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Tom Wenning, EVP and general counsel for the National Grocers Association (NGA), will retire from the Arlington, Va.-based organization effective Dec. 31.
“It has been a real honor and privilege to be a legislative, regulatory and legal advocate on behalf of independent retail grocers and wholesalers for the last 40 years before Congress, presidential administrations, regulatory agencies, and the courts,” said Wenning (left). “NGA has grown ever stronger over the years in its advocacy on behalf of the independent sector, and I’ve been proud to be a part of that tradition.”
Wenning took on his current role at NGA when the National Association of Retail Grocers of the United States (NARGUS) and the Cooperative Food Distributors of America merged in October 1982. Before joining NGA he was a partner for nine years with his father-in-law, Henry J. Bison Jr., at the law firm of Bison and Wenning, which provided Washington, D.C., representation for NARGUS, the National Food Brokers Association and the National American Wholesale Grocers Association.
“There are probably only a handful of people who are as respected and admired both in Washington and throughout the food industry than Tom Wenning,” said NGA president and CEO Peter J. Larkin. “I’ve had the pleasure to call Tom a friend throughout my years in the industry, but it was not until I joined NGA that I had the honor to work beside him and witness firsthand the respect and admiration our members and so many in Washington have for him.”
During his tenure at NGA, Wenning has played a significant part in numerous legislative and regulatory initiatives, including the passage of the Federal Anti-Tampering Act in 1983 and the enactment of the 1986 Tax Reform Act. In 1990, he led the organization’s efforts before the Federal Trade Commission to preserve competitive rights for independent retail and wholesale grocers, and guided the migration from paper Food Stamps to EBT. In 2005, Wenning helped establish and develop the Merchants Payment Coalition and continues to head NGA’s fight for swipe fee reforms.