The National Grocers Association has made two moves recently to “take NGA advocacy efforts to the next level,” President and CEO Greg Ferrara said in a release.
The association has hired Steptoe & Johnson LLP, a Washington, D.C.-based law and lobbying firm, to help boost the association’s advocacy capabilities, and it has promoted Molly Pfaffenroth to senior director of government relations.
Steptoe will provide legal, regulatory and advocacy representation and expertise on a wide range of issues.
“Steptoe’s deep, bipartisan ties across Congress, as well as their relationships and expertise across every federal agency, will enable NGA to be an even more effective advocate for the independent supermarket industry,” Ferrara said.
Steptoe partner Doug Kantor will serve as lead liaison and NGA general counsel under the agreement. Kantor has been named to The Hill’s “Top Lobbyist” list as well as The Legal 500 list under Government Relations.
“On behalf of the Steptoe team, we look forward to integrating our deep government experience with the NGA team’s and being a part of their efforts to obtaining major wins that allow for independent grocers to succeed and better serve their communities,” Kantor said.
As an added benefit for NGA members supporting the advocacy and legal fund, Steptoe will provide initial consultation for grocers who need assistance on legal and regulatory compliance challenges.
Meanwhile, Pfaffenroth has been promoted after three years with NGA. She joined the association in 2017 as senior manager of government relations. Her experience includes work in the private and public sectors on matters of food and agriculture, including stints with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Communications, International Dairy Foods Association and National Association for Biomedical Research.
“Molly’s list of accomplishments over her three-year tenure with NGA clearly demonstrates her ability to lead and notch wins for independent grocers. She had been instrumental in key wins, such as obtaining a fix to the retail glitch and ensuring independents are key private partners in federal nutrition programs, especially SNAP,” said Chris Jones, SVP of government relations and counsel.
Pfaffenroth received her undergraduate degree in animal science from Cornell University and a graduate degree in media and public affairs from George Washington University.
“We have an exciting year ahead with tremendous opportunity to expand our outreach and influence in Washington, D.C., and to give independent grocers and wholesalers a seat at the table in the policy debates that will shape the future of our industry,” Ferrara said.