National Grocers Association Names Matthew R. Ott as COO Along with Several Other Leadership Promotions

Mon. January 11th, 2016
- by Jessica Donnel     

ARLINGTON, VA - With the new year comes a new leadership lineup for the National Grocers Association (NGA). The association has announced several staff promotions: Matthew R. Ott as COO, Greg Ferrara as SVP of Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs, Maggie Lyons as Senior Director of Government Relations, and Laura Strange as Senior Director of Communications and Marketing.

Peter J. Larkin, NGA President and CEO, National Grocers Association“Each of these individuals has extensive experience in their areas of expertise and provides NGA with immense knowledge that expands beyond the food industry,” explained Peter J. Larkin, NGA President and CEO. “They are great assets to this organization and I look forward to working with each as they continue to grow in their roles and work towards NGA’s goal to strengthen the independent supermarket industry.”

Matthew R. Ott, COO, National Grocers AssociationNew COO Matthew R. Ott, M.S., CAE, CMP has gained experience overseeing NGA’s membership, business development, partnership, and technology initiatives. In his new role, Ott will add responsibilities in NGA’s office operations and administration. In 2013, Ott was named one of six Association TRENDS Young and Aspiring Professionals and was one of the Association Forum of Chicagoland and USAE’s list of the top 40 Under Forty. Ott has also been recently recognized by BIZNOW as a member of the 2016 Trending 40: Association and Non-Profit Innovators. He is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire (M.S.) and George Mason University (B.S.), according to a press release.

Greg Ferrara, SVP of Government Relations and Public Affairs, National Grocers AssociationGreg Ferrara has been promoted to the role of SVP of Government Relations and Public Affairs. Ferrara will now serve as NGA’s chief lobbyist in addition to his previous responsibilities. Joining the NGA in November 2005, Greg brings a wealth of experience in the grocery industry, having managed the operations for his family’s century-old supermarket in New Orleans and working as a corporate project manager for Associated Grocers in Baton Rouge, LA. Ferrara was recognized in 2015 as one of Association TRENDS Leading Lobbyists, the NGA says. Greg holds a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola University New Orleans and is a fellow of the Institute of Politics at Loyola University.

NGA looks to ensure that independent retailers and wholesalers have the opportunity to succeed, acting as the association that represents the grocers that comprise the independent sector of the food distribution industry. To learn more, see the brief video below:

In addtion, Maggie Lyons is the new Senior Director of Government Relations, and will now be charged with the task of taking on an expanded role in managing NGA’s relationship with Congress and federal agencies to advance the organization’s legislative and regulatory priorities. Maggie will also be supervising NGA’s Grocers PAC political giving and fundraising strategy. Lyons came to NGA from her position as Deputy Chief of Staff for a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee. Lyons has also worked for a Washington-based think tank and served on the staff of a U.S. Senator, a press release explains. Lyons is a graduate of Elon University, with a Bachelor’s degree in Corporate Communications.

The new Senior Director of Communications and Marketing will now be Laura Strange, who is adding the responsibility of managing marketing for NGA events and programs. Strange joined NGA in the fall of 2013, following her role as Communications Director members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Appropriations Committee. Strange has also worked in the government affairs department for Yahoo! Inc., and in the communications and marketing division for another trade association. Laura has earned a Master’s degree in Public Relations from George Washington University, and a undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of South Carolina.

Look forward to new moves and initiatives from this crew in 2016 and beyond.

National Grocers Association