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Former U.S. Secretary of Defense and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Leon E. Panetta will deliver the keynote address at the National Grocers Association's 2015 NGA Show, which is slated to take place in Las Vegas on Feb. 8-11, 2015.
"One purpose of the show is to foster dialogue and insight about the current political and economic issues and how they affect independent grocers," noted Peter J. Larkin, president and CEO of Arlington, Va.-based NGA. "I can't think of anyone more qualified and able than Leon Panetta to stimulate such a conversation."
The son of Italian immigrants who opened a restaurant in Monterey, Calif., Panetta was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from that state's 16th (now 17th) District from 1977 to 1993. Following that, he was the director of the Office of Management and Budget and White House chief of staff for President Bill Clinton. From 2009 to 2011, he was President Barack Obama's director of the CIA, during which time he oversaw the operation that killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Panetta was then the 23rd Secretary of Defense under Obama from 2011 to 2013. He's also an Army veteran and an attorney.
Panetta's autobiography, "Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace," is slated to come out this fall.
The 2015 NGA Show opening keynote session is sponsored by Kraft Foods. Registration for the show opens Aug.1, 2014.
The NGA represents the retail and wholesale grocers that make up the independent sector of the food distribution industry.