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The Sept. 16 election of Nicholas D’Agostino III, president and COO of Larchmont, N.Y.-based D’Agostino Supermarkets, to the position of chair by the Food Industry Alliance (FIA) of New York State’s Board of Directors, has placed the grocery executive on track to become the longest consecutively serving chairman in the history of the organization. Additionally, he’s the fourth D’Agostino --- and the third generation of the family -- to chair the organization, formerly known as the New York State Food Merchants Association.
After taking on FIA chairmanship in 2007 shortly after his newly elected predecessor left the industry, D’Agostino completed that unexpired annual term and was elected to his first full yearly term in 2008. Upon completion of his current second term in 2010, D’Agostino will have served over two terms as FIA chair -- the longest tenure on record.
“Nick was thrust into the chairmanship at an extraordinary period in FIA’s history,” noted FIA president Jim Rogers. “With New York state facing unprecedented deficits, a scandal-ridden governor ousted from office, and Democrats grabbing control of the Senate for the first time in over four decades, grocers were battling ‘Bottle Law’ expansion to virtually all beverage containers, while working on an equally controversial issue to include wine sales in supermarkets.
“The result of this tumultuous time reflects the steady hand and vision of Nick as significant progress was made -- even in this legislatively challenging environment,” continued Rogers. “A budget-driven, last minute capture of escheats via expansion of the ‘Bottle Law’ was scaled back and restricted only to water, as the Legislature recognized the effectiveness of FIA’s arguments by increasing the handling fee to retailers by 75 percent to 3.5 cents.”
Rogers also observed that for the first time ever, a New York governor included “wine” in the executive budget, which advanced the issue for serious consideration in the upcoming year. “Clearly, Nick’s keen intellect and direction gave FIA the focus to serve as the catalyst for these positive developments,” he said.
“The challenge to FIA, the board and me, is to keep the industry moving forward, united through common goals, attuned to the volatility of the changing politically landscape in an election year, and committed to a prudent, but aggressive, course of action,” remarked D’Agostino. “It won’t be easy, but it will be necessary.”
In addition to his FIA duties, D’Agostino serves on the executive committee of the board of directors of the National Grocers Association, as well as the boards of trustees of Citymeals on Wheels and the Southern New York Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.