With its finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the food and beverage retail environment, the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association hosted members from across the commonwealth to discuss industry trends and challenges during its two-day Annual Conference in Gettysburg.
“This conference provides valuable time for us to connect with our members and sponsors and discuss what’s happening in food and beverage retail,” said Alex Baloga, president and CEO of PFMA. “I’m grateful that some of the brightest and most innovative leaders in the industry took time to share their insight and collaborate on the issues and opportunities we’re facing today.”
Tuesday’s first conference session covered the future of SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and the program’s online shift to meet the needs of its users. Following was a panel discussion on supply chain issues and how members from UNFI, Karns Foods, Turkey Hill/EG America and Utz Brands, Inc., strategize ways to tackle these challenges.
The association welcomed attendees to a cocktail hour and dinner at the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center Tuesday evening. Prior to dinner, PFMA presented the 2022 Food Industry Trailblazer Award to Lisa Dell’Alba, president and CEO of Square One Markets, Inc., for her dedication, creativity and leadership.
Wednesday opened with a panel discussion on creating work cultures that promote diversity, equity and inclusion, featuring members from The GIANT Company, Sheetz, Inc., Core-Mark/Eby-Brown and Albertsons Companies.
The final session covered transportation and infrastructure updates from Larry Shifflet, the deputy secretary for planning at the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Prior to the conference kickoff, the PFMA Board of Directors approved new leadership. Serving for the next two-year term is Lisa Dell’Alba, chair, president and CEO of Square One Markets, Inc.; Justin Evans, vice president of sustainability and government relations for Giant Eagle, Inc.; Andrea Karns, treasurer, vice president of marketing and sales at Karns Foods; and Mike Mammone, secretary, senior director of customer experience, Robesonia division, C&S Wholesale Grocers.
Baloga thanked outgoing chair, Tom Cormier, manager of government affairs at Ahold Delhaize USA, for his service on the board. “Tom led PFMA with clarity, creativity and optimism,” Baloga said. “Tom, thank you for helping to steer PFMA on a strong path forward. We’ve all benefited from your leadership.”
PFMA is grateful to all the attendees, presenters and vendors who made the conference possible. A special thank you to Gettysburg Hotel and Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center for their hospitality.
The PFMA 2022 Fall Legislative Conference is scheduled for October 25 and 26 at the Hershey Country Club. Details are forthcoming.
Erica Koup Logsdon, Director of Communications and Media Relations