CGA President and CEO Ronald Fong, and Keri Askew Bailey, CGA senior vice president, Government Relations and Public Policy, were awarded the Food Marketing Institute’s Donald H. MacManus Award, the highest recognition for a state affairs executive,during FMI’s annual lobby day in Washington, DC, for their public affairs excellence. This is the first time two individuals from the same association have been honored in the same year.
“There is no one more worthy of this prestigious award than Ron Fong,” said CGA Chairman of the Board Joe Falvey, Unified Grocers, Inc. “His leadership and vision has brought CGA to the forefront of grocery associations. Keri Askew Bailey is also to be commended for leading CGA’s government relations team and implementing the association’s advocacy program. CGA congratulates both on a well-deserved award.”
Fong is a political strategist and his legislative alliances with state and national trade associations helped in defeating statewide legislation on GMO-labeling requirements and assisted in the passage of the first statewide bag usage law in 2014. He also led the association in its merger with the California Independent Grocers Association (CIGA), which united 179 independent grocers and suppliers with CGA’s existing membership. In his role as CEO, Fong oversees the association’s strategic direction and staff, which manages departments in government relations, communications, member services and business conferences.
“Ron Fong and Keri Askew Bailey exemplify the power of grassroots through their tireless efforts advocating on behalf of California retailers grocers on a multitude of state issues,” said FMI President Leslie Sarasin, “especially those issues related to the defeat of Proposition 37; fighting local sugarysugar-sweetened beverages drink warning labels and taxes; and passing a state-wide plastic bag bill with local preemption.”
Askew Bailey has worked on significant policy issues including Proposition 65; the Green Chemistry Initiative; attempts to curb deployment of assisted self-checkout technology in the state; and proposed state and local GMO- and sugar-sweetened beverage labeling. She has also worked to increase CGA’s visibility at the state Capitol and in local City Council and Board of Supervisors chambers across the stateand local government levels.
“Keri & Ron work tirelessly to advocate for California’s food retailers, suppliers and employees at the state, federal and local levels,” said CGA Government Relations Committee Chair Mary Kasper, Fresh & Easy. “CGA is deeply appreciative of their extraordinary vision and leadership.”
- “Recognizing Our Food Retail Public Affairs Leaders” by Pat Davis, Vice President of State Government Relations & Grassroots, Food Marketing Institute