APRIL 17, 2013 – WASHINGTON DC – Food Marketing Institute (FMI) today announces its 2013 recipient of the prestigious state-focused public affairs award, the Donald H. MacManus Association Executive Award, to 28-year-industry-veteran Linda M. Gobler, president and CEO of the Michigan Grocers Association.
“Linda Gobler is a steadfast champion of the grocery industry and ambassador to her home state of Michigan,” FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin said. “Linda has a remarkable reputation of protecting grocers from government over-reach and helping reduce the cost of doing business.”
Gobler is best recognized for fighting to reform Michigan’s Item Pricing Law, because it meant significantly higher operating costs for Michigan retailers. In 2011, Gobler worked closely with the bill’s sponsor and the Governor to enact the Shopping Reform and Modernization Act – which saved the Michigan food industry, and the Michigan economy, in excess of $2.2 billion annually.
In addition to her efforts to help protect the slim profit margins of the food retail industry, Gobler fought for legislative victories that repealed the job-killing Michigan Business Tax; prohibited state-specific ergonomics standards; and authorized in-store wine tastings and similar beverage sampling events to boost sales – to name a few of her notable accomplishments.
Gobler is invested in the community in which she serves. She is a founding board member of the Lansing (Michigan) Food Bank, and led Michigan Grocers Association's pioneering (and award-winning) “FoodAid for Michigan” program for 13 years. In 2000, Linda participated in Habitat for Humanity's “First Ladies Build” alongside Michigan First Lady Michelle Engler. In 2012, Linda was drafted by Michigan’s governor to sponsor and promote Pure Michigan FIT, leading the fight against childhood obesity through in-store educational efforts. In 2013, Linda has broadened the food industry's role by having MGA partner with the Michigan Dept. of Community Health in launching the Michigan Healthier Tomorrow initiative to help reduce obesity in adults.
Gobler is also well connected at the national level, serving on the FMI government relations committee (2005-2006), regularly attending FMI conventions, participating in joint industry Day in Washington programs, FMI regional meetings, and every annual FMI State Issues Retreat since the program’s inception. 

FMI celebrates the efforts of Gobler today on behalf of the Michigan Grocers Association at the annual FMI, National Grocers Association and the Food Industry Association Executives Day in Washington congressional fly-in, where the supermarket industry will proactively dialog on priority issues – healthcare, tax reform, FDA menu labeling, and swipe fees – with their representatives.