PFMA concludes successful Fall Legislative Conference featuring keynote speaker Treasurer Garrity and latest developments in food retail
The “sweetest place on earth” provided a perfect backdrop for networking and educational activities during the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association (PFMA) Fall Legislative Conference this week.
The two-day conference brought together PFMA members from around the commonwealth to discuss the latest federal, state and local policy measures impacting the food retail and wholesale industry.
After a day of golf on Hershey Country Club’s East Course, conference guests enjoyed a reception and dinner followed by a keynote address from Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity. On the second conference day, Congressman Glenn “G.T.” Thompson provided attendees with an update from Washington, D.C., before a slate of educational breakout sessions began.
Treasurer Garrity thanked those in food retail for “being on the front lines since Day One.” Through her keynote, she shared her remarkable record of service with the U.S. Army and her experience as a top businesswoman, stressing the importance of remaining transparent in her role and providing new financial opportunities for Pennsylvanians.
During breakfast Wednesday, Congressman Thompson updated attendees on the recent work of the House Agriculture Committee, highlighting supply and demand issues, rural broadband expansion and labor shortages. “It’s time for Congress to empower hardworking Americans to get off the sidelines and back into the workforce so that we can alleviate our supply chain bottlenecks, especially as we enter the holiday season,” he said.
The conference breakout sessions spanned topics including CBD and cannabis regulation, the emergence of cryptocurrency, alcohol delivery laws in Pennsylvania, and the latest on federal infrastructure legislation moving through Congress.
“There are so many moving parts impacting our members in food retail today,” said Alex Baloga, president and CEO of PFMA. “This conference provides a valuable opportunity to gather in person and explore important legislative and industry news. Thank you to all those who attended. Special thanks to Treasurer Garrity for her time and support, and to all of our presenters.”
PFMA is grateful to the attendees, presenters, sponsors and the venue who made the conference possible.
The PFMA 2022 Annual Conference is scheduled for June 14 and 15 at the Gettysburg Hotel and Gettysburg Visitor Center and Museum. Details are forthcoming.
The NACS recently announced members of its Legislative Committee, welcoming Alex Baloga, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association, to serve for the new term.
NACS is the leading global trade association focused on supporting and advancing convenience and fuel retailers. The association supports 1,500 retail and 1,600 supplier members in more than 50 countries. The NACS Legislative Committee offers subject-specific guidance to the NACS Board of Directors and staff, which enhances the value to its members.
“It’s an honor to be asked to serve on committee for an organization that holds such a high reputation," Baloga said. "The PA Food Merchants Association represents hundreds of conveniences stores in the state and values the support NACS provides to our members.”
Baloga became PFMA president and CEO in 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 serves on the Classification and Ratings Committee for the Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau. He is a board member on the Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Fund. In 2021, he joined the Food Industry Association Executives (FIAE) Board of Directors as well as the Pennsylvania Dairymen's Association Board of Directors. In addition, he represents PFMA members on the 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 fundraising 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.
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.