The Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association is pleased to announce the addition of two new members to its Board of Directors. PFMA welcomes Thomas Gumkowski, Vice President of Business Development for Tripifoods, Inc., and Jason Bassett, Director of Government Affairs for Sheetz.
“We are extremely excited and grateful to add these two individuals to our Board of Directors,” said Alex Baloga, president and CEO of PFMA. “We look forward to continuing the good work of the association with Thomas and Jason lending their expertise to the group.”
Thomas Gumkowski is vice president of business development for Tripifoods, Inc. His career began with S.M. Flickinger Co. in Buffalo, NY where he started as a Buyer for their Food Service Buffalo Division. He attended Canisius College where he earned both his BA and MBA. At S.M. Flickinger he advanced to several positions and became the General Manager of their Buffalo Food Service Division.
Gumkowski held senior management positions with several distribution organizations servicing the Northeast in the areas of Food Service, retail supermarkets, bakery, paper & packaging, and the convenience business segments. In 2013 he moved into his current role at Tripifoods, Inc. as their Vice President of Business Development.
He and his wife Helen live in Orchard Park, New York, and have three grown children. Avid Buffalo Bills fans, they enjoy sports, traveling and are active volunteers for their church and in their community.
Jason Bassett is a devoted father and avid golfer who recently joined Sheetz as their senior government relations manager. He received a degree in political science from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. Prior to joining Sheetz, Jason spent 12 years as the director of government affair for Kum & Go, LC. He worked in Washington, DC, in both the executive and legislative branches of the federal government as a career employee and political appointee at the U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and on legislative staff of U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe. After his time in government, Jason was the legislative director for the American Frozen Food Institute.
Bassett will soon be relocating to the Columbus, Ohio area. He is dad, all-time quarterback, golf instructor, baseball coach, master grilled cheese maker, and financier to Elizabeth (15), Landon (12), and Zack (10).
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.
Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association (PFMA) has announced the promotion of Michael Howells to the position of Vice President of Association Services. Since first joining PFMA in 2020 Howells has served as the Association Service Manager and was promoted to Director of Research and Association Services in 2021. During that time Howells assisted PFMA members with questions on legislative and regulatory issues; served as a liaison to communicate emergency planning issues; managed the association’s committees and provided government relations coverage in the monthly newsletter and weekly e-newsletter communications.
“PFMA is fortunate to have a strong leader in Michael Howells, and this promotion reflects the responsibilities and work he has been contributing to the association and our members,” said Alex Baloga, president and CEO of PFMA. “Since joining PFMA, Howells has played a key role in driving forward our mission to improve the public image, effectiveness and profitability of companies providing products and services in agriculture production, consumer packaged goods, food retailing, wholesale food distribution and associated industry partners. We are excited for him to continue his good work in this role.”
In this new role, Michael will continue to expand his responsibilities and assist in more legislative, political and advocacy activities for the association. He will also assist in association strategic planning and organizational development.
The Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association (PFMA) is proud to announce that Erica Koup Logsdon, a seasoned community engagement, marketing, and communications expert in local retail and business, has joined the association as the director of communications and media relations. In this role, Erica will manage the association’s monthly and annual publications, biweekly podcast, social channels, media relations, and the overall marketing communications strategy for the association.
Erica comes to the association with years of communications experience from her roles with Fenner, A Michelin brand company, WITF, and Crescent Strategy. In addition to her professional accomplishments over the past four years, Erica has been active in the community building a diverse group for women to fill a gap she saw in her community for women to connect. Through her Gals that Brunch HBG initiative Erica has created a positive, authentic, and empowering atmosphere where women can connect with each other and find community. She also uses this community to help small businesses in the Greater Harrisburg area market engage an audience who values small business and community.
“We are excited to welcome Erica, as she brings a wealth of expertise and excitement to this important role for our association,” said Alex Baloga, president and CEO of PFMA. “Erica will be a vital part of engaging our audiences, bringing high value contributions to the association and strengthening connections with our existing members and sponsors across the region.”
Erica Koup Logsdon, Director of Communications and Media Relations