NGA Sells Out First-Ever Virtual Executive Conference

September 28, 2020

Welcomes two new members to its Board of Directors

Arlington, VA – The National Grocers Association last week welcomed more than 425 attendees to its sold-out Executive Conference, NGA’s first-ever virtual education and networking event for c-suite retail grocery leaders, held Sept. 22-25, 2020.

Designed for CEOs and their leadership teams to explore innovative ways to increase profitability and enhance business opportunities among other industry leaders, the online conference provided attendees with big-picture data, best practices and actionable insights that are on the forefront of the supermarket industry.

“The unprecedented events of 2020 and their impact on our business made even more important the need to share ideas and explore new opportunities,” said Greg Ferrara, NGA president and CEO. “The response to our dynamic lineup of speakers exceeded our expectations.”

Conference presenters explored the looming 2020 elections, economic outlook for the months ahead, pressures on the supply chain and shifting consumer trends, among other topics.

In the opening general session, Nathan Gonzales, editor and publisher of Inside Elections, speculated on what the outcome of this year’s presidential election would mean for the country. Breakout leadership sessions followed that focused on regulatory issues, e-commerce, supply chain and omnichannel engagement, closing with a chat with leading CPG suppliers.

The second full day opened with an analysis of the shifting retail landscape by Thom Blischok, chairman and CEO of the Dialogic Group. Second-day sessions focused on collaborative insights, health and wellness, digital and data, and a conversation with leading wholesalers.

The final day of the conference featured general sessions on diversity and inclusion led by Jonathan Mayes, senior vice president of external affairs and chief diversity officer at Albertsons; food safety and government regulation led by Frank YIannas, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for food policy and response; and a conversation with retail c-suite executives.

Key takeaways from the conference sessions can be found here.

NGA’s Executive Conference also featured an opportunity for trading partners to connect through a virtual B2B, along with interactive networking events.

NGA retailer and wholesaler members met with some of the industry’s leading CPG manufacturers, solution providers and service partners during 30-minute exchange sessions in which they could discuss their respective goals, align capabilities for innovation and consider new solutions. In all, the conference hosted more than 200 of these one-on-one meetings.

“Close collaboration between retailers, wholesalers and industry solution providers suppliers is essential to delivering consumers the solutions they need to simplify their daily lives,” said Jonathan Downey, NGA senior vice president of industry relations. “The NGA Executive Conference is and will continue to be an ideal resource for executives in the independent supermarket industry looking for the next big idea to be competitive in an increasingly dynamic marketplace.”

Additionally, NGA is pleased to announce two appointments to fill vacancies on its Board of Directors:  Stratton Sigler, director of customer development, Northeast grocery, at Unilever; and Roxanne Lowder, vice president, industry affairs at The Coca-Cola Company. The appointments were approved unanimously by NGA’s Board of Directors during its most recent meeting, held Tuesday, Sept. 22.

NGA thanks its generous conference sponsors:               Kimberly-Clark North America, The Kellogg Company, Freshop, Fiserv, Adsta, Aramark, BRdata Software Solutions, ECRS, Edict Systems, General Mills, HempFusion, Inmar, Itasca Retail, KeHE Distributors, The Kraft Heinz Company, Mondelez International, Navajo Incorporated, Nestle Purina PetCare, Post Consumer Brands, Retail Zipline, Rosie Applications, AR Marketing, BMO Harris Bank, The Clorox Company, Crown Poly, Date Check Pro, The Food Partners, Idahoan Foods, iTradeNetwork, National Cooperative Bank, PureRed and ThirdChannel..

NGA’s 2021 Executive Conference is expected to be a live event, with date and location to be announced.

More information can be found at

About NGA

The National Grocers Association (NGA) is the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale grocers that comprise the independent sector of the food distribution industry. An independent retailer is a privately owned or controlled food retail company operating a variety of formats. The independent grocery sector is accountable for close to one percent of the nation’s overall economy and is responsible for generating $131 billion in sales, 944,000 jobs, $30 billion in wages and $27 billion in taxes. NGA members include retail and wholesale grocers, state grocers associations, as well as manufacturers and service suppliers. For more information about NGA, visit