Food Council PAC to Honor Legislators and NJ Health Commissioner at Annual Good Government Breakfast
The Food Council Committee for Good Government (FCCfGG) will recognize Tom Cormier of Ahold USA as the recipient of the
2016 Good Government Award at its annual Good Government Breakfast on September 28th at Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township, New Jersey.
Presented annually to an industry leader who demonstrates excellence in public affairs advocacy, the Good Government Award is the most prestigious public policy recognition bestowed on a New Jersey food industry member.
“Tom regularly volunteers his time, expertise and experience with numerous issues facing our industry,” said NJFC President & CEO Linda Doherty. “He frequently travels to meetings all over the state to share that experience directly with legislators and provide support for our policy efforts.”
“Legislators, opinion makers and political leaders cannot evaluate the impact of every piece of legislation and regulation on the food industry unless we share with them our views and our unique knowledge and expertise on the issues,” Doherty continued. “Tom uniquely understands the impact that advocacy and political action have in fostering good government policies that support the food industry.”
Tom has 33 years of experience in the food retail industry and currently serves as Director of Government Affairs for Ahold USA, which operates supermarkets in 12 states as well as on-line grocery home delivery businesses, such as Peapod for Stop and Shop. Tom is active with a number of state and national trade associations and business groups, including the Food Marketing Association and the National Retail Federation, which advocate on behalf of the retail food industry. Tom lives in Glenelg, Maryland with his wife, Kathy, and their two sons, Kyle and Branden.
The FCCfGG will also honor Senator Jeff Van Drew (D-1) and Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-16) as Legislators of the Year for their efforts in support of the New Jersey food industry. Additionally, New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Cathleen Bennett will be presented with the Thomas W. Kelly Government Service Award.
“Senator Van Drew and Assemblyman Ciattarelli have both been strong advocates for the food industry in Trenton, supporting policies that help grow our businesses while opposing harmful tax increases,” said Doherty. “Now more than ever, it is extremely critical that we have strong allies on both sides of the aisle like Jeff and Jack, ensuring the voice of the food industry is heard in Trenton.”
Senator Jeff VanDrew is in his third term in representing the first Legislative District which includes Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland Counties in the New Jersey State Senate. Over the last 3 years, Senator Van Drew boasts the top legislative score of any New Jersey Democrat on issues important to our industry according to FCCfGG’s internal scorecard. In fact, this year Senator Van Drew was one of only a handful of Democrats in Trenton to break with his party and oppose a $15 minimum hourly wage.
In 2011, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli was elected to represent the 16th Legislative District in the General Assembly in a district that includes towns in Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset Councies. Since he first entered the Legislature, Assemblyman Ciattarelli has been an ally of the food industry, and to the business community overall, sponsoring multiple bills supported by the Food Council and accumulating one of the highest overall legislator scores on the annual FCCfGG internal scorecard. Last session, Assemblyman Ciattarelli worked with the Food Council and our other coalition members to advocate for a State Legislative Resolution in support of a national standard for GMO labeling rather than onerous and confusing state standards.
Additionally, FCCfGG will present New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Cathleen Bennett with the Thomas W. Kelly Government Service Award. The award is named after the Food Council’s former colleague, the late Tom Kelly, who served in state government as the Superintendent of Weights and Measures before joining the Food Council.
“We’re pleased to recognize Commissioner Bennett with the 2016 Thomas W. Kelly Government Service Award,” said Doherty. “Her insight into working with food retailers to further support WIC clients has been exceptional. We’re grateful to the Commissioner for her leadership, accessibility and understanding of the important role food stores play in keeping New Jersey communities healthy.”
Cathleen Bennett began serving as Commissioner of the Department of Health on August 3, 2015 after serving as Director of Policy and Strategic Planning since 2010. As head of the Policy and Strategic Planning, she directed strategic public health and healthcare delivery initiatives.
Since its formation, the FCCfGG has been instrumental in promoting good relations between elected officials, candidates for office, and the food industry. NJFC members have the ability to learn about the ideas and opinions of their leaders and candidates on a number of issues which may impact their businesses, as well as communicate their views on important issues to the candidates for public office.
To register for the event, or for more information, please contact Kori Little-Buro at email@example.com or by phone at 609-392-8899.
The New Jersey Food Council is the Garden State’s preeminent trade association representing 1,200 retail food stores, wholesalers, manufacturing and service companies that collectively employ more than 200,000 associates in NJ. For more information, visit www.njfoodcouncil.com.