The National Grocers Association (NGA) recognized five top industry leaders with distinguished leadership awards during the 2014 NGA Show. The following individuals were honored with the below industry awards:
Thomas K. Zaucha Entrepreneurial Excellence Award was presented to Kevin Doris, President and CEO, Gerland Corporation. Doris, a successful entrepreneur who began his career in the grocery industry in 1970, had the vision and commitment over the years to change his business to meet the ever-changing ethnic and competitive landscape in Houston, TX. He has been a long supporter of NGA, most recently serving as Treasurer of the Association.
Since 2009, the Thomas K. Zaucha Award, named after NGA’s first President and CEO and presented by Mondelēz International, has been presented annually to recognize an independent grocer that exemplifies persistence, vision, and creative entrepreneurship. The award is one of the most prestigious honors awarded to independent grocers.
Clarence G. Adamy Great American Award was given to Trygve “Trig” Solberg, Chairman, T.A. Solberg Company. Trig is the current Chairman of the NGA Grocers PAC and was instrumental in helping NGA launch the Political Action Committee (PAC) in late 2011 and has been a driving force behind its growth. He is a strong advocate for NGA and independent grocers and truly understands the importance of building strong relationships with public policy makers. He is a strong supporter of NGA, having just completed his term as a member of the Board of Directors.
This award is NGA’s most distinguished public affairs award, with only 21 recipients since its inception in 1982.
Women Grocers of America (WGA) Women of the Year Award was given to Tammy Bailey, President and co-owner, Bailey’s IGA, located in Rochester, Washington. Tammy is a long-time member of the Washington Food Industry Association and was elected to its Board in 2012. In 2013, Tammy and her company were recognized as the IGA Retailer of the Year and Washington Food Industry Association Retailer of the Year.
The Women of the Year Award recipient must exemplify the true characteristics of a leader with passion for the independent grocery industry. She is a visionary and strategic thinker, a standout representative of her company or organization, and has the perseverance to face almost any challenge presented to her.
Spirit of America Award was presented to Jim Rogers, former President and CEO, Food Industry Alliance of New York. Jim has been a long-time advocate for the supermarket industry having just retired after serving for 26 years as the head of the Food Industry Alliance of New York. Jim, a former board member of NGA, has led the industry in New York through nearly every major issue from commercial tolls to increasing bottle handling fees for retailers to Super storm Sandy. He is also a past recipient of the NGA Association Leadership Award, presented annually to a state association executive.
The NGA Spirit of America Award, established in 1982, honors key industry and community figures that have provided leadership in the areas of community services and government relations on behalf of a free and independent food distribution system.
Thomas F. Wenning Pinnacle PAC Award, established this year to honor Tom Wenning for his 40 years of service to NGA and the independent supermarket industry. Since NGA’s inception Tom has led the Association’s government relations operation and has been a tireless advocate for the independent retail and wholesale grocer. This award, established in Tom’s name, will be presented to an NGA member who helps advance the role and presence of the independent grocer and NGA in government and political affairs.