Since its establishment in 1952 at the Lawrence Hotel in Erie, Pa., the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association (PFMA) has pioneered innovative ways to serve and support the commonwealth’s food and beverage industries.
On Oct. 29, 2022, PFMA will commemorate its 70th anniversary. The association will share significant moments of its history and evolution over the next six months, ultimately celebrating the anniversary as part of its Fall Legislative Conference on Oct. 25 and 26 in Hershey.
“It’s incredible to reflect on the work that PFMA has accomplished for its members over the past 70 years,” said Alex Baloga, PFMA president and CEO. “The support of our broad and longstanding membership has allowed us to advance the interests of grocery stores, convenience stores, wholesalers, consumer packaged goods companies, lottery and gaming organizations and more—ultimately benefitting Pennsylvanian businesses and consumers.”
A group of independent retailers established the statewide trade association in 1952 when they met in Erie to discuss common concerns. During the meeting, they accepted a charter from the National Association of Retail Grocers and named Paul Reitz of Riverside Market association president. The association first served 400 retailers from its Erie office, assisting with supermarket promotions, providing the PFMA Bulletin Service newsletter, and sharing industry news.
Some of the association’s milestones over the years include:
Today, PFMA supports more than 800 corporations and 4,000 retail stores that represent more than 250,000 employees in Pennsylvania. The association works to improve the public image, effectiveness and profitability of companies providing products and services in agriculture production, consumer education, consumer packaged goods, food retailing and wholesale food distribution.
Follow PFMA on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to join in the 70th anniversary celebration.
During its Annual Conference in June, the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association will present an award to Lisa Dell’Alba, president and CEO of Square One Markets, Inc.
PFMA will honor Dell’Alba, with the 2022 Food Industry Trailblazer Award during dinner on the first day of the conference. Dell’Alba, who serves as vice chair of PFMA’s Board of Directors, is an active association member and an innovative business owner. She became the second-generation to own and operate her family’s c-store chain in 2004.
“We have all benefited from Lisa’s drive and vision,” said Alex Baloga, president and CEO of PFMA. “Square One has been a PFMA member and sponsor for several years, and Lisa is an engaged, dedicated and creative member. Her experience and leadership help to shape the association’s agenda.”
In addition to the award, the two-day conference features educational sessions, networking opportunities and a mini trade show. This year’s sessions focus on the changing world of food assistance programs; transportation and infrastructure updates from PennDOT; how PFMA members are maximizing workforce inclusion; and the challenges, opportunities and strategies surrounding supply chain in 2022.
“The conference provides valuable time for our members in the food and beverage industries to connect and collaborate on the trends and issues facing us today,” Baloga said.
Registration is now open for the Annual Conference, which is scheduled June 14–15, 2022, at the Gettysburg Hotel. The dinner and award presentation will be held at the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center. After dinner, conference attendees can enjoy access to the museum’s exhibits, video and cyclorama painting.
For details and to register for the conference, visit the PFMA 2022 Annual Conference events page.