Progressive Grocer - January/February 2010 - (Page 36)

Independents Report Big ideas for the smaller grocer A Lasting Legacy of Leadership and Inspiration N.G.A. pays tribute to retiring president and CEO Thomas K. Zaucha, a pioneering advocate for independent, community-focused retailers and wholesalers. By Frank DiPasquale n April 11, 1944, Joe and Nell Zaucha became the proud parents of a second son, Thomas Kevin Zaucha. The Zauchas lived in Republic, Pa., a suburb of Uniontown. Tom’s grandmother, who was of first-generation Polish descent, owned and operated Zaucha’s Grocery in Warren, Ohio, where Tom and his parents often helped out. Given his heritage, it’s not surprising Tom Zaucha entered the food industry and led it with passion for many years. At this year’s upcoming National Grocers Association’s (N.G.A.’s) Annual Convention, which will take place Feb. 9 through Feb. 12, the industry will pay tribute to one of its finest leaders:Thomas K. Zaucha, N.G.A.’s president and CEO, is retiring, and this will be his last N.G.A. event.Tom is a pioneering advocate for independent, communityfocused retailers and wholesalers in the United States; his 28 years of service with N.G.A. and over 40 years within the food industry will have lasting effects on the industry. Tom started in 1973 as director of public affairs for the National Association of Food Chains, and then moved on to the A&P Tea Co., where he was director of government affairs. Shortly thereafter, he became president of the Cooperative Food Distributors of America (CFDA). Then, in 1982, when the National Association of Retail Grocers of the United States (NARGUS) and the Cooperative Food Distributors of America (CFDA) consolidated to form the N.G.A., Tom was named its president and CEO. His dedication, passion, leadership, innovation and foresight in regard to the independent com36 • Progressive Grocer • January/February 2010 O tain parity on tax and labor policies, the repeal of labor reform, the permanent repeal of the federal estate tax, and a comprehensive fair food safety policy. For Tom, voluntary and public policy based on collaboration is preferable to mandatory rules and regulations created in an atmosphere of conflict. Tom believes strongly in recognizing exceptional performance and investing in our next generation of leaders. He has been instrumental in the development of two munity can be seen in the scholarship programs for immeasurable number of deserving students, through business, political and comthe Women Grocers Associmunity-enhanced decisions ation (WGA) and the Asparahe has initiated on behalf of gus Club.Tom also developed the independent community. the Creative Choice Awards Under Tom’s leadership, Program, which recognizes N.G.A. has fought effectively the achievements of indeThomas K. Zaucha to compete against superpendent retailers in the areas centers and other mega-retailers, preserve a level of merchandising and advertising. In return for playing field for independent grocery retailers Tom’s support and leadership, Kraft Foods has and wholesalers, repeal numerous taxes and fees created the Thomas K. Zaucha Entrepreneurial charged unfairly on retailers and wholesalers, and Excellence Award.This honor will be given annublock the repeal of the Robinson-Patman Act. ally to the independent retailer that has shown the most tangible example of persistence, vision A Fond Farewell and creative entrepreneurship throughout the Jay Campbell, a former N.G.A. chairman and year. current president and CEO of Associated Grocers So, as we approach the N.G.A. Annual Conin Baton Rouge, La., says,“When you talk about vention, it will undoubtedly be filled with mixed equal opportunity for independent businesses, emotions for many of us.We will pay tribute to you think of Tom Zaucha and his advocacy for and celebrate Tom’s successful journey in leadthe independent grocer.” ing and supporting the independent sector.Yet, Tom’s legacy continues with N.G.A.’s battle we also recognize we will be saying goodbye to on a number of issues such as fighting to main- a friend and mentor. ■ A H E A D O F W H AT ’ S N E X T

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Progressive Grocer - January/February 2010

Progressive Grocer - January/February 2010
Nielsen’s Shelf Stoppers/Spotlight
Progressive Grocer’s Outstanding Independents Awards: Independent Inspiration
Outstanding Regional Retailer: All Together Now
Outstanding Community-based Retailer: Sharing the Vision
Outstanding Independent Wholesaler:Values for Growth
Independents Report: A Lasting Legacy of Leadership and Inspiration
Fresh Perspectives: Spartan’s Fresh Outlook
Produce: Priced to Move
Refrigerated Meat: A Great (Meaty) Start
Frozen Seafood: Reel it In
Beverage Alcohol: Let it Pour
OTC Medications: Extended Flu Season
FutureTech: Going Mobile
Retail Profile: Food Lion: Renewed
GMA Director’s Note: Leading the Charge
Best Practices: A New Approach to Knowledge
Food Marketing Insights: Got Talent?
Upcoming Events: International Eats
What’s Next

Progressive Grocer - January/February 2010