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IOWA CITY, Iowa --The National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA), a business services co-op with 108 members nationwide, added two new staffers. Bea James joined NCGA as its first category leadership manager while Kim Kusnier has been hired as NCGA's marketing programs specialist.
In her role as category leadership manager, James, who will report to David Blackburn, NCGA's director of purchasing, will lead the development of programs and tools to support NCGA members' product selection and merchandising efforts. She brings more than 20 years of natural food retail experience to NCGA.
Prior to joining the business services co-op, James led the expansion of Lunds and Byerly's grocery stores' organic and natural program, and managed more than 14,000 organic and natural products. James also has experience in USDA organic retail handler certification. She currently holds the retailer seat on the USDA National Organic Standards Board, and serves as a member on the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's Organic Advisory Task Force.
"I believe strongly in the natural food co-op model, and look forward to helping co-ops excel in this dynamic marketplace," James said. "Throughout my career in the organic and natural food industry, I've led many new initiatives, so I'm confident that I'll be effective at creating and
developing this new role at NCGA."
Kim Kusnier, NCGA's marketing programs specialist will report to Kelly Smith, director of marketing and communications for NCGA.
With more than 20 years of experience in marketing communications, Kusnier has held various marketing and communication management positions. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Founded in 1999, NCGA is a business services cooperative for consumer-owned food co-ops located throughout the United States.