VOL. 24 NO. 1

Don’t Underestimate Your Connections! By Kathy Kuzava, GFIA President

voters, especially those in the metro Atlanta area, will see new names on their ballots due to redistricting. For me personally, I

advantage in the state Senate and a 102-78 advantage in the state House. (US Senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, both Democrats, are not up for election this year.)

It’s also a good way to see what we can anticipate in the future. Although Georgia continues to pass pro-business legislation, the most disappointing aspect of the 2024 legislative session is not passing meaningful tort reform. Although the business community came together in a more cohesive way than I can remember, the billboard trial attorneys and their lobbying were stronger. So, I end this column by asking - Who do you know? Please call me to let me know! (Thank you to Kris Jonczyk and John Gehring for gen erously hosting the diamond breakfast! Dates on future dia mond events will be announced in the near future.) Pages Legislative Reception....... 2-4 Legislative Update............ 5-9 GFIA Convention............. 13-15 Education Foundation..... 16-18 New Member Spotlight.... 20-21 Spring Golf....................... 22-27 INSIDE This Edition

P olitics, just like the gro cery business, is a people business. In politics, it’s all about connections. The con nections you have may be more important to our indus try than you know. At a recent Diamond Sponsor Breakfast held at the Publix corporate office, I found out that one of our diamond spon sors has strong connections to a few influential senators. Another is the brother of a city manager of a growing rural city. During a visit to the GFIA office, one supplier mentioned that a house of representatives member was building a home in his subdivision. 2024 is an election year for many races. Many Georgia

am in a new House and Senate district as well as a newly drawn federal congressional district. As you read this article, the May 21st primary election may be over. (If necessary, a runoff is scheduled for June 18th.) The General election will be held November 5th. Out of Georgia’s 236 state leg islative seats, 23 senators and 70 representatives will have no opposition this year. Currently, Georgia Republi cans hold a 9-5 advantage in Congressional seats, a 33-23

You can find information on your district and a sample ballot at the Georgia Secretary of State’s My Voter Page The GFIA team can answer any questions you have. We have included a legislative wrap up of the 2024 Georgia session in this issue. Even if you are not interested in poli tics, looking at the issues that passed (and those that did not pass) gives you an insight on the priorities for legislators.

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“The Voice of the Food Industry in Georgia”

LEGISLATIVE NEWS GFIA Kicks Off the 2024 Session with Its Annual Legislative Reception On Tuesday, January 23rd, the Georgia Food Industry Association, along with the Georgia Beverage Association, held the Thirteenth Annual Legislative Reception. GFIA members met with their legislators to talk about important issues facing our industry. Many thanks to the legislators, and all our members who attended the reception, helping GFIA to strengthen its voice at the state capitol.

Eric Bone, Angel Ojeda, Kerry Hitchcock, Wayfield Foods; Mark Lord, Flowers Foods

Kat Florence and Steve Smith, Publix Super Markets

Verlin Reece, Quality Foods; Commissioner Tyler Harper; Rep. Alan Powell; Warren Brown, Quality Foods

Joseph Carden, Alfred Williams, PepsiCo Beverages NA.; Senator Russ Goodman; Teross Young, Food Lion

Greg Edenfield, Wayfield Foods; Commissioner Tyler Harper; Kathy Kuzava, GFIA; Kerry Hitchcock, Wayfield Foods

Stan Dilworth, Dill’s Food City; Warren Brown, Quality Foods; Darrell Wiley, J & J Foods

Bryan Minnick, Imperial Dade; Tom Adams, Mike Litz, Robert Ford, Brent Beikmann, Publix Super Markets

Attorney General Chris Carr; Nick Economos, Caryn Woolley, Eagle Rock Dist.

Demarcius Franklin, Jackson Mitchell, Jarrett Smith, Little Giant Farmer’s Market


“The Voice of the Food Industry in Georgia”


Chris Paulk, Paulk Vineyards; Rep. Kimberly New; Don Humphries, Paulk Vineyards

Senator Sam Watson and Tom Coogle, Reynolds Foodliner

John and William Triplett, B & T Enterprises with Senator Max Burns

Lindsay Koch, Koch & Assoc. Food Brokerage; Victor Smith, The Kroger Co.

Taylor Bussell, Federated Insurance; Keith Milligan, JTM Corp. (Piggly Wiggly)

Speaker Jon Burns; Kat Florence, Publix Super Markets

Kerry Hitchcock, Wayfield Foods; Victor Smith, The Kroger Co.; Alfred Williams, PepsiCo Beverages NA

Abbie Whitemire; Attorney General Chris Carr; Crawford Jones, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. UNITED; Tom Coogle, Reynolds Foodliner; Senator Carden Summers

Stan Dilworth, Dill’s Food City; Senator Frank Ginn

Victoria Richardson, The Kroger Co.; Cody Elder, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. UNITED

Keith Milligan, JTM Corp. (Piggly Wiggly); Rep. Carolyn Hugley

Verlin Reece, Quality Foods and Rep. Lauren McDonald

GFIA Chairman Greg Crook, Crook’s Inc.; Micky Nye, MDI; Michael Gay, FoodFresh

Andre White, Wayfield Foods; Rep. Dewey McClain


“The Voice of the Food Industry in Georgia”


Joshua Lathum, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. UNITED; Jamey Leseueur, Food Depot; Rep. Danny Mathis; Jack Carlile, UNFI

Speaker Jon Burns ; Kris Jonczyk, Publix Super Markets

Teross Young, Food Lion; Micky Nye, MDI; Mark Lord, Flowers Foods

Rep. Karen Bennett and Greg Edenfield, Wayfield Foods

Alfred Williams, PepsiCo Beverages NA; Rep. Rick Jasperse

GA Agriculture Commissioner Tyler Harper; Chris Paulk, Paulk Vineyards

Darrell and Emily Wiley, J & J Foods; Darryl Miller, Associated Wholesale Grocers

John Gehring and Kat Florence, Publix Super Markets

Lindsay Koch, Koch & Assoc. Food Brokerage; Rep. Terry Cummings; Jamey Leseueur, Food Depot

Tai Lynch, Ole Mexican Foods; Commissioner Tyler Harper; Greg Edenfield, Wayfield Foods

Redondo Masslieno and Jason Fleetham, Bimbo Bakeries USA

William Triplett, B & T Enterprises; Speaker Jon Burns; John Triplett, B & T Enterprises

John Triplett, B & T Enterprises; Verlin Reece, Quality Foods; Victor Smith, The Kroger Co.; Kathy Kuzava, GFIA; William Triplett, B & T Enterprises

Troy Robinson, Walmart; Senator Nicki Merrit; Limark Tucker, Walmart; Senator Sonya Halpern


“The Voice of the Food Industry in Georgia”

LEGISLATIVE NEWS 2024 Legislative Session Review T he 40th day of Georgia’s 2024 legislative session ended just before 1:00 am on Friday, March 29th. This year marks the end of the two year term of office for state legislators. As expected, there was a flurry of activity on those last days, with bills passing like ping pong balls between the two chambers, looking for agreement between the House and Senate. If the two sides didn’t agree to the changes made by the other chamber, a conference committee was appointed to work out a compromise. The conference committee report went back to each chamber for ANOTHER vote. It’s actually amazing that anything gets passed! Over the past two sessions, more than 2,000 bills were introduced, and our legislative team tracked 255 pieces of legislation for our industry. Governor Brian Kemp has 40 days to decide whether to sign or veto a bill that has been passed. After 40 days with no action, a bill passed by the legislators becomes law.

Budget The budget is the only piece of legislation constitutionally man dated to be addressed each session, and sometimes the House and Senate disagree on priorities until the very end. The conference committee report on HB916, which is the general appropriations bill for the FY 2025 budget, passed in the last hour of the session. Status: Passed Republicans are proud of the “kitchen sink” issues that were included in this year’s budget, like tax cuts and teacher raises. Democrats were disappointed that some of their biggest issues, such as expanding Medicaid, were not included. Retailers were happy to see over $1.4M included that will establish an Organized Retail Crime and Cyber Prosecution Unit within the Attorney General’s office. Data Privacy SB 473, by Sen John Albers (R-Roswell) is the data privacy bill that creates a unique state framework for the collection, sale, and transfer of consumer data. Status: Did NOT pass Swipe Fees on Sales Tax After immense resistance from the banking industry, retailers were glad to see the passage of HR 1135, by Rep. Todd Jones (R-For syth), which creates the House Swipe Fee Study Committee. The committee will study the impact of electronic transaction costs to Georgia merchants and consumers, with a specific focus on de termining whether merchant discount fees should be imposed on the state tax portion of a transaction and the impact that these fees on tax portions of transactions have on the businesses that collect taxes on behalf of Georgia. Status: Passed Last year, SB126, by Sen. Billy Hickman (R-Statesboro) was in troduced to eliminate the interchange fees paid on Georgia’s sales tax. The bill was formally withdrawn from consideration early this Session. Status: Did NOT pass

Hemp / Tobacco / Vape / Kratom Several committee meetings were spent addressing the problem of access to vape, Kratom, and consumable hemp products. HB1260, by Rep. Houston Gaines (R-Athens), would have created a vape directory, similar to the tobacco directory. Although the bill passed the House and Senate Regulated Industries Committee, the bill ran out of time for full passage in the Senate. The Department of Revenue would have been responsible for the directory and enforcement. After robust conversation regarding products, litigation, and the FDA process, this issue is far from over. Status: Did NOT pass HR 1283, by Rep. Alan Powell (R-Hartwell), creates the House Study Committee on Safety and Consumer Protection of Nicotine Vapor Products. The committee will be composed of five house members who will study the industry and make recommendations for the upcoming session. Status: Passed SB 494, by Sen. Sam Watson (R-Moultrie), “The Georgia Hemp Farming Act”, will now regulate consumable hemp products. The bill makes consumable hemp age restricted in the same manner as alcohol and tobacco (21 years of age and older), including requiring specific signage. The bill further creates annual licensing requirements for retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers that wish to sell consumable hemp products, which includes fees and penalties for violations. Finally, the bill prohibits the selling or advertising of any consumable hemp products that are “attractive to children.” Status: Passed HB 181, by Sen. Sam Watson (R-Moultrie), restricts the sale of Kratom to anyone under 21, prohibits kratom in vapor form, restricts placement of kratom to either behind a counter or in a secured display only accessible by store personnel, offers a fine structure for violations, establishes a concentration ratio, and sets parameters around the processing, packaging and labeling of Kratom. Status: Passed Gaming/COAM HB 353, by Rep. Alan Powell (R-Hartwell), related to Coin Operated Amusement Machines (COAM), increases the amount


“The Voice of the Food Industry in Georgia”


by 1.5% that both master licensees and retailers pay to the GA Lottery to support Hope and PreK. The bill also legalizes the use of nonreloadable gift cards until July 1, 2026, after which all re demption shall be any of the following: replays, lottery products, or gift cards -- be them reloadable or nonreloadable. Also allows masters or retailers to provide a self-service gift card machine for the purpose of redeeming winnings on a gift card. Status: Passed Organized Retail Crime SB472, by Sen. John Albers (R-Roswell), amends the organized retail crime bill (INFORM Consumers Act) that passed last year by tweaking the language related to online sales and 3rd party sellers to include the companies that facilitate offline transactions. An example would be Facebook Marketplace. SB472 is another attempt by Georgia legislators reduce the loss from organized retail crime. Status: Passed Tort Reform SB186, by Sen. Greg Dolezal (R-Cumming), was the Senate premise liability bill supported by the business community. Known as the Georgia Landowners Protection Act, the legislation would protect landowners by not holding them liable for injuries sustained by trespassers due to the willful, wanton or intentional conduct of third parties. Although the bill passed the Senate Insur ance and Labor Committee, it did not have enough support for a full Senate vote. Status: Did NOT pass SB 430, by Sen. Greg Dolezal (R-Cumming), removes the sign requirements for the COVID liability protections. Status: Passed SB 426, by Sen. Blake Tillery (R-Vidalia), is also known as Direct Action Reform. The bill clarifies that insurers may only be named defendants in motor carrier lawsuits when either the truck driver or trucking company cannot be served with a lawsuit or are found to be insolvent or bankrupt. Status: Passed

guidelines for insurers to satisfy in order to prevent unfounded “bad faith” claims, which allow for recovery beyond the insurers’ policy limits. Status: Passed HB 1114, by Rep. Will Wade (R-Dawsonville), is Governor Kemp’s “Data Analysis for Tort Reform Act”. The bill allows the Department of Insurance to collect data from certain insurers, rating organizations, and state agencies from July 2024 through November 2029 and is intended to provide legislators with com prehensive data to drive future tort reform conversations. Status: Passed HB 1371, by Rep. James Burchett (R-Waycross), addresses the issue of Premises Liability reform, and would make limited changes to civil procedure in negligent security cases. After inten sive work, attempted negotiations, and lots of blood, sweat and tears by the entire business community, all the way up to the 11th hour, premises liability legislation did not pass this year. In the final hours, the business community opposed the final language. Status: Did NOT pass Tax Reform Businesses were happy to see a reduction in the state’s flat corporate tax and an increase in the ad valorem tax exemption. Although not business-related, several tax reform bills passed that will lower individual taxes for our employees, our customers and ourselves. All the tax bills listed below have Passed. HB 808, by Rep. Mike Cheokas (R-Americus), increases the state ad valorem tax exemption for tangible personal property from $7,500 to $20,000 for small businesses. HB 1023, by Rep. Bruce Williamson (R-Monroe), reduces the state’s flat corporate income tax rate from 5.75% to match the personal income tax rate.

SB 83, by Sen. Kim Jackson (D-Stone Mountain) is also known as Insurance Bad Faith Reform. The bill clarifies the procedures for automobile collision insurance demands and establishes HB 1015, by Rep. Lauren McDonald (R-Cumming), reduces the personal income tax rate, by accelerating the reduction of the state’s personal income tax by ten basis points from 5.49% to 5.39%, effective for the 2024 tax year (Scheduled to be reduced to 4.99% by 2029) HB 1019, by Rep. Matt Reeves (R-Duluth), increases the state wide homestead exemption from $2,000 to $4,000. 2024 ELECTION DATES – MARK YOUR CALENDAR! Immediately upon conclusion of the legislative session, election / campaign season officially began. Given that sitting legislators are prohibited from raising funds during the session, the election fundraising circuit is in full swing! Important election dates to be aware of include: • May 21, 2024 Primary Election • June 18, 2024 Primary runoff election if needed • November 5, 2024 General Election • December 3, 2024 General Election runoff if needed


“The Voice of the Food Industry in Georgia”


HB 1021, by Rep. Lauren Daniel (R-Locus Grove), increases the child tax deduction from $3,000 to $4,000 per child. HB 581, by Rep. Shaw Blackmon, (R-Bonaire) caps how much home assessments may be increased and allows local governments to use revenue from a 1-cent sales tax hike to offset the lower property taxes. Transportation HB 617 , by Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper), develops & maintains a statewide freight and logistics implementation plan. There is notable language directing the department to look at “projects of significant economic impact.” Status: Passed SB 203, by Sen. Jason Anavitarte (R-Dallas), provides tuition-free CDL training for veterans. Status: Passed HB 516, by Rep. Derrick McCullum (R-Chestnut Mountain), involves the taxation on the sale of electricity for electric vehicles. The implementation date will be extended to Jan. 1, 2026. This replaced the original bill HB 1312. Status: Passed General Business HB 1073, by Rep. Dale Washburn (R- Macon), passed on the last day of the session with language that prohibits local governments from requiring any retailer that sells gas to install cameras. Sta tus: Passed

HB 206, by Rep. Steven Sainz (R-St.Marys), is a voluntary financing structure, known as C-PACE, in which commercial building owners borrow money for energy efficiency, renewable energy, or other projects and make payments via an assessment on their property tax bill. The financing agreement remains with the property even if it is sold, aiding in the facilitation of long-term investments in building performance. Status: Passed HB1073, by Rep. Washburn (R-Macon), is a perfect example of language added in the final hours of the session. The bill restricts a municipality’s ability to create video surveillance ordinances for retail establishments that sell gasoline. The bill would also allow Sunday sales for consumption on the premises in locally designat ed special entertainment districts. Status: Passed SB370, by Sen. Mike Hodges (R-Brunswick), requires that human trafficking signage be posted in convenience stores and medical offices. Because the bill does not include a definition of medical office, companies with pharmacies and clinics will need to watch for more details. Status: Passed Health/Pharmacy HB 546, by Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper), would have allowed a pharmacist to “adapt” a prescription drug in certain circumstanc es. Status: Did NOT pass HB1072, by Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta), creates a drug repository for needy families, and added language from SB 491


“The Voice of the Food Industry in Georgia”


Food Insecurity • Creation of Food Insecurity Council or Study Committees (SB177, HR185, HR1564) • Healthy Food Development Programs to include grants and tax extentives (HB570, HB321 HR1566) Interchange Fees Does not allow retail to charge surcharge fee greater than the actual transaction fee Labeling • Menstrual products (HB258) • Food service establishments (restaurants) must label cell culti vated or plant-based products (HB908) Labor Mandates • Minimum wage increase to $15 per hour (HB 241, SB25) • Mandated Paid Sick Leave (HB 78) • Allows employees to obtain entire personnel record (HB980) • Creates right of action for discrimination regarding protected hairstyles (SB82) (HR1208) • Creates right of action if employers do not make reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees. (SB 283) • Clean air standards in new construction (HB149) Public Assistance • Increases TANF (cash assistance) lifetime maximum (HB565)

by Sen. Brass (R-Newnan) that authorizes the Board of Pharmacy to increase the ratio of pharmacy technicians to pharmacists for closed-door pharmacies (not open to the public). Status: Passed SB 198, was stripped of its original language and used to pass some of the language that would require pharmacy benefits managers (PBM’s) under State Health Benefit Plan, a PBM shall reimburse an independent pharmacy in an amount not less than the average amount reimbursed for chain pharmacies. Status: Passed The following bills did NOT pass during the last two years. It is very useful to see the issues that are important to legislators, and we expect to see them again. Alcohol • Expanded alcohol delivery areas - Bills expanding delivery to within 25 miles of local establish ment (HB170, SB194) - Allowing brewers to deliver to retailers within 100 miles (HB407) • Expanded number of alcohol licenses from two to six (SB215) Cash Mandates • Requires brick and mortar retailers to accept cash (HB940) (SB548) Data Privacy (SB473)

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Contact Information •New Account Managers

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“The Voice of the Food Industry in Georgia”


It takes a Village, and YOU Can Help! WHO DO YOU KNOW? As you can see from the many issues that matter to our industry, we can use all the help we can get! Please let us know if you have any governmental connections at the local, state or federal level. Invite your elected official to your store or facility for a tour, not just for a grand opening or a remodel. THANK THEM for their service! Show off your beautiful produce department and your delicious bakery and deli. Tour your production floor and tell them how many people you employ in their district. Introduce your management team. Talk about the challenges you face and how increased regulations can hurt your business. Discuss how inflation and increased lawsuits bring barriers to doing business in Georgia and the need for meaningful tort reform! Want to get to know your local legislators? We would be happy to help you set up a store or company tour. Give us a call at (770) 438-7744!

Pharmacy • Allows pharmacist to modify a prescription in certain circumstances (HB546) Sales Tax / Sales Tax Holidays

• Remove sales tax on oral hygiene products (HB345) • Remove sales tax on children’s products- (HB1354) • Remove sales tax on some children and senior products- (SB372) • Back to school sales tax holiday (HB1171, SB527, SB555) Solid Waste/Recycling • Outlaws the use of most single use plastic bags or items made of polystyrene foam (SB 49) Swipe Fees • Prohibits sales tax from being charged on interchange fees (SB126) • Senate swipe fee study committee (SR677) Tobacco/Vape/Hemp • Tobacco and vape tax increase (HB191, HB192, SB539) • Creates vape directory (HB1260) Tort Reform • Premise Liability (SB186, HB1371)

All brands are property of their respective owners. ©2024


“The Voice of the Food Industry in Georgia”


Once again, the GFIA stocked and hosted a variety of snacks, fruit, coffee, and tea in the senate anteroom every day during the legislative session. Georgia senators always count on our association to give them the energy they need to get through some long days. Thanks to the following Georgia Food Industry Association members who provided product or contributed money to purchase supplies during this year’s session: GFIA Members Once Again Feed Our Hungry Legislators!

Don Francisco’s Coffee Mondelez International

Nam Dae Mun Farmers Market Publix Super Markets, Inc.

Senators Russ Goodman, Tim Bearden and Derrick Mallow showing off a choice of Mondelez goodies.

Senators Freddie Powell Sims, Matt Brass and Tonya Anderson are all smiles after finishing off another Cutie orange.

Senator Ed Harbison shows off his choice of Belvitas.

Senator Max Burns starts his morning with a delicious cup of Don Francisco’s Coffee.

Senator Ben Watson starts each day with a piece of fruit, courtesy of Publix Super Markets.

Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones needs a grocery cart full of oranges to get through some LONG days at the capitol

Would you like to be a part of next year’s donations? Give Kim Peterson a call!


“The Voice of the Food Industry in Georgia”



Food Industry for Good Government We thank the following members for their commitment to our political efforts!

Platinum Level: $10,000 + Publix Super Markets, Inc.

Diamond Level: $5,000 + Quality Foods, Inc. Gold Level: $5,000 + Nam Dae Mun Farmers Market Wayfield Foods, Inc.

Silver Level: $1,000 +

J.T.M. Corporation (Piggly Wiggly) McDaniels Piggly Wiggly RBG Foods

Food Depot Food Lion LLC J&J Foods, Inc.

Bronze Level: $250 +

Adams Food Center Austell International Farmers Market Crook’s, Inc.

Ira Higdon Grocery Company Jones Red & White Little Giant Farmer’s Market Piggly Wiggly Alabama Dist. Co.

Dill’s Food City, Inc. Ellaville Piggly Wiggly Foodfresh Harvest Sherwood Foods

PMA Supermarkets, Inc. Reynolds Foodliner, Inc. UNFI West Foods, Inc.

Club Level: $25 + C&Js Supermarket


“The Voice of the Food Industry in Georgia”


Who Will Win Gold at This Year’s Best Bagger Contest? Baggers throughout the state are competing in their company’s best bagger races to see who comes out on top. Winners from each company will attend the GFIA convention in July to compete for the Georgia state title, and a chance to win the national competition at NGA’s contest in Las Vegas.

This year’s baggers are from - B&T Grocery Food City The Kroger Company Publix Super Markets Quality Foods RBG Foods

Kroger’s Agnesa Baftija placed fifth in the national bagger contest at The NGA Show in Las Vegas.

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GFIA Members @ The National Grocers Association celebrated another successful show in Las Vegas, and many GFIA members took advantage of the education and networking provided. After hearing a shrink presentation from Nick Lenzi, SVP of Marketing for Lipari Foods, we picked up a speaker for the GFIA event!

GFIA Treasurer Greg Edenfield, Wayfield Foods and GFIA Chairman Greg Crook, Crook’s Inc.

Bobby Watkins, MDI; Kathy Kuzava, GFIA; Clark Stephens, Quality Foods; Michael Gay, Claxton Foodfresh

GFIA board member Stan Dilworth with upcoming GFIA speaker Nick Lenzi, Lipari Foods

GFIA Chairman Greg Crook, Crook’s Inc. and Brandon Barrow, Bunzl

11 Cremil TM Authentic French Frozen Yogurt y 0n\inea t �


“The Voice of the Food Industry in Georgia”


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“The Voice of the Food Industry in Georgia”


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“The Voice of the Food Industry in Georgia”


The GFIA Education Foundation opened 2024 with another record setting number of scholarships available to GFIA members – 167 scholarships worth $242,250 were funded for the 2024-25 program! Since 1996, the Georgia Food Industry Education Foundation (GFIEF) has provided over $2.3 million in scholarships to deserving students in our industry. Awards are provided directly to students employed, or whose parents are employed, by GFIA members.

The 2024 application window has closed but will reopen January 1, 2025. This year, 254 completed applications have been judged, and winners will be announced later this month. Applications represent ALL categories of GFIA members. The scholarship program is a great employee benefit! This year, Ole Mexican Foods joined our Piggyback program to offer $50,500 of awards to their employees, and Nam Dae Mun doubled the number of awards offered to their associates. If you are interested in creating a program for your employees, give us a call! The Foundation provides all the administration for your program FREE as a member benefit. All you do is fund the awards. WHO APPLIED FROM YOUR COMPANY? Customized lists of applicants are available to all members during the application period. Many companies use the list to follow up with applicants to ensure completed applications. Email Nancy McPherson for a list of all complete and incomplete applications associated with your company this year. We will help you promote the program and increase participation for next year. You Make It Possible! Thank you to all the GFIA members who support the Foundation through fundraisers such as the spring golf tournament, silent auction, wine pull and raffles. Each of you make these awards possible! Together, we are directly impacting the lives of students associated with the food industry.


“The Voice of the Food Industry in Georgia”


PIGGYBACK AWARD FUNDERS 119 PIGGYBACK AWARDS WORTH $167,000 FUNDED The GFIA members below “piggyback” on the Scholarship Program by funding awards for their employees through the GFIA. Company awards range from $500 to $5,000 each, and the number of awards funded varies by company. Let’s add your company to the list next year!

Piggly Wiggly Alabama Dist. Co. Publix Super Markets Quality Foods RBG Foods Reynolds Foodliner Wayfield Foods

Ira Higdon Grocery Company J & J Foods The Kroger Company Milkco Nam Dae Mun Farmers Market Ole Mexican Foods PepsiCo Beverages North America

B & T’s Grocery Diaz Foods Dill’s Food City Food Depot Food Lion Freshway Market & Giant Mart Foods


Sponsored awards are funded by GFIA associate or wholesale members for the benefit of their retail / wholesale customers. Sponsored awards are available to all GFIA member company employees (and their dependent children) who meet the estab lished award criteria. Funding a sponsored award in the name of your company is a great way to support your customers.

Anheuser-Busch, Inc. & The GA Wholesaler Family Blue Bell Creameries Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED, Inc. GFIA FOUNDATION AWARDS In addition to Piggyback and Sponsored Awards, the Foundation funds a variety of general awards and memorial awards. Foundation awards are available to all GFIA member company employees (and their dependent children) who meet the established award criteria. Thank you to the GFIA members who support the Foundation through fundraisers such as the spring golf tournament, silent auction, wine pull and raffles. Each of you make these awards possible! Together, we are directly impacting the lives of students associated with the food industry.

Linea Private Wealth Management PepsiCo Beverages North America

In addition to our fundraisers, Foundation awards are also made possible by: $15,000 grant from Publix Super Markets Charities $31,000 contribution from a joint effort between Kroger, Publix and Georgia Crown $10,000 grant from Walmart Foundation


“The Voice of the Food Industry in Georgia”


This year, mobile bidding opens on Wednesday, July 3rd so start shopping with family and friends during the July 4th holiday!

Visit the GFIA website for links and info about the auction and our other fundraisers, or download the GFIA app.

Take a sneak peek at all the auction items before the Opening Night Party on Thursday. We open the doors for an auction preview from noon – 4:00 pm in the ballroom.

SUPER RAFFLE $20 PER TICKET STOCK THE BAR Package Valued at $2,100 Limit of 200 tickets sold Donated by:

SUPER RAFFLE PACKAGES Each year, we offer packages worth over $2,000 with a limited number of tickets available to make it easier to win! Watch for updates on this year’s packages in our weekly emails and on the GFIA website and app. WINE PULL

NAME: SUPER RAFFLE $20 PER TICKET COOKOUT PARTY PACKAGE Package Valued at $1,000 Limit of 100 tickets sold Donated by: ™

_____________________________________ COMPANY NAME:

_____________________________________ PHONE NUMBER:



_____________________________________ COMPANY NAME:

_____________________________________ PHONE NUMBER:


Everyone wins! Draw a cork and win a bottle of wine worth over $25.

CASH RAFFLE Traditional cash raffle tickets will be sold by trustees before and during the convention. Three lucky winners will win cash prizes each night of

convention - $500, $1,000, and $1,500. You do not have to be present to win.


“The Voice of the Food Industry in Georgia”






If you have an event you want to share, let us know!

COMING SOON! The trustees are collecting donations and ideas for super raffle packages. We are also working on experience packages to auction off to the highest bidder. Below are some of the ideas we are working on – share yours with John Gehring, Kerry Hitchcock, Rich Flaherty or a GFIA staff member.

• Join the Kroger team for an Atlanta United game in the Pepsi suite • Quirch Foods & Abbott Shooting Preserve are offering quail hunting for 4 people • We are building a Nascar experience package – have any donations or ideas?

As the winning bidder for last year’s package, the Wayfield team enjoyed a full day of quail hunting at Abbott’s Preserve. Thanks go to David Bryan

of Quirch Foods for donating the trip!


“The Voice of the Food Industry in Georgia”

MEMBER NEWS Please Join Us in Welcoming These JOE SALONE

oxidants, vitamins and amino acids that support dopamine production. Dopamine is the ‘happy hormone’ that helps your mind stay focused, gives you more oomph and elevates your mood. But wait, there’s more…. it’s also non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic, non-GMO and has no artificial sweeteners.

(404) 343-2796

Since 2017, The Georgia Hemp Company is dedicated to delivering the highest quality hemp products while growing awareness of hemp through education and advocation. GHC is a collaboration of differing backgrounds uniting for a common cause—creating a higher quality of life. The Georgia Hemp Company is a steward for the continued sustainable growth of the hemp industry and to be successful in that effort, we’re always looking to expand our offerings. Every product we sell – foods, beverages, wellness products, ap parel and more – have been carefully vetted by our team for accuracy and quality.

JONATHAN ALEXANDER (561) 358 -1328

Mercatus drives digital transformation for retailers. With a comprehensive suite of connected commerce solutions, we enhance shopper engagement, personalization, and loyalty for retail businesses of all sizes. Our goal is to help retailers strengthen retention, attract customers, and drive omnichan nel growth. Embark on the digital transformation journey and unleash the full potential of your retail business with Merca tus.

BRIAN ROSEN (800) 336-7558


RiskLimiter by Gleason Technology is “A Platform for All Things Inspected” specializing in digitizing risk & operational inspections, focusing on workers comp, general liability, food safety & quality control auditing. RiskLimiter’s suite of appli cations creates a safer and more efficient working environ ment, mitigates risk, and eliminates human error. Our robust suite of products and real time cloud database is designed to be user-friendly and meet all the necessary demands for the retail food and hospitality industries.

In 2015, Nicholas Reichenbach saw a mountain of discarded plastic water bottles as he left Burning Man. Instead of just shaking his head at the problem, he resolved to find a solu tion. That’s how Flow was born. Since starting with a single family-owned artesian spring in Canada, Flow has grown rapidly. And our commitment to providing naturally alkaline, naturally delicious spring water without the plastic bottle has grown as well. As a Certified B Corporation, Flow meets the highest social and environmental standards. From our recyclable, 68-75% renewable packaging to our minimal use of natural resources, Flow is constantly working to provide sustainable hydration and to protect our planet for genera tions to come.

BEN MOTTESHEARD (678) 982-2411

Water Source One is a leading provider of Private Label Bot tled Water across the US for many of the nation’s leading re tailers. Water Source One also owns the leading infant water brand in the US, Nursery Water. We service retailers leading regional brands as well in both gallon and small package sizes, with Crystal Springs, Kentwood Springs, Sparklett’s, and Hinckley Springs among our most popular and long-last ing brands. Water Source One is a privately held company based in Austin, TX but deep roots in Georgia with the Crystal Springs brand.

STEVE GREANIAS (818) 970-8862

1st Phorm is a Nationwide leader in Sports Nutrition and is redefining the Better for You convenience category. Every product we develop is created with the mission to help real people get real long term results. Our Energy Drinks are powered with Natural Caffeine from Green Tea for Energy, a unique blend of Nootropics for Mental Focus, and an elec trolyte blend for physical performance. 1st Phorm not only delivers on ingredients but has a smooth taste that leaves customers wanting more! 1st Phorm has built a Nationwide customer base with over 1.2 Million followers on Instagram

KELLY GAGE-COLE (470) 385-9322

Illicit Elixirs is a new line of functional beverages made with real fruit juice, fizzy bubbles and a proprietary blend of anti


“The Voice of the Food Industry in Georgia”

MEMBER NEWS Companies to the GFIA Family

and a community that is dedicated to leading by example and making the world a better place! We can currently be found in Georgia in QuikTrip and Clipper and we are excited to be partnered with GFIA and growing in Georgia!

tures 100s of popular characters from children’s entertain ment. All these features and so many more make good2grow a delight for both kids and parents. good2grow We Make Smiles

JOSHUA JAUFMANN (585) 727-6831 HOP WTR is Positively Refreshment

JONATHAN RIZZI (770) 855-6946

We’re just a funny beverage company who hates corporate marketing as much as you do. Our evil mission is to make people laugh and get more of them to drink more healthy beverages more often, all while helping to kill plastic pollu tion.

in a can. Our products are consciously designed with ingre dients that improve our physical and mental states, making our drinks so much more than a healthy alternative to soda, beer, or a cocktail. We consider our beverages to be the liquid equivalent of a laugh with close friends, a breath of fresh air, or a day at the beach - bringing physical and emotional replenishment with each effervescent sip.

CHRIS PITMAN (716) 480-0744

Recover180 is serial beverage entrepreneur Lance Collins’s latest startup entry into the non-alc beverage space, adding the first USDA Certified Organic offering to the hydration cat egory. Through its balanced blend of electrolytes, zero sugar added, and no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners, it aims to offer something new for the hydration consumer. Based in Long Beach, CA and launched at the end of 2023, we are just beginning our journey!

The Farmer Companies CARLTON M. GOLDEN III (904) 540-5469

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KIRK SCHEIWE (404) 394-7808

Founded by husband-and-wife duo Stephen and Allison, poppi combines fruit juice, apple cider vinegar, and inulin prebiotics for a deliciously refreshing, full-of-flavor soda with benefits. With the help of an investment on Shark Tank, poppi has gone from farmer’s-market-favorite to sitting pretty on the shelves of thousands of retailers across the nation, including Publix, Target, Kroger, Walmart, 7 – Eleven & more.

JUSTIN SEARS (678) 232-8055


Horton’s Discount Meat & Seafood Giant Discount Foods -Warner Robbins

Giant Foods #2 – Unadilla Michael’s Market – Newton Thriftown Grocery – Bremen Food 4 Less - Albany

good2grow combines fun and nutrition to create better-for you drinks and snacks that kids can’t resist. Our product line contains juices, milks, and snacks available in all of kids’ favorite flavors. Every good2grow product is reusable and comes with a collectable, mess-free character top that fea


“The Voice of the Food Industry in Georgia”

SPRING GOLF “Swinging for Scholarships” Spring Golf Classic Raises Over $100,000 for GFIA’s Education Foundation The Education Foundation’s annual spring golf tournament is always a GFIA member favorite. Our Foundation trustees hosted over 370 golfers and sponsors at Mirror Lake Golf Club in April. Thanks go out to the sponsors, retailers, golfers, and volunteers who made the day a huge success!

This year’s Super Raffle packages – Dining & Concerts, Fore! The Ladies, and Golf – were wild ly popular and brought in a record $16,700!

Ole Mexican Foods - Hole In One Sponsor

GFIA retailers, wholesalers, and suppliers, we greatly appreciate your support of the 2024 Spring Golf Event and Fundraiser! Helping to provide scholarships for high-performing individuals within our industry is critical to developing the next gener

ation of industry leaders. We appreciate you all! Jake Powell – Coca-Cola Bottling Company, UNITED

A HUGE thank you goes out to all those who sponsored, played, or donated to our 2024 GFIA Spring Golf Tournament. As you all know, this money goes to our Education Foundation and will help many students in their studies. Your constant support of this event is noticed and very much appreciated! Rich Flaherty – The Kroger Company


“The Voice of the Food Industry in Georgia”

SPRING GOLF Special Thanks to Our Event Sponsors for Making the Spring Tournament a Success!

Hole In One Sponsor

Eagle Sponsor

Birdie Sponsor

Lunch Sponsor

Gold Sponsors

Anheuser-Busch, Inc. BeatBox Beverages Bimbo Bakeries USA Blue Bell Creameries Bogle Family Vineyards Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED Constellation Brands Beer Division Creature Comforts Brewing D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. Delta Community Credit Union Designer Greetings DIAGEO Beer Company Diaz Foods Don Francisco’s Coffee E & J Gallo Winery Eagle Rock Distributing Essentia Water Eternal Beverages

Federated Insurance Flowers Foods Frito-Lay The Georgia Hemp Company Graphic Media Solutions Great Lakes Cheese Heineken USA Keurig Dr Pepper Keurig Dr Pepper (Pepsi Aligned) Lewis Bakeries Matador Distributing / Red Bull mike’s hard lemonade Milo’s Tea Company Mitchell Grocery Corporation Molson Coors OxyShred Ultra Energy Drink Piggly Wiggly Alabama Distributing Co. Poppi

Pure Intentions Coffee Quirch Foods

Recovery Sports, LLC Reformation Brewery Sargento Savannah Distributing Scofflaw Brewing Sierra Nevada Sparkling Ice Stalmic Distributors SweetWater Brewing Company Tucker Brewing Company UNFI Uptime Energy

UTZ Snacks Warsteiner ZEN WTR

Silver Sponsor

Calypso Lemonade Cremily Frozen Yogurt Dutch Farms, Inc. Bunzl Distribution Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q Imperial Dade Mondelez International POSTEC, Inc.

Nam Dae Mun Farmers Market Riteway Sales & Marketing of GA

Bronze Sponsors

The Ricky Joy Company Spartan Chemical Springtime Water Tropicale Foods, LLC


“The Voice of the Food Industry in Georgia”

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