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Randy St. John, SVP of association services, will retire from the Pennsylvania Food Association (PFMA) at the end of this year after 23 years with the statewide trade organization.
Having joined PFMA in July 1989 as VP of membership development, St. John’s role has grown over the years to include lobbying for the association in Harrisburg and representing its members’ interests in state regulatory issues.
“Randy has been an exceptional advocate for the food industry,” said David McCorkle, PFMA president and CEO. “His dedication to the interests of supermarkets, convenience stores, and consumer products companies has kept our government officials in-tune with the industry and the unique issues our members face each day.”
St. John helped form the Scanning Certification Program in 1991 to provide retailers with guidelines to achieve and maintain a high level of price accuracy in their stores. Several years later, he worked with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to help develop guidelines for state weights and measures personnel to inspect scanners. The program has received national attention for its proactive approach to price accuracy issues.
Beginning in 2005, St. John took over the direct lobbying responsibilities to represent PFMA’s members at the state capitol. He was involved in the passage of a food safety bill, which brought uniformity statewide to food regulations. He also worked on the passage of a fire-safe cigarettes bill, which saved members thousands of dollars by extending the time they had to sell out non fire-safe cigarettes, and also worked with Sen. John Rafferty to craft a beer bill which would have allowed grocery stores to buy existing restaurant licenses, thus enabling them to sell beer.
For the last two years, St. John has been heavily involved with discussions at Pa.’s state capitol about privatization of the state store system, and he has worked actively to represent the interests of PFMA's 1,100-plus retail, wholesale distributors and associate members on the issue.
PFMA chairman Louie Sheetz, EVP of marketing at the eponymous Altoona, Pa. c-store chain, will lead a five-person committee to select St. John’s replacement by year-end.
“Randy’s success has been characterized by his thorough preparation for all assignments and his communication skills. He will consult with the association in 2013 to assist PFMA in implementing our legislative plan for the 2013-14 legislative session,” McCorkle said.