The National Grocers Association’s (NGA) Executive Conference and Public Policy Summit, set to take place Oct. 24-26 in Washington, D.C., said it has selected public policy analyst Bruce Mehlman to serve as the keynote speaker for the event, which is geared toward C-suite executives and their leadership teams. NGA also said food safety attorney Bill Marler will join the speaker lineup to discuss improved food-safety procedures and recall communications.
As keynote speaker, NGA said that Mehlman, who served as assistant secretary of commerce for technology policy under President George W. Bush, will provide insight into the shifting political landscape leading up to the 2022 midterm elections and the potential impact on businesses in the United States.
Mehlman, who has more than two decades of experience in public policy, business and the law, is a highly sought-after keynote speaker on policy and political trends—regularly headlining business conferences and strategic planning sessions. Along with his work as former assistant secretary of commerce for technology policy, Mehlman served as a senior leadership aide in the House of Representatives; general counsel to a national political party committee and policy counsel to Cisco Systems.
“By bringing speakers of this caliber together, NGA continues to move forward our mission of ensuring the independent community has the opportunity to succeed,” said Greg Ferrara, NGA president and CEO, in a statement. “With timely insights into the political landscape and the most up-to-date food safety practices, attendees will walk away even more prepared to thrive in the marketplace.”
NGA said in Marler’s session, which is sponsored by Ecolab, the food safety attorney will discuss his casework representing plaintiffs impacted by contaminated food products. NGA said Marler will provide his perspectives on how “food companies can do a better job enacting food-safety procedures and communicating recalls to consumers.”
NGA said in a statement that Marler has become the “most prominent foodborne illness lawyer in America and a major force in food policy in the United States and around the world.” Marler’s practice, Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, has represented thousands of individuals in tainted-product claims against food companies. In 2011 he penned "Poisoned: The True Story of the Deadly E. coli Outbreak that Changed the Way Americans Eat" which chronicles the Jack in the Box outbreak and Marler’s rise as a food safety attorney, NGA said in a statement.
NGA said its executive conference and public policy summit pairs high-impact education and networking sessions as well as the opportunity to meet federal representatives who craft policies affecting their business. The event will include sessions focused on the changing consumer landscape; the state of independent grocery and supply chain challenges; and the impact of politics and federal policy on the grocery industry.
“The Executive Conference and Public Policy Summit is NGA’s premier event for c-suite executives and their leadership teams to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace through in-depth forecasts on the future of the industry, outlooks of emerging economic and business trends, and opportunities to strengthen relationships with trading partners throughout the supply chain,” NGA said on its website.
The Washington, D.C.-based NGAis the national trade association for the retail and wholesale community grocers that comprise the independent sector of the food distribution industry.