, as well as a 0.05 percent fee on all transactions to cover fraud and a one cent fraud prevention fee.

“While banks and card networks rake in record profits, independent supermarkets continue to operate on razor thin margins in one of the most fiercely competitive marketplaces. Swipe fees are the second largest operating costs for grocers and are out of their control. Rather than padding Wall Street’s pockets, savings from swipe fees could go to reinvesting in a grocer’s store, hiring more employees, and boosting the local economy. Congress can either side with Main Street grocers or anti-competitive Wall Street banks,” Larkin commented.

Each year, banks and financial institutions generate more than $79 billion in debit swipe fees, which contribute to a nearly 25 percent profit margin. Less than two percent of all U.S. banks and credit unions are affected by the Durbin Amendment, which requires financial institutions with more than $10 billion in assets to comply with the rule. Companies may exempt themselves if they establish individual debit rates without prescribing to those set by Visa and MasterCard.

Since its enactment, the Durbin Amendment has supported more than 37,000 jobs over the past five years and saved consumers nearly $6 billion after the first year since the policy’s implementation, according to economist Robert Shapiro.

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Click HERE to learn more about Debit Swipe Fee Reform.

SOURCE: National Grocers Association

Media inquiries: Please email communications@nationalgrocers.org.

David Ochs and Jeff Strack appointed to National Grocers Association (NGA) Board of Directors

Arlington, VA, 2016-Oct-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Grocers Association (NGA) today announced the appointment of David Ochs, Senior Vice President Sales, East of KeHE Distributors, LLC and Jeff Strack, President and CEO of Strack & Van Til, LLC, to fill recent vacancies on its Board of Directors. Additionally, the organization named Mike Stigers, Executive Vice President and President, Wholesale and Supply Chain Services, SUPERVALU to serve on the Board of Directors Executive Committee.

David Ochs is the Senior Vice President Sales, East at KeHE Distributors, one of the oldest and most respected natural, specialty and organic food distributors in North America. He serves as a key member of KeHE’s East leadership team and is responsible for developing and implementing the sales strategy in this region. With a background in both operations and sales, David has more than twenty years’ experience in the food industry in roles with leadership responsibility in operations, finance, human resources, growth and customer service.  Before joining KeHE in his current role, David was the Vice President Sales, Higher Education at Aramark Corporation. He was the senior sales leader responsible for this $3 billion USD division and led the entire sales team in the United States and Canada.

Jeff Strack is the President and CEO of Strack & Van Til, LLC, which operates 37 supermarkets in Northwest Indiana and the Chicagoland Area. With over 25 years of experience rooted in Strack & Van Til’s history, Jeff started his career part-time during grade school as a bagger and worked in almost every department in the stores.  He has held several key leadership roles including Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Strategy Officer and contributed to the success and growth of the brands from 10 to 37 stores with almost 5,000 Associates.

Mike Stigers serves as president of wholesale and supply chain services for SUPERVALU.  In this role, he oversees the company’s relationship with approximately 1,900 independent retail grocery stores across the United States.  He is also responsible for SUPERVALU’s logistics, procurement, and transportation operations as well as third-party logistics.

Stigers began his grocery career in 1974 as a part-time courtesy clerk at Safeway. During the next 14 years, he took on managerial positions of increasing responsibility before joining Jons Markets, an independent retailer based in Los Angeles.  During the 1990s, he expanded his scope of experience by working for retail technology companies. He joined PW Supermarkets of San Jose, Calif., in 1999 as director of Operations. Stigers served in executive roles in operations and merchandising and was promoted to senior vice president and chief operating officer in 2003. He subsequently became chief executive officer of the independent retailer. He has also worked on the vendor side of the grocery industry for BASS, Inc., a retail automation software company, and for Sterilox Fresh, a food safety company, as regional vice president.

Stigers joined SUPERVALU in 2011, as president of Shaw’s/Star Market grocery stores in New England prior to the company’s sale of those stores in 2013. He then went on to lead SUPERVALU’s Northern region in Hopkins, Minn., before being named president of CUB Foods in March 2014.

“Each these individuals have a great deal of expertise and are recognized as leaders in the food retailing industry,” said Peter J. Larkin, president and CEO of NGA. “We are pleased to welcome them to the Board and I look forward to working with them as we develop future strategies to advance NGA and the independent supermarket industry.”

The Board of Directors assists the organization through developing, governing and supporting the mission, vision, and agenda of NGA.  The new appointments were made during NGA’s Fall Leadership Meetings, held in Chicago from October 4-7, 2016.

Media inquiries: Please email communications@nationalgrocers.org

SOURCE: National Grocers Association

National Grocers Association announces former speaker of the House John Boehner as the keynote speaker for 2017 NGA Show

ARLINGTON, VA, 2016-Aug-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Grocers Association (NGA) announced today that former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives John Boehner will deliver the opening keynote address, sponsored by The Kraft Heinz Company, during the 2017 NGA Show held February 12 – 15 at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

A former small businessman, Boehner served for nearly five years as the 53rd Speaker of the House, where he led efforts for a smaller, less costly, and more accountable federal government.

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Boehner grew up mopping floors at his family tavern and playing football at Moeller High School. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Xavier University while he working to pay his tuition and later started his own small business. Boehner got involved in state and local government after experiencing firsthand the impact high taxes and red tape had on entrepreneurs. In 1990, he was elected to Congress, where he quickly gained the reputation as a reformer and fought to reduce government spending and balance the budget. He left Congress in October of 2015, after nearly 25 years of serving the people of Ohio’s 8th Congressional District and the nation.

“We are excited to have former Speaker Boehner join us as the keynote speaker for our 2017 Show,” said NGA president and CEO Peter J. Larkin. “Given his wealth of knowledge, along with his small business background, and of course his candor, I can’t think of anyone better suited to stimulate dialogue and provide insight about the current political and economic issues and how they will impact independent grocers.”

Along with revealing the 2017 keynote speaker, NGA also announced that online registration has now opened. The 2017 NGA Show will feature a number of new elements including, a revamped, less formal networking Tuesday night event, and seven educational tracks titled “Farm to Store,” “In the Aisles,” “People Development,” “Attracting Shoppers,” “Executing for Excellence,” “Payments and Profitability,” and “Connected Commerce.”

“Whether you own one store or operate a multi-store chain, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to being successful in the supermarket industry. Staying ahead of the curve in a variety of areas is vitally important. We believe these enhanced aspects of the Show, specifically the newly focused workshop tracks, will ensure that attendees will leave Las Vegas with the necessary resources, tools and solutions to address shifting demands and marketplace challenges, and ultimately help them grow their bottom line,” Larkin commented.

For over 30 years, The NGA Show has been the place where independents gather, connecting grocery retailers and wholesalers, food manufacturers and service providers from around the world to share innovative solutions and best practices that support and strengthen the independent supermarket channel. Online registration for The NGA Show can be found at www.theNGAshow.com.

Contact:

Tel: (703) 516-0700
Fax: (703) 516-0115

Source: National Grocers Association

The National Grocers Association comments on the Senate passage of National GMO Disclosure Legislation

Arlington, VA, 2016-Jul-09 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Grocers Association (NGA) today issued the following statement from President and CEO Peter J. Larkin on the Senate passage of a bipartisan bill that creates a national labeling standard for all foods made with genetically engineered (GE) ingredients and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

“On behalf of the independent supermarket industry, NGA commends the U.S. Senate for passing this important legislation that creates a uniform federal standard for the labeling of foods containing genetically engineered ingredients. This legislation will help to ensure that the consumers our members serve on a daily basis have clear and consistent information on the food products that they purchase and consume nationwide. We were pleased to see the strong bipartisan support this bill received and strongly urge that the U.S. House bring this legislation to the floor for a vote next week.”

Media inquiries:
email communications@nationalgrocers.org

Source: NGA

The National Grocers Association welcomes Senate vote for advancing national, uniform food labeling standard

Arlington, VA, 2016-Jul-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Grocers Association (NGA) today applauded the U.S. Senate for invoking cloture on S. 764, a bill that includes important reforms to biotechnology labeling by creating a national, uniform labeling standard for all foods made with genetically engineered (GE) ingredients and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). A vote on cloture is a procedural vote to end debate on a piece of legislation and allows for the Senate to bring the legislative measure for a vote on final passage.

NGA President and CEO Peter J. Larkin stated: “NGA applauds those Senators who voted in favor of advancing a national, uniform food labeling standard for foods containing genetically engineered ingredients.  Operating under a patchwork of state labeling laws will lead to unprecedented logistical problems for food distributors, which in turn will drive up costs for consumers and create onerous red tape for supermarket operators.”

“NGA supports S. 764 and is grateful to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) for their leadership to advance this legislation on a bipartisan basis. On behalf of the independent grocers who are operating in each Congressional district nationwide, we urge the U.S. House to take up this bill before the summer district work period.”

Contact:

1005 N. Glebe Road
Suite 250
Arlington, VA, 22201(703) 516-0700
Fax (703) 516-0115

Source: NGA

National Grocers Association launches new education program for independent supermarket operators to develop strategic business plan

Arlington, VA, 2016-Apr-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Grocers Association (NGA) today announced a new education program that will provide in-depth training to develop a strategic business plan that addresses multifaceted business issues faced by independent supermarket operators.

The Sustainable Business Growth Strategies program, sponsored by Unilever, is designed to provide independent supermarket operators with the necessary tools and resources to help executives guide their organization through a rapidly changing grocery industry. Participants will explore a vast range of important issues, including consumer trends, identifying areas of differentiation, change management, and workforce diversity.

“Success in a highly competitive marketplace, such as the independent supermarket industry, requires operators to have plans to quickly adapt and evolve to shifting demands in the marketplace. The Sustainable Business Growth Strategies program aims to help independent supermarket executives who are already leading organizations to further grow financial and sustainability success within their business,” said Peter J. Larkin, president and CEO of NGA.

“At Unilever, we are committed to sustainable growth, which means growth that is consistent, profitable, competitive, and responsible. We are excited to partner with NGA and Cornell to deliver a program that helps organizations to address the needs of society and the environment as an enabler of growth,” said Alison Castillo, Director, Industry Relations & Sustainable Living, Unilever North America.

The inaugural meeting will take place September 11 – 15, 2016 at Cornell University. This event is open to NGA retail and wholesaler members. For more information, visit www.nationalgrocers.org/sustainable-growth.

Media inquiries: Please email communications@nationalgrocers.org.
T: (703) 516-0700

SOURCE:  National Grocers Association

National Grocers Association Welcomes Senate Nutrition Legislation

Arlington, VA, 2016-Jan-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today (Jan 20, 2016), the National Grocers Association (NGA), the national trade association representing the independent supermarket industry, praised the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee for its work on the Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act, a bill to reauthorize a number of nutrition programs for five years, including the Women, Infants and Children program (WIC).

“NGA commends the work done by members of the Committee and the leadership provided by Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) to reach a bipartisan bill that shows promise of advancement towards final enactment,” said Peter J. Larkin, NGA president and CEO. “NGA has long advocated for common sense changes to the WIC program and how it is administered. We are pleased to see many of the changes contained in this bill represent progress towards that goal. On behalf of the independent supermarket industry, we look forward to supporting this bill moving through the legislative process and ultimately achieving reauthorization of these important programs in early 2016.”

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 was the previous bill that reauthorized federal child nutrition programs. Reauthorization of these programs expired on September 30, 2015.

SOURCE: National Grocers Association

Media inquiries: Please email communications@nationalgrocers.org

National Grocers Association announces the promotion of four staff members

Arlington, VA, 2016-1-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Grocers Association (NGA), the national trade association representing the independent supermarket industry, announced today the promotions of four of its staff.

Greg Ferrara has been named Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs. Ferrara will continue in his role overseeing the government relations and communications and marketing departments as well as serving as NGA’s chief lobbyist. Having first joined NGA in November 2005, Greg brings a wealth of experience in the grocery industry having managed the operations for his family’s century-old supermarket in New Orleans before the store was ultimately destroyed in Hurricane Katrina. He has also worked as a corporate project manager for Associated Grocers in Baton Rouge, LA. Ferrara was recognized in 2015 as one of Association TRENDS Leading Lobbyists. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola University New Orleans and is a fellow of the prestigious Institute of Politics at Loyola University.

Matthew R. Ott, M.S., CAE, CMP has been named to Chief Operating Officer. During his time at NGA, Ott has overseen NGA’s membership, business development, partnership and technology initiatives. In addition to his current responsibilities, Ott will have an expanded role in NGA’s office operations and administration. Prior to joining NGA in 2011, Ott has held various management positions within the association and non-profit industries with a focus on increasing organizational growth opportunities. In 2013, Ott was named as one of six Association TRENDS Young and Aspiring Professionals and was named to Association Forum of Chicagoland and USAE’s list of the top 40 Under Forty, recognizing the top young talent in the association and non-profit industries. Ott has also been recently recognized by BIZNOW as a member of the 2016 Trending 40: Association and Non-Profit Innovators. He is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire (M.S.) and George Mason University (B.S.).

Maggie Lyons has been promoted to Senior Director of Government Relations. Lyons will take on an expanded role in managing NGA’s relationship with Congress and federal agencies to advance the organization’s legislative and regulatory priorities. She will also work more closely on supervising NGA’s Grocers PAC political giving and fundraising strategy. Lyons came to NGA in January of 2014 from Capitol Hill, where she served as deputy chief of staff for a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee. Prior to her time spent working in the U.S. House, Lyons worked for a Washington-based think tank, and served on the staff of a U.S. Senator. Lyons is a graduate of Elon University, with a Bachelor’s degree in Corporate Communications.

Laura Strange has been promoted to Senior Director of Communications and Marketing. She will continue in her role running NGA’s communications and media relations functions in addition to managing marketing for NGA events and programs. Strange joined NGA in the fall of 2013, coming from Capitol Hill where she served as communications director for a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and prior to that a member on the House Appropriations Committee. In addition to having professional experience on Capitol Hill, Strange worked in the government affairs department for Yahoo! Inc., and in the communications and marketing division for a trade association. She earned a Master’s degree in Public Relations from George Washington University, and her undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of South Carolina.

“Each of these individuals has extensive experience in their areas of expertise and provides NGA with immense knowledge that expands beyond the food industry. They are great assets to this organization and I look forward to working with each as they continue to grow in their roles and work towards NGA’s goal to strengthen the independent supermarket industry,” said Peter J. Larkin, NGA President and CEO.

1005 N. Glebe Road
Suite 250
Arlington, VA, 22201
(703) 516-0700
Fax (703) 516-0115

SOURCE: National Grocers Association

National Grocers Association joins organizations representing employers and employees to launch the More Time for Full-Time initiative

Arlington, VA, 2014-9-22— /EPR Retail News/ — Today, the National Grocers Association (NGA) joined with several organizations representing hundreds of thousands of employers and tens of millions of employees to launch the More Time for Full-Time initiative.

The initiative, which includes the International Franchise Association, the National Restaurant Association, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the National Retail Federation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Rental Association, the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, the National Association of Convenience Stores, the National Grocers Association, and the National Association of Theatre Owners, will highlight the negative impact the 30-hour work week definition in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has on employees and employers, and urges Congress to restore the traditional definition of a full-time employee to 40 hours per week through bipartisan reform. Returning to a traditional 40-hour definition would benefit employees through more hours and income, and employers would gain the ability to focus on growth and expansion instead of restructuring their workforce. NGA is a founding coalition partner of the More Time for Full-Time initiative.

The launch includes a video, which will be featured on the new website moretimeforfulltime.org that highlights the challenges workers and employers face as a result of the 30-hour work week definition.

“Reinstating a 40-hour work week is vital to our members’ businesses and to their goal of providing quality benefits and available hours to their employees,” said Peter J. Larkin, President and CEO of NGA. “Restoring the 40-hour work week allows our members to return their focus to being an employer of choice in the communities they serve.”

NGA members took to Capitol Hill last Wednesday to meet with members of Congress from both chambers on important issues impacting independent grocers, including legislation to reinstate the 40-hour work week.

If you need additional information, please contact Laura Strange at 703-516-8808.

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