Longtime Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association president and CEO David McCorkle will soon hand over the reins to a new generation.
Alex Baloga, the association’s vice president for external relations, will succeed McCorkle on July 1.
The statewide trade association represents the views of convenience stores, supermarkets, independent grocers, wholesalers and consumer product vendors doing business in Pennsylvania. It has more than 800 corporate members who operate more than 3,200 retail food stores, with a workforce exceeding 150,000.
McCorkle joined PFMA in 1982. He served as the association’s executive director, government and public relations director until 1986, when he was appointed president and CEO.
His work over the years has touched on issues including beer and wine sales, cigarette pricing, fuel and item pricing, and workers’ compensation reform.
McCorkle also represented the association on the board of trustees for the Food Marketing Institute and the National Grocers Association, and served on the legislative policy committee for the National Association of Convenience Stores.
He also served as chair of Food Industry Association Executives and was a founding member of the Pennsylvania Dairy Stakeholders, serving as a director and chairman of the organization prior to its merger with The Pennsylvania Center for Dairy Excellence.
In 2016, PFMA merged with the Pennsylvania Distributors Association, retaining its name under McCorkle’s leadership.
“It’s been an honor to serve PFMA members and the food industry,” said McCorkle, who will become an emeritus staff member. “I have had great support from the board and staff through the years and I am thankful for the many great friends I have made in the industry.”
Successor Baloga joined the association in 2013 as director of government relations.
He was promoted to director of government and public relations in 2014 and to vice president of external relations in 2015.
Baloga previously worked as regional manager for U.S. Sen. Robert Casey’s office; deputy finance director for Casey’s re-election campaign, and as an associate lobbyist for Greenlee Partners LLC.
“It’s been an honor to serve PFMA members and the food industry,” McCorkle said. “I have had great support from the board and staff through the years and I am thankful for the many great friends I have made in the industry.”
Board leadership changes
In other news, Jeffrey Brown, president and CEO of Brown’s Super Stores, Westville, N.J., was elected to serve as association chairman during the board of directors meeting on May 9 in Hershey.
Brown, who operates 11 ShopRites and one The Fresh Grocer in Philadelphia, will lead the board of directors to develop the association’s policies and agenda for the next two years.
“We are pleased to have Jeff Brown lead our board of directors for the next two years,” McCorkle said. “He is a very well-respected member of the business community who will be able to get the members’ views communicated to lawmakers.”
Brown is joined on the executive committee by vice chairman Richard Wood III, director of government relations and sustainability, Wawa Inc.; treasurer Thomas Cormier, director of government affairs, Ahold USA; and secretary Frank Puleo, vice president, retail marketing and services, C&S Wholesale Grocers.
PFMA also elected three new members to its board of directors: Joseph McGinn, senior manager of public affairs, Sunoco Inc.; Rick Maier, senior vice president, Bunzl Northeast Region; and Frank Orloski, Jr., president, Core-Mark, Pennsylvania Division.