Gary Spinazze & Roger Robbe Hall of Fame Winner Photos

Two Industry Leaders to be Inducted into 2018 Frozen Food Hall of Fame

May 2, 2018

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) and the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) are pleased to announce that the Distinguished Order of Zerocrats has selected two food industry leaders as the 2018 Frozen Food Hall of Fame inductees.

The 2018 inductees are Roger Robbe, retired vice president of wholesale food procurement, SUPERVALU, Inc. and Gary Spinazze, retired vice president of vendor relations, Nash Finch Company.

Roger RobbeRoger Robbe enjoyed a 30-year career in retail food management and wholesale food operations, merchandising, marketing, and corporate procurement. He began in the retail food industry in 1966 as a store manager for Kroger Company. In 1972, he started a 24-year career with SUPERVALU moving up the ranks as vice president, wholesale food procurement with direct responsibility for frozen and refrigerated foods. After retirement, Roger worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Foreign Agriculture Service in creating a Cold Chain Seminar in 20 Central and South American and 5 Asian countries. He also worked with organizations to create and execute USAID programs in retail operations in Africa and Ukraine. Roger was inducted into the Distinguished Order of Zerocrats in 1992 and elected chairman of NFRA in 1994 after serving many years on various Association councils and the board of directors.

Gary Spinazze is a food industry veteran, with over 40 years of experience. Early in his career, he spent 17 years in retail with Chatham Super Markets. Gary moved on to Nash Finch as vice president of national accounts and later vice president of grocery procurement where his responsibilities covered perishable departments as well as store brands. Gary then worked at Bozzuto’s as director of corporate programs and trade relations. After his return to Nash Finch, he retired as vice president of vendor relations. Gary is co-founder and served as executive vice president and treasurer of Friends in Service of Heroes Foundation. He also served as chairman of the NFC Foundation, the charitable giving arm of Nash Finch. Gary served as NFRA chairman in 2009 and 2010 and has participated on many industry associations and committees throughout this career. He is currently a board member of the Distinguished Order of Zerocrats.

The inductees will be honored at the Distinguished Order of Zerocrats meeting during the NFRA Convention on Saturday, October 20, 2018, at the Marriott Marquis in San Diego.

The Frozen Food Hall of Fame was established in 1990 by the Distinguished Order of Zerocrats, an organization of industry members whose purpose is to maintain the tradition of promoting the image and advancement of the frozen food industry. These members nominate and vote on the newest inductees, whose dedication and hard work have greatly benefited the industry. A special industry-wide ceremony honors the imagination and innovation that have ensured the continued growth and success of the frozen food industry.


2018 NFRA Executive Conference Outdoor Reception with Attendees

NFRA Executive Conference Addresses Shopper and Industry Trends

February 9, 2018

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) will hold its 26th annual Executive Conference April 9-11, 2018, at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel & Conference Center in Tempe, Ariz. The conference provides the latest information on consumer and industry trends and features a retail presentation by Nick Carlino, vice president of sales and retail for Merchants Distributors, Inc.

The conference opens at 12:00 p.m. on Monday, April 9 with the optional Greater Penguin Open Golf Tournament or NFRA Fishing Tournament followed by the evening’s welcome reception. Tuesday, April 10 presents an impressive line-up of interactive speaker presentations, as well as a networking reception. On Wednesday, April 11, the conference concludes by 9:00 a.m. after breakfast and a final informational session.

The retailer keynote by Nick Carlino, Merchants Distributors, kicks off the Tuesday morning sessions followed by David Portalatin of The NPD Group on a new report on the Eating Patterns of America. Colin Stewart of Acosta Sales & Marketing will share what drives shoppers’ frozen and refrigerated foods purchase. Jim Hertel of Inmar will look at promotion optimization and personalization of the shopper experience. Kristena Luckey of Edelman will discuss the next group of influential shoppers, Gen Z. Laurie Rains of Nielsen will look at the digitally engaged shopper, and Michael Sansolo on behalf of the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council will examine fast-moving trends affecting the retail food industry.

The conference closes early on Wednesday when Michael Sansolo returns to help attendees assess their own company and identify key areas of action.

To preserve the informal atmosphere that encourages group discussion and more personal interaction, the conference is limited to 150 attendees. You can register today on the conference website at

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