Since 1981, not long after the organization began, Brian Sharoff served as president of the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA). He died May 23 after a brief illness.
Over his nearly four decades leading the association, he oversaw its tremendous growth. The Private Label Trade Show in Chicago, for example, began in 1980, growing from an event with around 50 exhibitor booths to a massive event with 3,000 booths, thousands more in attendees, educational sessions and networking events.
He also helped steer the association globally, expanding its New York headquarters to include offices in Amsterdam and Shanghai. PLMA memberships began from around 200 companies in the U.S. to have more than 4,500 internationally.
The annual World of Private Label International Trade Show, held each May at the RAI Exhibition Centre in Amsterdam, has grown to more than 4,500 stands and now represents manufacturers from nearly 75 countries, attracting buyers from across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
For as long as Store Brands magazine and Private Label magazine before it have been around, the publications have been partnering with the PLMA and, for that matter, Sharoff. Store Brands collaborated annually for the Private Label Hall of Fame event and more.
“Today is a sad day for the entire PLMA family,” said Lisa Manzoline, director of sales for Reynolds Consumer Products and chairman of the Board of Directors of PLMA. “Under Brian Sharoff’s tremendous focus and dedication, the Private Label Manufacturers Association has grown to become a vital and essential resource for suppliers and retailers around the globe. Brian’s leadership will be greatly missed.”
Under Sharoff, the PLMA hosted educational conferences and programs, compiled research studies, and notably produced a wide range of original video programming, many times featuring Sharoff.
Before joining the PLMA, Sharoff spent five years as executive vice president of the Metropolitan New York Retail Merchants Association. Prior to that, he served three terms as a member of the New York State legislature. He also held teaching positions at St. Joseph’s University, Rutgers University and The New School of Social Research.
Sharoff is survived by his wife Judith, daughter Alexandra, son Peter, five grandchildren, and sister Shirley Sharoff.