Brian Sharoff, president of the New York-based Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA), passed away on May 23 after a brief illness, according to a statement issued by Tim Simmons, PLMA’s vice president, communications. He was 77.

Sharoff was named president of PLMA in 1981, shortly after the association was founded. During his tenure, the association’s membership grew from 200 manufacturers, suppliers and brokers in the United States to more than 4,400 companies worldwide.

“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,” said Lisa Manzoline, director of sales for Reynolds Consumer Products and chairman of the board of directors of PLMA. “Brian’s leadership will be greatly missed.”

The PLMA trade show held every November at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill., draws the largest concentration of private label buyers anywhere in the nation, PLMA noted. Key executives from supermarkets, drug chains, mass merchandisers and other retailers come to find suppliers and new products.

PLMA’s 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, PLMA said. The show attracts buyers from across Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

In addition to the trade exhibitions, PLMA presents conferences and educational programs throughout the year, in addition to publishing exclusive research and studies. The association in recent years has also produced a wide range of original video programming, providing news and information for both the industry and consumers.

Sharoff joined PLMA after 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, PLMA said.

Sharoff is survived by his wife Judith, daughter Alexandra, son Peter, five grandchildren and sister Shirley Sharoff. The family requested that anyone who wishes to pay tribute to his memory do so in the form of a gift to either:

  • The Mount Kisco Interfaith Food Pantry, PO Box 834, Mount Kisco, NY 10549 ( or
  • Community Center of Northern Westchester, 84 Bedford Rd., Katonah, NY 10536 (