Grocery Manufacturers Association has presented its 2013 Excellence in Government Affairs Award to Linda Doherty, president of the New Jersey Food Council (NJFC).

The award was presented by Mandy Hagan, VP of state affairs and grass roots for GMA, at the Council's annual membership meeting.

“For 20 years, Linda has worked tirelessly on behalf of her members and by extension GMA's membership, and of course the consumers of the state of New Jersey,” said Hagan. “Linda's leadership has been evident in every policy area in which GMA and our members have been active in New Jersey and she has worked to protect and enhance the well being and profitability of the retail and grocery industry of this state.  We particularly thank Linda for her friendship and cooperation on the many issues we and our members have faced in Trenton.”

In accepting the award, Doherty said, “We are committed to advancing our retailer and supplier partnerships on issues crucial to the food service industry, including a balanced GMO labeling policy, supply chain issues, product safety concerns, and consumer health and wellness.”

Doherty took a leadership role in the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy and helped to improve the response and recovery efforts of a devastated state, and it was for these efforts that she was recognized for this award. Doherty and NJFC continue to work with legislative leadership to craft and advance bills to improve resiliency.

Additionally, Doherty is a food sector representative on the New Jersey Infrastructure Advisory Committee, a part of the Governor’s Domestic Security Preparedness Task Force. Doherty has been instrumental in creating food safety and defense programs for NJFC members in conjunction with government partners. Among her successful partnerships, “Operation: Food Distribution,” enables members and homeland security and emergency management agencies to implement disaster recovery protocols, intelligence-sharing processes and to allow for a more efficient level of business continuity during a crisis.

Also at the meeting, Judith Spires, CEO of Kings Super Markets, was elected as the next chair of NJFC, succeeding Phil Scaduto, VP of Food Circus Supermarkets.