The Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association kicks off the fourth season of its Shelf Confidence podcast this week, sharing member interviews that focus on trends and innovations in food and beverage retail.
“This industry is ripe for innovation. Our members are constantly creating new ways to meet customer needs and improve the food retail landscape,” said Alex Baloga, president and CEO of PFMA. “The podcast shares how our members are influencing the industry and driving it forward.”
The first two episodes feature new members and young entrepreneurs breaking the mold with their new business models.
On Wednesday, Jan. 25, Shelf Confidence welcomes new associate member Saint Rocco’s Treats, a small batch, craft dog treat company out of Bucks County. Brothers Kaleb and Kolby Rush explain how their pandemic project developed into a full-fledged business.
Sharing Excess founder Evan Ehlers joins Shelf Confidence for its second episode on Feb. 8. The organization has quickly grown to the largest food rescue organization in Philadelphia thanks to Ehlers’s unique process and partnerships.
Mid-February, Becky Smith will share how Poly Craft Industries stands out from the competition in the flexible packaging market.
Also scheduled in Season 4, hear from members STCR, PepsiCo, Dream2Career and more.
Shelf Confidence posts a new episode every other Wednesday morning. The podcast is available at shelfconfidence.buzzsprout.com, or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Podcasts.
Shelf Confidence launched in July 2021. Over its three previous seasons, the podcast has highlighted sustainability with The GIANT Company, reframing healthy snacking with Utz, High’s Safe Shop certification, diversity and inclusion with Sheetz, c-store innovation with National Convenience Distributors and many other trending topics.
The Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association is pleased to share that four new members are joining its Board of Directors. This January, PFMA welcomes Paul Brauer, president and COO, Brown’s Super Stores, Inc.; Tom Charley, vice president, Charley Family Shop N’ Save; Deriece Harrington, director of government affairs, PepsiCo; and Shawn Rinnier, president, Save Philly Stores.
“What a great way to kick off a new year, welcoming these respected and active members of the food retail industry to our PFMA Board of Directors,” said Alex Baloga, president and CEO of PFMA. “We thank Paul, Tom, Deriece and Shawn for their dedication to the association and look forward to benefitting from their perspectives and expertise.”
Paul Bauer is president and COO for Brown’s Super Stores, Inc., a growing twelve-store supermarket chain trading under the ShopRite and Fresh Grocer banners and part of the Wakefern Food Corporation. Brown’s Super Stores share a basic belief: Inner city supermarket customers deserve a shopping experience that includes quality products, low prices, fresh and clean stores and above all, respectful customer service.
Bauer works with many Philadelphia community-based organizations and nonprofit programs. For several years, he has worked on job training programs and placement to give ex-offenders a new beginning when re-entering society. He has been a guest speaker at events related to his work with employing ex-offenders and advocating for legislation in the area of reducing recidivism.
Bauer is an executive member of the Board of Directors of the Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC), and vice president of the Board of the Park West Business Association. He serves as an advisory board member to Philabundance Food Bank, as well as Self-Incorporated, a nonprofit running homeless shelters. He also serves as an adjunct professor teaching Integrated Marketing Communications within the Food Marketing program at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. He graduated from Shippensburg University with a degree in Human Resources and Organizational Behavior, and earned his Master’s of Business Administration from St. Joseph’s University. He lives in the Lehigh Valley with his wife Lori and their two children.
Tom Charley is a fourth-generation grocery retailer out of Westmoreland, Pa. The Charley family operates three Shop N Save stores. Charley grew up in the food industry and is very passionate about it. He works alongside his brother, Mike, and father, Ray Charley. He serves on the government relations committee for the National Grocers Association and is on the advisory board for the Shop N Save group, an 80-store grocery chain based in western Pennsylvania. Just as important, Charley said, “I also have the most amazing daughter.”
As Director of Government Affairs, Deriece Harrington represents PepsiCo before state and local governments in the Mid-Atlantic. She engages with community and government officials while developing and maintaining key relationships with stakeholders in her region and around the country. She previously worked as deputy executive director of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, where she managed the day-to-day operations of the caucus and critical relationships with corporate and nonprofit partners as well as legislative members from around the country.
As a political science graduate of Morgan State University, she began her career as the executive director for the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland, Inc. (LBCM). Her tenure at the LBCM led to her Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in Public Policy and Management and her work with the Maryland Chamber of Commerce. As the chamber’s vice president of government affairs, she advocated on behalf of their members in the areas of employment law, energy, environment, transportation and tax.
Harrington has participated in several leadership fellowship programs, such as the Council of State Governments Robert J. Thompson Eastern Leadership Academy, and has won numerous awards like the Daily Record’s Leading Women in Maryland, top 40 under 40 in Prince George’s County by the Prince George’s County Social Innovation Fund and 2018 Rising Star by the Living Classrooms Foundation. In 2021, she was named one of the top 40 under 40 Very Important Professionals by The Daily Record.
She serves on several community and national boards and committees, including Living Classrooms- National Capital Region Board, A Wider Circle and the Psi Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She is a native of Jamaica, N.Y., and currently lives in Southern Maryland with her husband and daughters.
Shawn Rinnier owns and operates 20 supermarkets in the tri-state area. Thirteen of the stores are in Pennsylvania throughout Philadelphia, Delaware County, Montgomery County and Western Pennsylvania regions, operating under the banners Save a Lot and GreatValu markets. Save Philly Stores specialize in catering to underserved residents by delivering fresh and healthy foods at affordable prices every day.
PFMA is led by a 37-member Board of Directors that includes retail and associate members.
This volunteer group shapes the association's agenda. Members are elected to unlimited three-year terms.
Erica Koup Logsdon, Director of Communications and Media Relations