When I was elected president of the NSA Florida Chapter, I knew I had big shoes to fill. Our previous president, Carlos Hernandez, did a tremendous job during his term to bring our organization to a position of strength. My goal has been to build on his accomplishments and continue our mission with pride and passion.
Our Annual Golf Tournament and Trade Show is evidence that we are on the right track. Both events were a huge success as we had more participation this year than ever before! In fact, we had to turn away vendors due to lack of space. We are grateful to the vendors who participated in these events. We commend them for building a strong relationship with the NSA and helping us to give back to the communities that we serve. With their help, this year we have awarded $50,000 in college scholarships to deserving students. This brought a total of $300,000 in scholarship awards since inception! By working together, we have touched the lives of so many families in need.
This year brought us Hurricane Irma, which tested our relationships with our vendor partners. There were tense and stressful moments associated with this record storm. We scrambled for water, ice, bread, charcoal, propane, canned goods, etc. in preparation and then, soon after, we worked hard to clean up and re-stock the stores after the hurricane with fresh produce, meats, seafood, and groceries. Our vendors rose to the occasion and surpassed difficult hurdles to prioritize our stores so we could provide our communities with products when they needed them. This difficult time helped us realize the importance of our relationships with our vendors and has strengthened our bond.
I want to thank all of our vendor partners, our independent grocer members, and all the family members who support them. By working together, we are making an impact in our society more than ever before. We will continue to build on our strong foundation and thrive to become an organization that empowers us all to reach new heights and set new records!
Raifiz Vargas, President
National Supermarket Association,