The VOICE of the Family Owned-Businesses Issue 59

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Issue 59 Executive Board Of Directors Firas “Russ” Soro Executive Chairman Mark Kassab Vice Chairman Remon Mansour Treasurer Steve Mattia Secretary


Chairman’s Message: Growing Our Family Stronger


President’s Message: Stronger Together


City Of San Diego To Ban Flavored Tobacco Products In 2023


NMA Urges You To Vote No On SB 793 CA Flavor Tobacco Referendum


Endorses Georgette Gómez For California State Assembly 80th District


NMA Endorses San Diego Superior Court Judge Candidates

Molly Sylvester Executive Member


NMA Endorses San Diego City Councilmember Vivian Moreno For Re‐ Election

Rony Georges Executive Member


NMA Endorses Carolina Chavez For Chula Vista City Councilmember

Saeed Somo Executive Member


NMA Endorses Paloma Aguirre For Imperial Beach Mayor


NMA’S 2022 Election Voter Guide

Sam Attisha Executive Member

10 Shoot For The Stars: NMA 26th Annual Awards Banquet

Samir Salem Past Chairman Basil Zetouna Executive Member Ghassan Namou Executive Member

Wisam Moshe Executive Member Naseem Salem Emeritus Director

Executive Advisory Members Mike Anderson Anheuser‐Busch Karam Toma Southern Wine & Spirits Robert Wolf PepsiCo Eric Frey Reynolds President Marlon Oram Mansour Director of Gov’t & Public Relations Arkan Somo General Counsel David C. Jarvis

16 CA Employers With 5 Or More Employees Required To Provide Retirement Plan By June 30, 2022 17 New CA E‐Cigarette Tax Reporting Requirement Begins July 1, 2022 17 County of San Diego Passes $1,460 Tobacco License Fee 18 2022 NMA Spring Charity Poker Tournament 20 San Diego City Proposes Budget Focused on Infrastructure & Reducing Homelessness 21 Inflation Triggers CA Minimum Wage Hike To $15.50 In January 2023 21 Mandatory Training For On‐Premises ABC Licensees Required By July 1st 22 NMA Attends San Diego District Attorney’s Symposium On Crime And Homelessness 22 San Diego Law Enforcement Community Opposes Proposed Protect Act Ordinance 23 Los Angeles Plans To Electrify Entire City Fleet 24 NMA Upcoming Golf Tournament – June 23rd 25 San Diego Bishop Appointed As Cardinal By Pope Francis 26 Innovation In Liquor Industry Fuels Growth 26 Retail Sales Grow As Gas Sales Fall

The Voice is the official publication of Neighborhood Market Association. To advertise, contact Wallace Lynch at 619‐313‐4400 or

27 Retailer Membership Form 28 Supplier Membership Form



irst, I would like to say thank you for supporting the NMA by attending our 26th Annual Awards Banquet. I believe it is important to continue to foster our relationships with one another. I hope everyone walked away with a sense of camaraderie and mutual trust in each other as we celebrated our accomplishments throughout the past year. It was great to see new friendships begin and old friendships grow. We always talk about how important it is to have a strong family, and I feel that this year, we have witnessed our NMA family grow stronger. This is what the NMA is all about. It doesn’t matter if your company is big or small, or how deep your pockets are. It is about our commitment to each other, helping each other become stronger. I would also like to thank the NMA staff for doing another outstanding job in making this event such a huge success. Our attendance keeps growing and with that I would like to highlight what tremendous effort the NMA staff continues to do. I appreciate that the NMA family came out from such a difficult time, stronger than ever. It is in these moments when true bonds are tested the most, and I am proud that we prevailed in these trials. Behind the success of every business, there is family vital to the triumphs. Family is what matters most.

Firas Soro Executive Chairman

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s we move into the last half of 2022, I believe it is important to pause and reflect on how much we’ve grown. 2022 is the first year we have experienced some sense of normalcy after nearly 2 years of isolation and hardships with the pandemic. For some businesses, they are still working towards rebuilding themselves back to a pre-pandemic state. Others have sadly lost their businesses and shifted towards other avenues. We have faced obstacles with legislation and unpredictable events. Throughout these hardships, it is easy to believe that we must go through it alone, that we must focus solely on ourselves. The vastness of our world can make us feel and believe, that individualism should be sustained. But as Helen Keller once said, “alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” The mutual empowerment we gain from one another, with our members, with our families and friends, highlights the significance of creating community. Adversity will always arise, but I hope that we all recognize that the communities surrounding us are here to uplift, encourage, and support us. The rest of 2022 will no doubt bring us obstacles, whether they be big or small, but I hope to continue advocating for the “little guys” who have created such a powerful community. The NMA is proud to bring together its members and foster unity within each other.

Marlon Oram Mansour President

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n May 17, 2022, the San Diego City Council passed an ordinance, called the Stop Adolescent Addiction from E-Cigarettes (SAAFE Act), banning the sale of flavored tobacco products — including menthol cigarettes — in the city, effective January 1, 2023. The ordinance does not apply to the sale of shisha, premium cigars or loose-leaf tobacco and unflavored or tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes, as well as FDAapproved cessation devices that will also be exempt from the ban. Councilmember Marni von Wilpert (District 5) led the Council in supporting the ban. The NMA strongly opposed the law, meeting with every Councilmember’s office and their staff voicing opposition to the law and proposing solution to fix the law. The NMA voiced strong opposition at public hearings in both February and in April. Many retailers joined in and discussed the painful effects of the recent Unincorporated San Diego County flavored tobacco ban, which caused loss of nearly half the sales of businesses. Two Councilmembers, Chris Cate and Vivian Moreno (NNA’s endorsed candidate for her re-election campaign for District 8), voted against the ban. We applaud these Councilmembers for standing strong in support of the NMA and small businesses. Unfortunately, as a result of this bill, many businesses, employees, customers, and families will be greatly affected by this ban. Through the strong efforts of the NMA, San Diego Cash and Carry, and local retailers, who each strongly voiced concerns and opposition, we were able to achieve a few important changes to the ordinance: 1) The law will now be effective January 1st, 2023, as opposed to the first draft of this ordinance, which listed the effective date of the ban to be 30 days after the law was passed. 2) The text of this law now mirrors the language of the California State flavor tobacco ban. So now, if the state ban comes into effect, there will be no differences between the State and City bans. 3) Clerks selling tobacco products can be 18 years or older. Initially, the first draft of this ordinance raised the minimum sales age to 21 years or older. The NMA fought hard to lower the age to 18 years old. We thank you all for coming together and sacrificing your time to help protect your businesses.



n August of 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 793, which prohibits store sales of flavored e-cigarettes and other e-devices, menthol cigarettes, non-premium flavored cigars and cigarillos, and other flavored smokable, vape and smokeless tobacco products, with the exception of shisha tobacco used in hookahs, loose-leaf pipe tobacco and premium cigars costing $12 or more. Soon after, a proposed referendum was submitted and became qualified for the ballot for the 2022 general election, putting SB 793 on hold. Now, the voters of California will have a chance to decide this issue for the entire state of California. The NMA urges each of you to spread the word to get out and vote in November, and to vote No on the SB 793 referendum.

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NMA ENDORSES GEORGETTE GÓMEZ For California State Assembly 80th District Georgette Gómez Continues Support of NMA And Local Businesses As a community organizer, Georgette Gómez led the Toxic Free Neighborhoods Campaign to protect kids from lead paint and keep corporate polluters out of residential communities. Georgette then got her start working as a crisis counselor with survivors of domestic violence and abuse. The first LGBTQ Latina City Council President, Georgette authored San Diego’s new Inclusionary Housing Ordinance to jumpstart construction of affordable homes during the housing crisis and took on the powerful police union lobby to ban dangerous chokeholds and crack down on misconduct. She outlawed housing discrimination against low-income renters and was a leader in the campaign to provide paid sick leave to all workers in San Diego. Georgette Gómez’s proven record includes impactful advocacy in the State Capitol. She joined with thenAssemblymember Todd Gloria and the business community to pass the CASA Act (AB 2372), expanding affordable housing construction incentives. Georgette worked with then-Assemblymember Toni Atkins for passage of AB 1071, ensuring penalties for corporate polluters benefit communities most impacted by pollution. She partnered with Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez to pass AB 805, transforming San Diego’s regional transportation agency to provide stepped-up accountability, representation and transit service for underserved communities in South San Diego County. When COVID hit, Georgette took decisive action as City Council President to halt evictions, stop utility shutoffs, deliver rent relief and help small local businesses survive. She authored a worker retention ordinance that prevented layoffs in San Diego’s tourism and service industries. Previously Georgette served as Chair of the Metropolitan Transit System, where she oversaw mass transit in a 570-square mile service with over 3 million residents. All her life, Georgette Gómez has fought to make a real difference for working people and the underserved. She’s taken on corporate polluters. Expanded affordable housing. Led on climate. Stood up for victims of domestic violence. In the Assembly, she’ll fight for every family who is struggling and every neighborhood that’s been left behind. And just like always, she can’t be bought, and she never backs down. Gomez attended the NMA executive board meeting and expressed her gratitude to the NMA leadership. NMA has previously endorsed Gomez for her other campaigns including her run for 53rd Congressional District. Gomez asked NMA support in her current campaign and stated that she will ensure that all family-owned businesses in the region will continue to succeed with her support. NMA proudly endorses Georgette Gómez for California State Assembly 80th District.

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NMA ENDORSES SAN DIEGO SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE CANDIDATES MIKE MURPHY – FOR OFFICE 35 Mike was born and raised in San Diego. He grew up in Chula Vista and spent much of his free time surfing in Imperial Beach. His mother was an elementary school teacher, and his father was an attorney. Mike attended St. Augustine High School, earned his degree in business administration from San Diego State University in 1992, and his law degree from the University of San Diego in 1995. Mike began his career in public service at the California Department of Justice in 1996, where he was hired as a Deputy Attorney General in the Criminal Division. Murphy attended the NMA executive board meeting and expressed his support of the NMA’s leadership. As a judge Mike Murphy will make sure every family-owned business’s is heard. The Neighborhood Market Association proudly endorses Deputy Attorney General Mike Murphy for San Diego County Superior Court Judge, Office 35.

CHRIS LAWSON – FOR OFFICE 36 Chris Lawson is a felony trial attorney with the San Diego District Attorney’s Office and currently the Team Leader of the East County Gang Prosecution Unit. Lawson prosecutes violent crimes committed by San Diego’s most dangerous offenders. In 2016, he was named “Prosecutor of the Year” for work done relating to a multi-year prosecution involving 18 shootings and three murders. As a prosecutor, Lawson helped coordinate and organize multi-jurisdictional investigations utilizing law enforcement agencies including the Cross-Border Violence Task Force, Violent Crimes Task Force, and the East County Gang Task Force. All these efforts have been aimed at trying to combat and curb violence in our communities, including gang and cartel violence. During his 16 years with the District Attorney’s Office, he has tried more than 70 jury trials, including more than 40 felony jury trials, and several homicide cases, cases involving conspiracy to commit murder, murder, attempted murder, assault with a firearm, arson, kidnapping, kidnapping for ransom, home invasion robbery, residential burglary, armed robbery, grand theft, possession for sale of narcotics, and DUI. The NMA Board had a chance to meet and speak with the candidate about his campaign and vision as a judge. Lawson’s focus would be on approaching every case with fairness, impartiality and preparation. In every case, he will commit to following the law and applying the law fairly, without bias. He will strive to make sure that every person that appears in front of my court is heard and treated with respect during those hearings. The NMA proudly endorses San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Chris Lawson for Superior Court Judge, Office 36. | 6 |

NMA ENDORSES SAN DIEGO CITY COUNCILMEMBER VIVIAN MORENO FOR RE‐ELECTION Councilmember Vivian Moreno is a lifelong resident of San Diego and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a focus on International Relations from the University of California, San Diego. Prior to working in the public sector, Councilmember Moreno worked as a buyer for a metal distributor. She is a proud homeowner in San Ysidro, enjoys traveling (she has visited 27 countries!), reading and spending time with her husband Miguel, family, and dog Luna. Councilmember Moreno has dedicated her career to improving the region’s most underserved communities through experience, volunteer work and public service. She was elected to represent the City of San Diego’s Eighth City Council District in 2018. During her term, Moreno fought for social equity in housing, advocated for new job centers in order to produce better quality jobs for District 8 residents, and sought to save taxpayer money. Moreno has been working with Mayor Gloria and the Housing Commission on creating a Middle-Income First-Time Homebuyer program to help middle-income families making 80 percent to 120 percent of Area Median Income with home-buying assistance. A program that provides deferred loans to make up the difference between the purchase price plus closing costs and the amount of the homebuyer’s loan or down payment would be a huge help to middleclass San Diegans. Councilmember Moreno currently serves as Chair of the Land Use and Housing Committee, Vice Chair of the Audit Committee, a member of the Committee on Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods and Budget and Government Efficiency Committee. In July of 2019, Councilmember Moreno was appointed by California Speaker Anthony Rendon to the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee (TCAC). Councilmember Moreno’s priorities include ensuring that the residents of District 8 receive the equitable services and resources they need for a better quality of life, including the building of more housing for our working families, repairing our streets and roads, ensuring safe routes to school, advocating for more parks and libraries for our youth and promoting initiatives that bring jobs to the district. With a strong passion towards the advancement of youth and Latinas in San Diego, the Councilmember has served on the boards of community-focused organizations, including the San Ysidro Women’s Club, Border View Family YMCA and MANA de San Diego and actively recruits District 8 residents to serve on the City of San Diego’s Boards and Commissions. The NMA proudly endorses Councilmember Vivian Moreno for San Diego City Council District 8.

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NMA ENDORSES CAROLINA CHAVEZ FOR CHULA VISTA CITY COUNCILMEMBER Carolina Chavez is a longtime Chula Vista resident and a recent citizen of the United States. She currently serves as Director of Business and Economic Policy for San Diego Councilmember Stephen Whitburn. She has previously served as Chair of International Business Association for the San Diego Chamber of Commerce and the Director of Binational Affairs, Public Relations and the SIMNSA Foundation at SIMNSA Health Care. Carolina Chavez is one of our region’s binational leaders advocating for business development and Public Health. Chavez’s previous background in journalism, service in non-profits, and cross-border relations have guided her to take steps towards public service. Her political agenda focuses on diversifying and attracting more economic development, increasing housing stock needs to preserve open spaces and expand access to city services, and working to develop and expand job centers to create more career opportunities for Chula Vistans. Most importantly, Chavez plans to prioritize issues that are most important to the residents of District 1 to better serve the City of Chula Vista. The NMA proudly endorses Carolina Chavez for Chula Vista City Councilmember, District 1.

NMA ENDORSES PALOMA AGUIRRE FOR IMPERIAL BEACH MAYOR Paloma Aguirre moved to Imperial Beach in 2003 to pursue a college education and competitive bodyboarding. She is the first person in her family to graduate college. She graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a B.A. in Psychology, a certificate in Nonprofit Management from Brandman University; and a Masters of Advanced Studies in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD in 2015. Paloma currently serves as Councilmember for the City of Imperial Beach. In 2021, she was appointed by California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon as the alternate San Diego Coast representative for the California Coastal Commission. She serves on the SANDAG and Metropolitan Transit System Board of Directors, and as an alternate on the San Diego Community Choice Power Board. She has been working for over sixteen years to address the city’s most pressing threats to its quality of life. Councilmember Aguirre’s three priorities are fighting cross-border pollution, ensuring housing affordability and addressing homelessness, and keeping IB a safe and family-friendly community. She is also the Senior Program Officer for the Environment for the International Community Foundation where she is responsible for overseeing environmental projects in Mexico and Latin America. Early in her career, she worked as a social-justice community organizer in South San Diego, helping low-income Hispanic families address immigration, foreclosure, and predatory lending issues. In 2014, Paloma was named Woman of the Year by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez for her outstanding leadership in environmental conservation and for her work restoring the Tijuana River Valley and in 2016 she was selected for the prestigious NOAA Sea Grant Knauss fellowship in Washington D.C. where she worked for U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), assisting him in drafting and passing bills to reduce trash in our oceans and improve math and science skills in minorities. The NMA proudly endorses Paloma Aguirre for Imperial Beach Mayor.

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N March11th, 2022, the NMA held its 26th Annual Awards Banquet at the Town & Country Resort Convention Center in San Diego. The theme of the event was “Shoot for the Stars”. This year’s anniversary unveiled the period when we're coming out of the global scale pandemic, reopening our economy, and embarking upon a new world as Mayor Todd Gloria said in his speech at the banquet. NMA was honored to host over 300 attendees consisting of elected officials, government agencies, community leaders, retailers, and suppliers. It was a memorable night with spectacular music. All the attendees enjoyed a wonderful dinner, open bar, fantastic cigars, and a superb cocktails after-party. The event started with the Pledge of Allegiance. Leading the pledge was San Diego City Councilmember Raul Campillo.

NMA members observed a moment of silence in honor of those who lost their lives in ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

The National Anthem of the United States was played by DJ Matthew. Everyone stood together in unity under the flag.

La Mesa Councilmember Bill Baber joined the stage to lead us in our Invocation Prayer and bless our gathering. Mr. Baber was elected in 2014 and reelected in 2018 and will be retiring at the end of this term.

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SALAM MOSHE: NMA RETAILER OF THE YEAR The NMA’s Retailer of the Year award was presented to Mr. Salam Moshe by 2013’s retailer of the year, Mr. Tony Konja. Salam was born in Iraq and came to the United States at a young age. He has been serving San Diego as a small business owner for 27 years and hopes to continue serving our local communities for many more years to come! Salam recently served on the NMA’s Executive Board of Directors and was succeeded by his son, Wisam Moshe.

PETROLEUM CARD SERVICES: NMA SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR This year’s Supplier of the Year Award was presented to Petroleum Card Services by Remon Mansour, of last year’s Supplier of the Year, San Diego Cash and Carry. Petroleum Card Services, or PCS, was founded in 1999 and PCS specializes in working with independent owners of unbranded gas stations and/or convenience stores. Focused on the needs of customers, PCS strives to make the entire process as easy and smooth as possible, helping to provide personalized assistance during set-up and ongoing inhouse customer service and technical support. PCS remains actively engaged in the industry to ensure customers, and Partners, are informed of all the latest trends and industry changes.

MAYOR TODD GLORIA: NMA PUBLIC OFFICIAL OF THE YEAR The Public Official of the Year award was presented to Mayor of San Diego Todd Gloria by Former President of the NMA and current Director of Government and Public Relations, Mr. Arkan Somo. The 37th Mayor of San Diego, Gloria has spent his entire life in service to the public, working as District Director to Congresswoman Susan Davis. He soon was elected to the San Diego City Council, rising to City Council President. In 2013, he served as Interim Mayor. In 2016, Mayor Gloria was elected to the California State Assembly to represent the 78th Assembly District, later serving as Majority Whip. Throughout all of his service to his city and state, Mayor Gloria has never forgotten to support familyowned businesses and the NMA. | 11 |

SAN DIEGO POLICE CHIEF DAVID NISLEIT: NMA EXCELLENCE IN LAW ENFORCEMENT AWARD The Excellence in Law Enforcement Award was presented to San Diego Police Department Chief David Nisleit by 2001 Public Official of the Year Former El Cajon Police Chief James R. Davis. This award is for his outstanding leadership in the fight against crime and maintaining the safe and secure community environment. Chief Nisleit has served as San Diego’s Chief of Police since 2018, overseeing the nation’s 8th largest police department. He is a native San Diegan and graduate of both the University of Redlands and FBI National Academy. Chief Nisleit is also a professor of criminal justice at the University of San Diego and Alliant University. He has received numerous awards and citations throughout his career which has included a Congressional Recognition in 2008. He comes from a family dedicated to law enforcement. His father, Randy Nisleit, served over 35 years with the Department and retired as a Captain in 1999. His son, Ryan Nisleit, is a patrol officer.

PATH San Diego: NMA CHAIRMAN’S AWARD This year, the Chairman’s Award was presented to PATH San Diego by NMA Chairman, Mr. Firas Soro. This award is in recognition of their exceptional commitment and outstanding dedication to helping San Diegans in need receive permanent housing and support. PATH San Diego has been a one-stop shop to help our most vulnerable community. While recognition is great, organizations like PATH cannot do the work that they do without the resources to do so. Because of this, our NMA Board came together to show support, not only with words, but with actions. The NMA Board elected to give PATH San Diego a check in the amount of $5,000 to help them continue their wonderful mission.

JAMUL CASINO: NMA PRESIDENT’S AWARD The President’s award was awarded to one of NMA newest partners Jamul Casino, by NMA President Mr. Marlon Mansour. General Manager Mary Cheeks accepted the award on behalf of Jamul Casino. Ms. Cheeks was recently recognized in the San Diego Business Journal and honored as a top 50 Black Leader of Influence. She has led Jamul Casino since 2018 through its rebranding and has continued on forward through the pandemic. But not even just that, what Jamul Casino has done in terms of philanthropy efforts has been wonderful. The success of our 2021 Charity Poker Tournament helped give us the chance to support organizations like PATH San Diego.

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NMA ENDORSED CANDIDATES ATTEND BANQUET San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan for re-election DA Stephan expressed her gratitude for NMA’s support and applauded the work NMA has done over the years. “I'm so proud of this organization and all of you’ve done. I refuse to let crime, corruption and lawlessness to take over; we need our communities to be safe for every neighborhood and for your businesses. Thank you for your friendship and support.”- Summer Stephan

San Diego Undersheriff Kelly Martinez for San Diego County Sheriff Undersheriff Martinez shared her thankfulness to the NMA for representing familyowned business in our community. “Thank you so much NMA, I want San Diego become the safest county in the nation and that's my commitment to you that we will continue to be safe in this county. I will work in partnership with the DA's office and SD Police Department and all of our regional partners to keep family-owned businesses safe. Thanks for this organization for the endorsement.” - Kelly Martinez

Supervisor Jim Desmond for San Diego County Supervisor, District 5 re-election NMA members have been well served by Supervisor Desmond for the past years. Mr. Desmond expressed his gratefulness to the NMA for supporting his campaign. “I want you to know that the last couple of years during pandemic I wanted to keep small businesses open and operate safely. I want to thank the Neighborhood Market Association and I want you to know that I work for you, I'm going to continue to work for you and continue word for small businesses. Thank you.”- Jim Desmond.

Taxpayer Advocate Jordan Marks for San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk Taxpayer Advocate Jordan Marks thanked NMA, its members and the community for supporting his campaign. “Thank you for generating property values. I appreciate you what you have done during the Covid-19 pandemic. Small businesses are very important, and that’s why we were able to provide over 1 billion dollars of relief to small business owners like the NMA members and so we're here to help you and we will protect you”- Jordan Marks.

Ammar Campa-Najjar for Chula Vista Mayor Ammar Campa-Najjar expressed his honor and appreciation to the NMA for endorsing him in his election campaign to be Chula Vista Mayor. Mr. Campa-Najjar gave brief information about his vision and how he will support family-owned businesses as a mayor. “I stood up against my party on multiple fronts many times fighting to get family-owned business to open and fighting against the ban. I need to be your voice and if you'll be my voice, I promise to be your voice as mayor and together we will usher in a new era for small businesses.”- Ammar Campa-Najjar.

State Senator Brian Jones for CA State Senate, District 40 Andrew Hayes, State Senator Jones’ district director, attended the NMA banquet on behalf of State Senator Brian Jones, who was at the State Capitol. Mr. Hayes expressed his gratitude to the NMA and its members for supporting Mr. Jones for his re-election campaign to the California State Senate, District 40. “We are looking forward to the partnerships with you and thank you for your support and I know the senator appreciate it very much”- Andrew Hayes

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BASIL RAFFO: NMA LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD The NMA Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Mr. Basil Raffo by the first-time Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Arkan Somo, in recognition of his leadership, vision, commitment and dedication to the NMA’s growth since its inception. Basil came to the U.S. at the early age of 19. Throughout the years, Basil has operated several businesses in San Diego County, including gas stations, convenience stores, and auto repair and body shops. Basil has been an active member and a staunch supporter of the NMA since its inception. Basil was on the founding Board of Directors for the NMA. Throughout the NMA’s 26 years, Basil served as Secretary, Treasurer, and Chairman and remains the longest ever serving Executive Board Member of the NMA.

NMA EXECUTIVE BOARD AND STAFF SWEAR‐IN CEREMONY Honorable Judge Polly Shamoon, the first ever female Chaldean judge to serve on the bench in our Great State led the NMA executive board and staff in our traditional swear-in ceremony.

PRESIDENT’S REMARKS There’s a famous saying: “shoot for the Moon and, even if you miss, you’ll land on the stars.” This saying is fascinating because there are so many different ways to interpret it. The phrase “shoot for the stars” is even more captivating because it exemplifies ambition and brings no doubt the chance of success. It’s emblematic of the NMA, its members, and our great Country; each of which came up from nothing and made themselves indispensable to our world. But that does not mean everything has been easy. If anything, these past two years have challenged each of us in unimaginable ways. We’ve learned the previous things we assumed in life are not guaranteed. The plans and goals of yesterday were seemingly cut off at an instant. As that’s happened, our retailers, the family-owned businesses, were at the front lines servicing their communities when they needed it most, sacrificing their health and time. And often, unfortunately, our world takes the work they do for granted. That’s why the NMA is here, to help empower these family-owned businesses to succeed. They each shot for the stars, and they got there! Tomorrow is not guaranteed; almost nothing is. But what is guaranteed is that the marks we make on today will have an everlasting impact on tomorrow. No matter what difficulties life throws at us, humanity will never stop shooting for the stars.

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NMA would like to thank all the attendees! We look forward to seeing you at our 2023 Banquet! | 15 |



he State of California is now requiring businesses to register for a retirement plan for their employees if they employ 5 or more employees. The deadline to register is June 30, 2022. The total number of employees is calculated based on the average of the 4 quarters in the previous calendar year’s filings with the EDD. For example, for June 30, 2022, you would look to the average of the 4 quarterly filings made in 2021 with the EDD. CalSavers was recently created by the State government to improve retirement security for all Californians by giving employers a simple way to help their employees save. Employers who miss the June 30th deadline will receive a failure-to-comply notice from the state. If employers do not comply after 90 days of receiving the notice, they will be fined $250 per eligible employee. After 180 days, the fine will increase to $500 per eligible employee. The price of the fine will continue to double every 90 days if noncompliance continues.

California mandates employers to offer a retirement savings plan. If employers fail to offer their own, they must offer their employees CalSavers, the state-operated retirement savings plan. CalSavers provides employers a way to set up an individual retirement account (IRA) for each eligible employee. While many retirement savings plans offer more flexibility, CalSavers mandates that plans use default features unless otherwise specified. CalSavers does not require any fees, therefore, there is no financial impact on employers who choose to opt in. Employee payroll deductions are automatic, adjustable, and employees may opt out. Employee deductions are automatically set to 5% of an employee’s gross pay (similar to other state retirement plans). And employees can adjust their contributions setting to a higher or lower percentage of their pay. However, employees can opt-out of the state retirement savings program. For more information, please visit:

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Beginning July 1, 2022, electronic cigarette retailers are required to collect from purchasers at the time of sale a 12.5% California electronic cigarette excise tax (CECET) on the retail selling price of the electronic cigarettes containing or sold with nicotine. Retailers are required to collect the tax, electronically file a return, and pay the tax to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration. What are electronic cigarettes containing or sold with nicotine?  Any device or delivery system used to deliver aerosolized or vaporized nicotine to a person when sold in combination with any liquid or substance containing nicotine, examples include: eCigarettes, eCigars, ePipes, vape pens, or eHookahs.  Any component, part, or accessory that is used during the operation of the device or delivery system when sold in combination with any liquid or substance containing nicotine.  A liquid or substance containing nicotine, such as eJuice or eLiquid. How do I register for a CECET permit (account)? If you already have a Cigarette and Tobacco Products Retailer’s License (CRL) and you indicated that you sell electronic cigarettes and nicotine products at the time of registration or renewal, you will be registered with a CECET account by July 1, 2022. Starting June 2022, retailers will be notified by mail that they have been registered with a CECET account. However, if you currently have a CRL license and indicated that you do not sell electronic cigarettes and nicotine products when you registered for or renewed your license, you won’t be automatically registered with a CECET account. Beginning June 1, 2022, you may register for a CECET account: 1. Visit 2. Log in to your account with your username and password. 3. Select More under the I Want To section. 4. Select Register a New Business Activity and follow the prompts to complete the account registration process. Beginning July 1, 2022, retailers are required to:  Collect the tax from purchasers at the time you sell electronic cigarettes containing or sold with nicotine.  Provide the purchaser with a receipt or other document that separately identifies the California electronic

cigarette excise tax and the amount the purchaser paid on each retail sale of electronic cigarettes containing or sold with nicotine.  Include the CECET amount in any price marketing sign or display of the electronic cigarettes containing or sold with nicotine.  File a CECET return and pay the tax using our online services. You may retain one percent of the CECET as reimbursement for your costs to collect the CECET.  The return and payment are due quarterly on or before the last day of the month following each calendar quarter period. You will be notified if you are required to file and pay for periods other than quarterly, such as monthly. The first CECET return and payment of the tax is due by October 31, 2022, for the period July 1, 2022 through September 30, 2022. For more information: If you have questions regarding the new requirements, call 1 (800) 400-7115 or scan:

County of San Diego Passes $1,460 Tobacco License Fee Tobacco Retail License (TRL) Fee was approved by a 4-0 vote by the Board of Supervisors of the County of San Diego by on May 24, 2022. This amount is too high and will damage businesses already affected by last year's County Tobacco Ordinance. The NMA had been working hard to fight against this bill and lower this high fee amount. County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher rejected any amendments to help ease the burden on retailers. In 10 months of enforcement, the County Tobacco Ordinance has damaged retailers, causing drops of around 50% in sales, employees to be laid off, and convenience stores to shutter their doors. Now retailers will face a TRL fee two to seven times greater than San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, & Sacramento. The Tobacco Retail License (TRL) Fee will be imposed starting July 1, 2022, starting at 50% of the assessed $1,460 fee ($730).

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2022 NMA SPRING CHARITY POKER TOURNAMENT On April 26th, 2022, the NMA hosted its Charity Poker Tournament at Jamul Casino. On a blissful spring night, players eagerly played for a chance to win a beautiful brand-new Rolex (courtesy of Babylon Jewelry), for the grand prize. Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey attended to show his support. Raymond Kassab and Tony Konja were the final two players, with Tony having more than double his competitor’s chips. In the spirit of Charity, the final players agreed to “chop” the top prizes with Raymond Kassab receiving the prize Rolex. However, the most significant win was the incredible outpouring of support. The NMA gathered funds to benefit one of our many charitable organizations. At our annual banquet, the NMA Board will award charity checks.

Marlon Mansour, Winners Raymond Kassab & Tony Konja, & Waleed Shores

| 18 |


Special THANKS to the tournament’s Co‐Chair Ghassan Namou, and NMA Executive Board Members And to all the retailers, suppliers, and sponsors for supporting the NMA charities.

| 19 |



ayor Todd Gloria released his $4.89 billion 2023 proposed budget, with a focus on repairing aging infrastructure, improving city services, enforcing new regulations, increasing pay for first responders and other city employees, and reducing homelessness. The budget, dubbed "Ready to Rebuild" by the mayor's office, is intended to reflect the city's transition away from the COVID-19 pandemic and towards long-term projects. Among the proposal's key infrastructure investments are bringing stormwater into compliance with more stringent state water-quality laws and repairing failing or damaged storm drains and pumps that prevent flooding and water pollution. The budget will add $8 million to improve streets with upgraded traffic signals, sidewalks and curb ramps, traffic management, tree maintenance and graffiti and weed removal, as well as more than $77 million to resurface streets -- an increase of $27.6 million over the current budget. Implementation and enforcement of short-term rentals and sidewalk vending add up to just over $6 million in the budget, while $4.3 million is being added to existing efforts to address homeless encampments in neighborhoods, a statement from the mayor's office said. The proposed budget lays out spending to continue to address homelessness, with an additional $13.6 million dedicated to increasing shelter capacity, services, and coordinated street outreach. Total funding for homelessness services is $63.3 million in this budget, with two-thirds of that sum coming from state and federal grant programs. Public safety remains a significant portion of the budget, with proposed investments in facilities, recruitment, police overtime, and gang prevention. The city is currently negotiating with public safety bargaining units for police, firefighters, and lifeguards, and the proposed budget anticipates salary increases that will be included in the final budget.

| 20 |


The CA minimum wage will rise to $15.50 an hour for workers at all businesses, large and small, on Jan. 1, 2023, under an automatic inflation trigger built into state law. The announcement came a day before Gov. Gavin Newsom, a first-term Democrat, was slated to present his revised budget plan to the state legislature, including a proposed $11.8 billion inflation-relief package. The economic stimulus proposal, similar to one enacted last year to help California recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, includes a plan Newsom previewed in recent weeks offering $400 tax rebates to vehicle owners to help offset escalating gasoline costs.

Newsom said his package taps into a “historic” state budget surplus to help individuals and families cope with rising costs of living, which the state Finance Department projects will grow 7.6% between fiscal year 2021 and fiscal 2022, which begins July 1. Apart from the stimulus package, the Finance Department estimates that 3 million workers stand to benefit from the first inflation-based minimum wage hike expected to take effect from a labor bill enacted in 2016.

That law requires an automatic 50-cent-per-hour increase above California’s prevailing minimum wage levels – already the highest any state requires for larger companies – whenever the U.S. consumer price index rises more than 7% from year to year. That means the statewide minimum wage for all companies will go to $15.50 in the new year. Without an inflation trigger, the minimum wage for smaller companies was due to have topped out at $15 in January, catching up with the level now required at larger firms. Only two states – Massachusetts and Washington – exceed California’s existing $14 minimum wage for smaller companies. D.C. is still higher, at $15.20 an hour.

MANDATORY TRAINING FOR ON‐PREMISES ABC LICENSEES REQUIRED BY JULY 1st Beginning July 1, 2022, alcohol servers and managers at licensed CA restaurants and bars must hold a valid certification from an ABC-approved Responsible Beverage Service (“RBS”) training provider. The program’s intention is to educate servers on the dangers of over-serving and sale of alcohol to minors, with the overall goal to reduce alcohol-related accidents and improve local communities. The new training and accreditation requirement applies to all alcohol servers and managers at CA ABC licensed on-premises establishments, including (but not limited to) some of the most common license types – restaurants, bars, tasting rooms, hotels, and stadiums: ABC On-Premises Licensees will have 60 days from July 1, 2022, to have their staff trained and certified by an approved RBS training provider. This includes the successful completion of an ABC administered RBS exam. Enforcement of AB 1221 will begin on September 1st, 2022. If you have any additional questions, email | 21 |



he NMA recently attended a symposium led by the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office announced a strategy to prevent the homeless from being involved with crime.

During the event, the DA’s office, led by District Attorney Summer Stephan, explained that those experiencing homelessness have been involved with crime “at dramatically higher rates than the rest of the population,” whether as victims or offenders. Recidivism rates were also high for homeless individuals during the two-year period examined. In response, the DA’s office has released a three-point plan that will create a solution to the homelessness and crime correlation by reducing the number of unsheltered people who are homeless. The plan includes:  Developing an app that locates available shelter beds, treatment, and housing options for homeless people. The data collected regarding shelter use and availability would help the county shape effective policies to address future needs and investments.

 The development of a Homeless Enhanced Legal

Program aimed at addressing the legal issues of those experiencing chronic homelessness, as well as substance abuse and mental health issues. The threetiered program would include: o A field authorized diversion program focusing on low level offenses o A post file diversion program focusing on homeless specific services, and a o Collaborative Court serving high-risk and highneed individuals by addressing the root causes of the individual’s homelessness, mental health disorders and/or substance abuse issues.  Supporting a change to state law that would allow for an individual’s involuntary commitment for up to 72 hours if they are found by a licensed mental health practitioner to require such psychiatric treatment. “Bringing humane and effective solutions to the complex and growing problem of individuals experiencing homelessness in San Diego County requires a shared strategic plan that creates a sea change,” said San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan. The NMA supports the tremendous work and focus of DA Stephan and the San Diego DA’s office and will continue to advocate strategies preventing unsheltered individuals from crime in an empathetic manner and to ensure public safety and protect the business community.



he City of San Diego will soon introduce the Protect Act, or “Preventing Overpolicing Through Equitable Community Treatment,” Act. The full details of the proposed ordinance have not been released, but general details on the upcoming ordinance have been released. Proponents of the ordinance seek to establish policies that would reduce investigatory and enforcement tools for San Diego Police officers. One of the most significant changes in the Protect Act is to elevate the requirement for stopping individuals from “reasonable suspicion” – the standard upheld by the Supreme Court and unanimously utilized in departments across the country – to “probable cause.”

Many law enforcement agencies and organizations, including the San Diego Police Officers Association, have launched campaigns opposing the “Protect Act,” saying it will increase crime. The NMA will continue to monitor the Protect Act and provide our members with up-to-date information about the ordinance.

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LOS ANGELES PLANS TO ELECTRIFY ENTIRE CITY FLEET The city of Los Angeles plans to convert its fleet of 10,000 vehicles to electric-powered vehicles by 2035. The move is in line with the LA100 initiative to be 100% carbon free by 2035. The city of Los Angeles currently has 124 electric sedans, 46 plug-in electric hybrids and two hybrid electric street sweepers. Four light-duty electric trucks are also expected to arrive in Los Angeles this year. The conversion is part of the city’s Electric Vehicle Master Plan, which also includes the expansion of an EV charging network. Los Angeles authorities project that it will need about 97,000 charging stations by 2030. Los Angeles’ Department of General Services is expected to plan out the installation of EV charging stations across 600 city-owned facilities, such as parks and libraries. O'Farrell, who introduced the motion, hopes that the city's actions will incentivize the private sector to deploy charging stations. Los Angeles has installed 350 electric vehicle chargers, 140 for the city fleet and 210 for the public and city employees at 19 facilities across the city over the past five years. | 23 |



SAN DIEGO BISHOP APPOINTED AS CARDINAL BY POPE FRANCIS San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy was one of 21 new cardinals named by Pope Francis, the only one chosen from the United States. McElroy, 68, was born in San Francisco and attended Harvard College, where he earned a degree in American history, and Stanford University, where he earned a master's degree in the same subject. He's been San Diego's bishop since 2015, and is also president of California Catholic Conference, the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in California. McElroy said in a statement, “I am stunned and deeply surprised by the news that Pope Francis has appointed me to the College of Cardinals. My prayer is that in this ministry I might be of additional service to the God who has graced me on so many levels in my life.” McElroy will formally receive the prestigious red cardinal's hat from Pope Francis in a consistory ceremony at the Vatican on Aug. 27. As a cardinal, he would be eligible to vote for Francis' eventual successor if a conclave were to be held.

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INNOVATION IN LIQUOR INDUSTRY FUELS GROWTH Liquor sales moderate, but long‐term prospects remain strong After a pandemic-driven demand surge in 2020, the liquor category appears to be settling down. But emerging products and packages, along with trading-up trends by consumers, are encouraging distilled spirits marketers and convenience store operators that the category—while a small contributor to overall sales—is primed for continued growth. “Liquor sales increased tremendously from 2019 to 2020, primarily as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns and bar and restaurant closures,” remarked Jayme Gough, NACS research manager. “Not only were customers unable to go out to purchase liquor in the form of cocktails from a restaurant, but they were confined to their homes in many cases, giving ample opportunity to consume more than their typical amount,” Gough said. Indeed, according to NACS’ Report of 2020 Data, average sales at c-stores selling liquor jumped 15%. C-store liquor sales, like other in-store categories, benefited from the channel’s small-footprint and conveniencefocused stores at the height of the pandemic. The category reached peaks in monthly sales in April and May 2020, Gough reported. By the spring of 2021, however, sales trends for liquor in c-stores began to moderate.

RETAIL SALES GROW AS GAS SALES FALL Retail sales were up 0.9% in April compared to March, the U.S. Department of Commerce reports, marking the fourth month in a row for increased retail spending. However, retail sales are not adjusted for inflation, so although consumers are buying more, they are getting less for their money, reports CNBC. “Core categories show signs that consumers are likely dipping into savings to offset the decline in real wages. If pricing pressures can moderate enough to relieve some of the pressure on consumers, we expect a rebound in economic growth in Q2” Jeffrey Roach, chief economist at LPL Financial, told CNBC. Gas station sales decreased 2.7% when energy prices declined last month but are up 36.9% from a year ago. Bars and restaurants sales were up 2% and up 19.8%, respectively, from a year ago. Prices overall increased 0.3% in April and 0.6% excluding food and energy.

On an annualized basis, the consumer price index rose 8.3% on the headline measure and 6.2% on the core measure in April. Gross domestic product fell 1.4% on an annualized basis in the first quarter, but most economists expect growth to pick up through the year. The Wall Street Journal reports that the retail sales numbers suggest that consumers are continuing to shift spending to services from goods, as COVID-19 concerns waned and many people resumed more inperson activities. “Today’s numbers suggest that domestic demand momentum is very robust,” ING economist James Knightley told the Journal. That gives the Fed a green light to keep raising interest rates, he said, as part of its most aggressive effort in decades to curb upward price pressures.

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NEIGHBORHOOD MARKET ASSOCIATION “Empowering Family-Owned Businesses”

RETAILER MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION Annual Membership Fee* $250 per location Memberships are based on Twelve Months (12) from this date _____/_____/________ BUSINESS INFORMATION

Business Name___________________________________________________________________ Address_________________________________________________________________________ City_______________


Business # (____) _____________ Corporation:

□ Yes

□ No


Mobile # (____) ______________

Zip Code____________

Fax # (____) _______________

Corp. Name _____________________________________________________

Billing Address _______________________________________________________________________ City_____________________ County __________________State ____________Zip________________ Contact Person ______________________________ Title (owner, mgr., etc.) ______________________________ (Last)


Email: _______________________________________ How many other retail businesses you own directly or indirectly? _____________________________ REFERRED BY: _______________________________________________________________ PAYMENT INFORMATION Annual Membership ____

*$250 per location (separate applications must be submitted for each location)

Check box if you do not want $50 of your membership fee to go towards the NMA Political Action Committee.

Please, check box if you are interested in joining the NMA Buying Group so we can send you additional information. Donation Type






NMA Political Action Committee Law Enforcement Reward Fund

____ ____

____ ____

_____ _____

______ ______

______ ______

Membership Legal Defense Fund






Please make check payable to Neighborhood Market Association or NMA

Office Use Only: _____/___________QB

___/_______________PKT ___/_____________

Mail Application and Payment Dues to: Neighborhood Market Association 6367 Alvarado Court Suite 204, San Diego, CA 92120 For additional information call NMA staff at 619-313-4400 Or email us at

| 27 |

NEIGHBORHOOD MARKET ASSOCIATION “Empowering Family-Owned Businesses”

SUPPLIER MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION Three Levels of Annual Membership Fees* Memberships are based on Twelve Months (12) from this date _____/_____/________ BUSINESS INFORMATION






___Other (specify)



Business Name: Business Address: Street: ___________________________________________________ City:


Business #


Zip Code:

Fax #

Billing Address: Street: ____________________________________________________ City:



Zip Code:




Contact Person #1: Email:

Mobile # (_____) _____-___________

Contact Person #2: (Last) Email:



Mobile # (_____) _____-___________ PAYMENT INFORMATION

_____$500 Annual Membership for companies with 1-10 employees _____$1000 Annual Membership for companies with 11-25 employees _____$1500 Annual Membership for companies with 26 or more employees _____ Check here if you do not want $50 of your membership fee to go towards the NMA Political Action Committee

□ Please check the appropriate box(s) if you are interested in participating in the following: □ NMA Annual Banquet □ NMA Annual Golf Tournament □ NMA Annual Buying Trade Show □ Advertising in the NMA Publications Donation Type

NMA Political Action Committee Law Enforcement Reward Fund Membership Legal Defense Fund






____ ____ ____

____ ____ ____

_____ _____ _____

______ ______ ______

______ ______ ______

Please make check payable to Neighborhood Market Association or NMA Office Use Only: _____/___________QB

___/_______________PKT ___/_____________

Mail Application and Payment Dues to: Neighborhood Market Association 6367 Alvarado Court Suite 204, San Diego, CA 92120 For additional information call NMA staff at 619-313-4400 Or email us at

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Supplier Directory BANKING Bank of America Bank of America Merchant Services Hanmi Bank Neighborhood National Bank

Ali Arman Veronica Lopez Nizar Dahdouh Nora Seiba

(619) 315‐0878 (909) 278‐9901 (858) 467‐4815 (619) 592‐6268

BOOKKEEPING/ACCOUNTING SERVICES Cashuk, Wiseman, Goldberg, Birnbaum & Salem San Diego Business Advisors

Wes Salem Steven Leibold

Baja Jerky

Laura Selecky

Coyote Press Graphics

Victoria Vinton

(619) 563‐0145 (619) 294‐4286

CHIPS & SNACKS (808) 600‐4114

GRAPHIC DESIGNER (520) 818‐6495

ICE CREAM & ICE SUPPLIERS Blue Bunny San Diego ICE Company

Thomas Kazemeini Anthony Toma

(619) 919‐3920 (619) 688‐1999

INSURANCE SERVICES Liberty Company (Formerly Nickie Heath) Paul Diaz Insurance Agency

Grace Grissom Paul Diaz

Law Offices of Gloria, Weber & Jarvis STratege Law

David Jarvis Scott Scheper

(858) 633‐0920 (310) 213‐2217

LEGAL SERVICES (619) 322‐3144 (619) 677‐5800

RESTAURANTS & RESORTS Jamul Casino Royal Palace Sycuan Casino & Resort Town & Country Resort

Waleed Shorees Namir Mattia Lauren Morrow Alex Nath

(619) 679‐0756 (619) 442‐9900 (619) 445‐6002 (858) 877‐1409


Jay Levine

(619) 528‐8000


Robert Wolf

USA Towing & Recovery

Basil Raffo

(949) 279‐7924

TOWING SERVICES (619) 444‐1800


Milan Hulek

(800) 225‐3364

WHOLESALERS FOR GROCERIES, MERCHANDISE & TOBACCO PRODUCTS Altria Hempacco Packaging Reynolds San Diego Cash & Carry Trepco West West Coast Hookah & Glass

Donna Golshan Sandro Piancone Eric Frey Jeff Mansour Al Paulus Remon Mansour

(206) 985‐7777 (775) 473‐1201 (336) 741‐3283 (619) 441‐9842 (619) 690‐7999 (619) 444‐1053

WINE & SPIRITS SUPPLIERS Anheuser‐Busch IDG Wines Mike’s Hard Lemonade Ranch Rider Spirits Republic National Distributing Company Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits Palm Bay International

Mike Anderson Rodolfo Rubalcava Julia Goggin Andrew Baker Scott Blackburn Neil Sorensen Rick Mailloux

(800) 200‐2353 (619) 301‐1099 (805) 450‐3945 (949) 939‐0802 (858) 537‐2808 (714) 724‐7929 (619) 869‐1312

mike.anderson@anheuser‐ Scott.Blackburn@rndc‐

NMA Urges Its Members to Support Our Supplier by Utilizing Their Products and Services. | 29Members |

NMA Members & Their Employees Save on Tuition at National University National University is proud to partner with the Neighborhood Market Association to bring a 15% tuition reduction scholarship* ($1,998 in savings for undergrad/$2,387 for graduate) to NMA’s members and their employees looking to expand their knowledge and skills for professional and personal growth.

Why Choose National University? Flexible 4-Week Classes: Start sooner and finish faster with four-week classes, monthly start dates, and year-round enrollment. 75+ Degree Programs: Choose from associate, bachelor’s, and master’s programs* designed to help you pursue your purpose and make an impact in your community. 100% Online Classes: Study when and where it’s convenient for you with flexible online classes that work with your busy schedule. Adult Focused for 50 years: Earn your degree at home with four-week classes designed for working professionals.


Questions? Contact us today.

*Based off full time enrollment at 8 courses per year as of May 1,2022. The University reserves the right to modify tuition and fees at any time. Some program exclusions apply.

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