Alex Baloga became PFMA President and CEO on July 1, 2017. After joining PFMA in 2013 as director of government relations, he was promoted to director of government and public relations in 2014 and to vice president of external relations in 2015. He leads PFMA’s government relations efforts at the local, state and federal level. He also manages our federal, state and Philadelphia Food PACs along with PFMA’s Legislative, Pharmacy and WIC Stakeholder’s Committees.
He serves on the Classification and Ratings Committee for the Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau, and as a board member on the Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Fund. In addition, he represents PFMA members on the newly created Pennsylvania Lottery Sales Advisory Council.
Baloga previously served as deputy finance director for Robert P. Casey’s re-election campaign for U.S. Senator, where he directed the fund raising activities in central Pennsylvania. He has extensive contacts from his experience as an associate lobbyist for Greenlee Partners, LLC, a premier government relations firm with offices in Harrisburg, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
In addition, he worked in U.S. Senator Bob Casey’s Government office as a regional field manager, serving as the senator’s liaison to government, community and constituent groups in central Pennsylvania; monitoring local issues and developments, and representing Senator Casey at civic meetings and community events.
Baloga earned his bachelor’s degree in History with a specialty in Political Science from West Virginia University.
Director of Communications & Media Relations — Matthew Kemeny
Matthew Kemeny joined the PFMA staff in 2018 as Director of Communications & Media Relations. He previously worked in communication roles at the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges, the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Capital BlueCross, Susquehanna Bank and spent 10 years as a reporter for The Patriot-News and The Scranton Times-Tribune. He is responsible for the association’s overall communications efforts, including its print, digital and online communications. He also produces the association’s monthly newsletter — The Spectrum -- and manages the association's social media sites - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Kemeny attends industry events and store openings and writes about them in the newsletter. He supports the association’s business subsidiaries by producing their print and online marketing materials and serves on the conference and educational planning committees.
Kemeny has produced articles for Pennsylvania Farm Bureau publications, including Positively PA. He holds a master's degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield and a bachelor's degree in Communications from Albright College
Association Services Manager — Michael Thomas
Michael Thomas joined PFMA in 2018 as association services manager. He assists PFMA members with questions on legislative and regulatory issues; serves as a liaison to communicate emergency planning issues; manages the association’s committees, and provide government relations coverage in the monthly newsletter and weekly e-newsletter communications. In addition, he assists with the planning and educational programming for the PFMA Annual Conference, Fall Legislative Conference and webinars.
Originally from Luzerne County in Pennsylvania’s Anthracite region, Michael Thomas was introduced to the food industry at a young age through his uncle’s produce business. After earning a B.A. in English from King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Michael served for more than 13 years as a staffer in both chambers of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, including as a Senate legislative director and as executive director of the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee.
Prior to his public service, Michael worked as a VA laborer, a literary researcher, and as a mascot for a professional baseball team and two radio stations.
Michael serves on the Advocacy Committee of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and as the local membership officer for the central Pennsylvania Chapter of American Mensa.
Executive Assistant — Jennifer Hamelin
Jennifer Hamelin joined the association in 1992 as a data entry clerk for MEMO. She held several positions in MEMO including Administrative Assistant to Tanya Butler, president of MEMO Financial Services, Inc., before becoming a compliance analyst where she monitored money order clearings and filed Suspicious Activity Reports with the IRS. She left the association in January 2010 to focus on her growing family and returned to PFMA as an Administrative Assistant in 2011.
Jennifer has an excellent customer service background and handles multiple tasks delegated by different associates in the Government Relations department as well as accounting. She handles PFMA membership inquiries and transactions as well as the administration of the Thomas R. and Laura Ridge Scholarship program.
Jennifer is a notary and has been a member of PAN since 2000.