WASHINGTON, DC – January 5, 2001 – Anticipating the new political climate, key food retail industry leaders will meet in Washington March 26 and 27 for the 2001 Public Affairs Assembly. Participants will gather to encourage congressional support on industry positions, including federal estate tax repeal, the ergonomics regulation and health care reform. Jointly sponsored by Food Distributors International (FDI), Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the National Grocers Association (NGA), the annual meeting brings the entire food industry together to speak with one voice on key issues.

Grocers, food wholesalers and foodservice distributors from across the nation will participate in the two-day event. Attendees hear from House and Senate leaders and then visit with their members of Congress to help them better understand the industry and its positions. A Senate Grocers Care Luncheon and a Gala Congressional Reception complement the program.

“The Public Affairs Assembly is the food retail industry’s once-a-year opportunity to meet face-to-face with lawmakers who will be dealing with our most important issues,” said FMI President and CEO Tim Hammonds. “With such an evenly divided Congress, we need to start early to familiarize them with the issues that significantly impact our members’ business operations.”

"We now have a great opportunity to achieve success on priority initiatives
like death tax relief, but it will take a strong push from business owners – including those in the food industry," said John R. Block, FDI president. "The Annual Public Affairs Assembly provides a great opportunity for men and women in our industry who want this unfair tax repealed to tell members of Congress directly just how they feel."

“The source of our political strength has always been at the grassroots level,” said N.G.A. President and CEO Thomas K. Zaucha. “Grocers and wholesalers are respected community leaders. This year in particular our members have a unique opportunity to win bipartisan support on those issues of concern to our industry.”

FMI will present two awards during the event. It will honor a member of its Association Council with the Donald H. MacManus Award for extraordinary leadership in the association community. Additionally, the Glen P. Woodard, Jr. Public Affairs Award will be given to an individual who has made outstanding contributions through their work with government on behalf of the industry.

N.G.A. will also present two awards during the Public Affairs Assembly. The Clarence G. Adamy Great American Award will be given to a food industry leader who best exemplifies active and effective participation in public affairs. As a citizen and industry representative, this individual has set an outstanding level of commitment to the values of family-owned businesses. N.G.A. will also present The Spirit of America Award, established in 1982, which honors key industry and community figures who have provided leadership in the areas of community service and government relations on behalf of a free and independent food distribution system.
For more information about the 2001 Public Affairs Assembly, see contacts listed above or see link below.