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    GMA Finalizes Merger with ASMC

    WASHINGTON - The world's largest association of food, beverage and consumer product companies has completed its merger with the Association of Sales & Marketing Companies, in the culmination of the organizations' two-year association.

    WASHINGTON - The world's largest association of food, beverage and consumer product companies has completed its merger with the Association of Sales & Marketing Companies, in the culmination of the organizations' two-year association. C. Manly Molpus, president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers of America, said on Monday that the organization will be more effective and focused moving into 2003, devoting resources to its highest priorities in both industry and government affairs.

    "We have realigned GMA to more effectively deal with the challenges posed by today's dramatically changed business environment," said Molpus. "Our revamped organization of GMA's industry affairs group reflects this integration and the need for GMA to play a greater role helping to lead the industry's technology agenda. We also will be more inclusive so that we will interact with all the important distribution channels in our pursuit of greater efficiency and supply chain improvements throughout the industry."

    Speaking for the sales agency community, ASMC president and GMA executive VP Mark Baum noted, "The final phase of the ASMC integration fulfills the promise of organizational efficiencies and membership synergies. ASMC members will become GMA members, actively participating on councils and committees, attending educational events, and otherwise engaging in member-driven activities. In addition, we are also creating a sales agency council to focus on their unique needs as a segment of the membership."

    As part of the realignment, Pam Stegeman has been named VP, supply chain & technology. Rick Abraham will have an enhanced role as VP, industry affairs, overseeing industry-related functions including sales, direct-store-delivery, trade practices and industry development. Steve Sibert becomes VP, membership & industry development. In addition to his work with the GMA's presidents' advisory council and associate member council, Sibert is responsible for developing a new council for chief financial officers. He also oversees all membership recruitment and retention as well as the GMA associate member program. Abraham, Sibert and Stegeman will all report to Baum. Under the new combined structure, six staff positions were eliminated.

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