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LAS VEGAS - Some stories that emerged from the National Grocers Association (NGA) and IGA meetings here...

• IGA Inc. announced at its annual conference in las Vegas that its longtime chairman, Dr. Thomas S. Haggai, will become chairman emeritus, effective April 1. Mark Batenic, IGA’s president and CEO, will succeed Haggai and take on the additional title of chairman.


• IGA announced that Tyler Myers, president/CEO of The Myers Group, which operates six stores in the Pacific Northwest, has been named the organization's USA retailer of the year in recognition of "excellence in retailing and advancement of the IGA brand."


• Candice Lastimado of Seattle-based Metropolitan Markets, defeated 24 other Best Bagger competitors from across the nation to claim a grand prize of $10,000 and the title of the National Grocers Association (NGA) Best Bagger Champion.

Bethany Berger of Shaw's Supermarket in Vermont was awarded the second place prize of $5,000, and the third place prize of $1,000 went to Lauren Gillson of Lunds & Byerlys of Minnesota. Fourth and fifth place winners, winning $1,000 each, were Janessa Plummer of Plummer's Shop 'n Save in Maine and Nathan Toth of Martin's Super Markets in Indiana, respectively.


• IGA announced three recipients of the J. Frank Grimes Award, given in recognition for outstanding service to IGA. The recipients are John Mayer, corporate vice president of The J.M. Smucker Company; Larry Higdon, president of Ira Higdon Grocery; and Mary Helen Potts, long-time executive assistant to IGA Chairman Dr. Tom Haggai.
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