Amy Kirtland of KehE Distributors and Lori Raya of SpartanNash have been appointed to the board of directors of the National Grocers Association, the trade group said.
Kirtland, EVP of independents, fresh and exclusive brands for KeHE, and Raya, the newly named chief merchandising and marketing officer of SpartanNash, fill vacant roles in NGA's board. The appointments were effective Nov. 7.
“We are excited to welcome Amy and Lori to NGA’s board of directors,” said Greg Ferrara, NGA president and CEO. “Both have experience in the independent supermarket industry, which will be valuable as we continue to provide premier benefits to our members.”
Kirtland's areas of expertise include bakery, culinary, cheese and bulk business. Before joining Naperville, Ill.-based KeHE, Kirtland was an executive director with Unified Grocers, where she focused on natural and organic categories within independent grocery stores.
Raya is responsible for the development and execution of SpartanNash’s merchandising and marketing strategy, aligning both with the Michigan-based retailer's overall business strategy. She is also responsible for studying consumer trends and sales performance and for increasing sales and market share.
Raya began her career in grocery with Safeway, starting as a store associate, then moving through the ranks to become store manager, district manager, then eventually becoming Vons’ first female divisional president in 2012. In 2015, she was named division president for the Albertsons/Safeway company.
Recognizing Industry Leadership
During last week's meeting, NGA presented its Industry Service Leadership Award to Dave Jones of The Kellogg Co. Jones recently retired after 33 years with Kellogg's, where he started in 1986 before climbing the ranks to become VP of industry initiatives in 2009.
“Dave has always had a strong passion for independent grocers, ensuring a vibrant marketplace for retailers and consumers,” Ferrara said. “His legacy will live on at NGA through his work on NGA’s Creative Choice Awards Program, which he helped cultivate over the years. He and his wife Mari have also supported the Women Grocers of America for many years, supporting our industry’s female leaders. We are pleased to honor Dave for his long career and dedication to the independent supermarket industry.”
The award was presented during the NGA meting and the Retailer Owned Food Distributors & Associates (ROFDA) fall meetings in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
The NGA and ROFDA fall meetings brought together senior decision-makers and business leaders from across the supermarket industry in a series of business-to-business meetings, education sessions and networking opportunities for attendees to discuss strategies to drive profitability and growth.