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NGA gathers in Washington, D.C., ahead of next month's convention in Las Vegas

Tom Charley takes the reins as the new chair of the National Grocers Association's Government Relations Committee.
National Grocers Association
Tom Charley, the new chair of NGA’s Government Relations Committee, addresses the group at the beginning of the meeting in Washington, DC. / Photo courtesy: NGA

Decreasing credit card swipe fees, antitrust reform, labor and employment, and the 2023 Farm Bill were several of the top policy priorities for independent grocers discussed last week at the National Grocers Association’s (NGA) Government Relations Committee Members event in Washington, D.C.

“I thank the government relations committee for making the trip to our nation’s capital to finalize our advocacy priorities for the next 12 months,” said Christopher Jones, SVP of government relations & counsel, in a statement.

In a show of solidarity, Jones credited the strength of the NGA members and said they are ready to get to work with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to advance policies that help independents compete and continue to serve their communities.

“NGA is only as strong as our members. The high attendance numbers plus the passion and spirited debate that we engaged in shows that NGA is in for another strong year of government advocacy."

The meeting kicked off with the announcement that Tom Charley, VP and co-owner of Charley Family Shop N’ Save in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, is the new chair of NGA’s Government Relations Committee. Charley takes over for Wade Payne, director of retail operations for Food Giant/Mitchell Grocery.

“It’s an honor to serve as chairman of NGA’s Government Relations committee as we roll up our sleeves and work with the 118th Congress to ensure a prosperous future for America’s community grocers,” said Charley. “NGA represents 21,000 independent grocers in the United States and our communities rely on us to provide nutritious food and affordable products. Our voices need to be heard on Capitol Hill so that we can be there for our neighbors. The committee and I will work with NGA to advocate for independent grocers at the highest levels in Washington D.C.”

NGA is gearing up for its 2023 NGA Show to be held Feb. 26-28, at the Caesars Forum Convention Center in Las Vegas. The three-day event features more than 100 speakers and over 300 exhibitors. This year, the NGA Show has added a new technology summit, which will offer grocery retailers a look at technology from multiple perspectives.

“The NGA Show is unique in that it consistently provides retailers and wholesalers with the cutting-edge experts and knowledge necessary to adapt and thrive in an industry that is constantly changing,” said Greg Ferrara, NGA president and CEO, in a statement. “We continue that tradition to our 2023 event by bringing a unique look at technology not found elsewhere, presented in conjunction with our respected partner,” 

The technology summit, which is part of the show’s Sunday programming, includes the following presenters: 

  • Joe Blunda, Chief Executive Officer, Watch City Farms
  • David Bucca, Founder and CEO, Change Foods
  • Alice Chan, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Zippin
  • Kevin Coupe, Content Guy, MorningNewsBeat
  • Tom Furphy, CEO, Replenium
  • RJ Hottovy, Head of Analytical Research,
  • Bill Lipsky, Vice President, Shop N Save Merchandising, UNFI
  • Randy Fields, CEO, Park City Group/Repositrak
  • Nick Nikitas, Founder, Rosie
  • Thomas Parkinson, Co-founder/Chief Product Officer, Sifter
  • Bob Perry, Director of Business Development, NBCUniversal Media
  • Chris Rogers, Chief Business Officer, Instacart
  • Michael Sansolo, President, Sansolo Solutions
  • Shawn Tuckett, Chief Executive Officer, Webstop

Information on educational sessions, exhibits and other networking events can be found at

NGA represents 21,000 independent grocers throughout the U.S. and is based in Washington, D.C.



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