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The Women Grocers of America presented its inaugural Legislator of the Year Award to U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota for her support of the independent supermarket industry and commitment to female entrepreneurs. Kristi Magnuson-Nelson, president of Grand Forks, N.D.-based Hugo’s Supermarkets, presented the award.
“North Dakota's businesses, including its independent grocers, help boost our state's economy and feed our state's growing population," said Heitkamp. “It's an honor to receive this award, and it's particularly meaningful since the award is presented by a group of women leaders.”
Heitkamp is the first female senator elected from North Dakota. She sits on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, and helped write, negotiate and pass the Farm Bill in 2014.
Independent supermarkets provide more than 4,000 jobs in North Dakota, according to Magnuson-Nelson, paying nearly $95 million in wages.
“Senator Heitkamp has a longstanding record of supporting the independent supermarket industry as well as initiatives to help female business owners succeed,” said National Grocers Association’s President Peter Larkin. “We look forward to continuing to work with her as we address a number of vital legislative challenges impacting independent grocers.”