October 5, 2016 – WEST HARTFORD, CT – The Connecticut Food Association (CFA) names Leslie G. Sarasin, president and CEO of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), as the recipient of CFA’s Outstanding Industry Leader award at its 2016 Person of the Year banquet.  Sarasin will be presented the award at an evening reception on October 20th.

“Leslie is a tireless champion for the nation’s food retailers and wholesalers and we’re thrilled to recognize her efforts in advocating on behalf of the food retail industry,” said Wayne Pesce, Connecticut Food Association president. “Leslie fully understands the power the states hold in influencing policy and the broader food community agenda, and her leadership and knowledge has brought a new energy to our industry.”

Pesce described the significance of Sarasin’s award, saying, “Leslie is largely being recognized for her leadership role in the legislative victory that established federal preemption regarding the disclosure of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). In 2013, Connecticut’s Governor signed the first state law in the nation mandating the labeling of foods that contain genetically modified ingredients, so this year’s legislative victory at a federal level offered Connecticut businesses more flexibility and helped to preserve interstate commerce.”

Sarasin remarked on receiving this honor, “I’m incredibly humbled to receive this recognition from the Connecticut Food Association and to have my efforts acknowledge in a state so dear to the heart of my family is especially meaningful. Some of our most politically active members hail from ‘the Constitution State,’ and their advocacy efforts amplify the voice of food retail so effectively, it is heard well beyond Connecticut’s borders.”

Sarasin’s career in the food industry spans more than 30 years. In October 2008, Sarasin joined FMI during a critical time in the food industry. Her wealth of experience serving the food industry has secured a strong future for FMI and its members. Sarasin remains a staunch supporter of the consumer while advocating on behalf of the businesses FMI represents.