Nearly 3,300 grocery professionals attend the National Grocers Associations’ annual conference last week, including representatives from Associated Food Stores and its member retailers. Several retailers and team members participated on important panels sharing their thoughts and expertise.

Tom Clark, president and CEO of Clark’s Market, and Chad Cameron, vice president of information technology sat on a panel to discuss electronic shelf labels (ESLs). Several AFS retailers, including Clark’s, have implemented the new technology. The conversation helped participants learn more about the cutting-edge world of intelligent shelves that can enhance customer experiences, streamline operations, improve price management and boost overall efficiency.

Jason Sokol, vice president of marketing, accepted an NGA Creative Choice Award on behalf of ARO and Lin’s for their support of Southern Utah University and the surrounding community. (See accompanying story.) Along with accepting the award, Jason joined a panel discussion to talk about Lin’s success and takeaways for other retailers considering similar initiatives. The NGA Creative Choice Awards are some of the premier awards for grocery marketers in the country and the recognition was significant in acknowledging the Lin’s team for their impressive efforts.

Senior Category Manager Fedra Chappell joined other industry leaders in a thought-provoking panel discussion that delved into the core principles of retail success. The panel provided ideas and recommendations for driving units and harnessing the power of differentiation. As the category manager who oversees Associated Food Stores’ specialty foods efforts, Fedra provided great insight for session attendees.