WASHINGTON — The Grocery Manufacturers Association here said it will present its first-ever Leadership in Public Policy Award to George W. Koch, who headed GMA for 24 years, and will name the award in his honor going forward.

Koch (pronounced “Cook”) headed the organization from 1966 until 1990 and led its conversion from club-like organization of sales managers based in New York to a public policy-focused group led by top executives, with its headquarters here in the nation’s capital.

“GMA brought me in with two goals: to convert the association into an organization that could handle public policy, and to become an organization run by CEOs,” Koch told SN in a 2008 interview.


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Asked how GMA had dealt with Congress earlier, Koch replied, “GMA wasn’t dealing with Congress at all, except on a crisis basis. But you don’t run a business and deal with Congress just by testifying. You do it by getting people back home at the grass-roots to talk with their representatives and senators about what their needs are.”

The George W. Koch Leadership in Public Policy Award will honor CPG industry leaders who demonstrate commitment to helping the industry develop and promote responsible public policy solutions.

Koch is scheduled to receive the award at the association’s Leadership in Public Policy dinner on July 17 at the GMA Growth and Public Policy Summit here.

"George Koch is a legend in the food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry, and for good reason,” said Pamela Bailey, GMA president and chief executive officer. “He was ahead of his time. His vision transformed GMA into an effective and efficient public policy voice for America's food, beverage and CPG industry, and the modern GMA strives to fulfill his personal commitment to the highest standards of integrity, passion and innovation."

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