National Grocers Association Honors Top Industry Leaders

February 12, 2017

Las Vegas, NV – The National Grocers Association (NGA) recognized two industry leaders with top awards during the 2017 NGA Show. The following individuals were honored with the below industry awards:

The Thomas K. Zaucha Entrepreneurial Excellence Award was presented to Rich Niemann, Jr., President and CEO of Niemann Foods, Inc. Niemann began his career with Niemann Foods, Inc. in 1977, following his graduation from the University of Illinois. He has been the President and CEO of the company since 2005. Niemann serves on the NGA Board of Directors as the Immediate Past Chairman and has held positions on numerous boards, including the Illinois Food Retailers Association.

“A passionate leader, who has his eye always to the future, Rich is continuously inspiring others in the independent supermarket industry to find new and innovative ways to better serve their communities. NGA is proud to honor such a distinguished individual for his service and dedication to his stores, his community, and our industry,” said NGA President and CEO Peter Larkin.

Since 2009, the Thomas K. Zaucha Award, presented by Mondelēz International and named after NGA’s first President and CEO, has been presented annually to recognize an independent grocer that exemplifies persistence, vision, and creative entrepreneurship. This award is one of the most prestigious honors awarded to independent grocers.

The Thomas F. Wenning Pinnacle PAC Award was presented to Roger Collins, Chairman of Harps Food Stores. Collins started with Harps in 1986 as the Vice President of Finance and CFO. He was promoted to Executive Vice President in 1995 and CEO in 2000. Collins stepped down as CEO in 2016 but remains as Chairman. He has served on both the board and executive committee of NGA, the National Cooperative Bank, and Associated Wholesale Grocers, as well as the Board of Regents for the NGA Research and Education Foundation. In 2015, Collins was awarded the Thomas K. Zaucha Entrepreneurial Excellence Award by NGA.

“As a supporter of the Grocers PAC and NGA’s government relations efforts, Roger understands the importance of cultivating relationships with policymakers who will be champions for the independent supermarket industry. He has been a strong advocate for the independent grocer on all levels of government,” said Greg Ferrara, senior vice president of government relations and public affairs, NGA.

The Thomas F. Wenning Pinnacle PAC Award was established in 2014 to honor Tom Wenning for his 40 years of service to NGA and the independent supermarket industry and is presented to an NGA member who helps advance the role and presence of the independent grocer and NGA in government and political affairs.