Bob Vosburgh, PLMA News Director, Veteran Journalist, Dies at 54

Robert D. Vosburgh, Jr., a veteran supermarket trade journalist and most recently a familiar spokesperson for the U.S. private brand industry through his online video work for the Private Label Manufacturers Association, died on July 15. A resident of New Milford, CT, he was 54.

Bob joined PLMA in 2013 and served as News Director of PLMALive! where he oversaw various aspects of the organization’s video and digital platforms. A major focus of his was PLMA Category Profile reports, an ongoing series of informative and well-received videos that examined individual private label categories.

He compiled dozens of such reports over the past four years, which were watched by visitors to PLMA’s web site. He annually filed a series of live reports on new and innovative store brands products from the exhibition floor during PLMA’s trade shows in Chicago and Amsterdam. He also contributed to monthly News Desk reports, wrote scripts and recruited experts for a wide range of PLMA presentations.

PLMA President Brian Sharoff said that “Bob’s insight and experience will be impossible to replace. He understood the industry and the subtle and not-so-subtle ways in which it operates. He was a reporter’s reporter and that is the highest praise journalism offers.”
Prior to joining PLMA, Bob was longtime Group Editor at Penton Media’s trade publication Supermarket News, now a publication of Informa, where he oversaw coverage of fresh foods and natural/organic. During that time, he helped initiate SN’s award-winning quarterly supplement, SN Whole Health.  He previously worked as an editor at Griffin Publishing’s Modern Food Service publication. Bob was awarded a number of prestigious business journalism awards, including Fairchild Publication’s Newsmaker of the Year in 2001.

Early in his career, Vosburgh was an on-air reporter and the New Jersey state correspondent for WCBS Newsradio 88 in New York; and prior to that, an editor and anchor for WPDH and WEOK radio in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. He was a 1987 journalism graduate of New York University.

I had the opportunity to spend time with Bob both professionally and personally. Bob was a consummate professional, a passionate advocate, an engaging and humorous dinner companion, and a good friend. I will miss him.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.