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Kroger announces retirement of Bill Breetz, names three new division presidents

The Kroger Co. announced the retirement of Houston division President Bill Breetz and the promotion of Marlene Stewart to succeed him. Stewart currently serves as president of the company’s Dillons division.

Colleen Juergensen, who currently serves as vice president of merchandising of the Smith’s division, will succeed Stewart as president of Dillons.krolog

Kroger also announced the promotion of Pam Matthews to serve as president of the company’s QFC division. Matthews currently serves as vice president of operations for Kroger’s Delta division. She succeeds Dennis Gibson, who was recently named president of the King Soopers/City Market division.

“Kroger has an exceptionally strong team of leaders who are fueling our growth and improving our connection with customers,” Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in a press release. “Marlene, Colleen and Pam bring unmatched depth and experience to their new roles. They will help Kroger continue to make a difference for our customers, associates, and communities — and by doing so create value for our shareholders.”

“Bill’s extraordinary career demonstrates a passion for people and a passion for results. He leads by caring deeply about associates and developing future leaders,” said McMullen. “Bill’s leadership has contributed to Kroger’s success and growth. The entire Kroger family thanks Bill for his many contributions over the years and wishes he and his family all the best in retirement.”

Breetz began his Kroger career in 1972 as a bagger in Louisville, KY. After earning a degree at the University of Louisville in 1977, he joined the management training program and was named a co-manager in Cincinnati. He served in several leadership positions through the years, including store and district management and vice president of merchandising for the company’s Cincinnati/Dayton division. In 2000, Breetz was promoted to executive vice president of Kroger’s Southwest division with responsibility for operations in Dallas. In 2001, he assumed responsibility for operations in Houston as well. He was named president of the Southwest division in 2002, and president of the Houston division in 2015.

Breetz has been active in a variety of community organizations throughout his career, most recently supporting the Houston Food Bank, the Greater Houston Partnership, the Boy Scouts of America, the Muscular Dystrophy Association and other local charities. Breetz and his wife, Jo Ann, have three children and three grandchildren.

Stewart started her career with Kroger in 1977 as a bagger in the company’s Cincinnati division, where she worked full-time while attending the University of Cincinnati. She went on to serve in many leadership roles in Cincinnati, including store and district management, training and merchandising. In 2005, Stewart was named director of operations for Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic division before being named vice president of operations in 2007. She was named vice president of merchandising in the company’s QFC division in 2011. She was named to her current role in 2015.

Juergensen began her Kroger career with the Dillons division in 1981. She served in various leadership roles of increasing responsibility including store manager, zone manager and director of advertising. In 2008, she was promoted to Dillons vice president of operations. She was named vice president of operations of Smith’s in 2012, and to her current role in 2015.

Matthews began her career with the company’s Fred Meyer division, based in Portland, OR, in 1980. Throughout her 25-year career with Fred Meyer, she held a variety of leadership roles in store management, corporate brand development and merchandising. Matthews also served as director of deli/bakery merchandising and director of floral merchandising and procurement at Kroger’s general offices in Cincinnati before being promoted to vice president of merchandising for the Central division in 2006. She was named vice president of merchandising for the Delta Division in 2014 and to her current role in 2015.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Associated Wholesale Grocers names EVP of division operations

Associated Wholesale Grocers announced that David Smith will be promoted to executive vice president of division operations effective Jan. 4. Smith will report to Jerry Garland, president and chief executive officer. In this new role he will have responsibility for AWG operations, corporate distribution, corporate services and IT.

Smith has been in the grocery industry for many years, starting as a teen in a family-owned business and working in various retail roles, including store owner and operator. Prior to joining AWG, David spent 17 years in various wholesale positions with Malone & Hyde and later Fleming, ranging from retail development manager to general manager of the Nashville, TN, division.

Having joined AWG in 2003 as director of real estate, Smith was promoted to director of member services for the Nashville division in 2007. In 2009 he was promoted to vice president of merchandising for the Memphis, TN, division. In conjunction with his contributions in Memphis, Smith was soon promoted to senior vice president and division manager and led the team in the successful start-up of the new Gulf Coast division.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Associated Wholesale Grocers names EVP of division operations

Associated Wholesale Grocers announced that David Smith will be promoted to executive vice president of division operations effective Jan. 4. Smith will report to Jerry Garland, president and chief executive officer. In this new role he will have responsibility for AWG operations, corporate distribution, corporate services and IT.

Smith has been in the grocery industry for many years, starting as a teen in a family-owned business and working in various retail roles, including store owner and operator. Prior to joining AWG, David spent 17 years in various wholesale positions with Malone & Hyde and later Fleming, ranging from retail development manager to general manager of the Nashville, TN, division.

Having joined AWG in 2003 as director of real estate, Smith was promoted to director of member services for the Nashville division in 2007. In 2009 he was promoted to vice president of merchandising for the Memphis, TN, division. In conjunction with his contributions in Memphis, Smith was soon promoted to senior vice president and division manager and led the team in the successful start-up of the new Gulf Coast division.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Associated Wholesale Grocers names EVP of division operations

Associated Wholesale Grocers announced that David Smith will be promoted to executive vice president of division operations effective Jan. 4. Smith will report to Jerry Garland, president and chief executive officer. In this new role he will have responsibility for AWG operations, corporate distribution, corporate services and IT.

Smith has been in the grocery industry for many years, starting as a teen in a family-owned business and working in various retail roles, including store owner and operator. Prior to joining AWG, David spent 17 years in various wholesale positions with Malone & Hyde and later Fleming, ranging from retail development manager to general manager of the Nashville, TN, division.

Having joined AWG in 2003 as director of real estate, Smith was promoted to director of member services for the Nashville division in 2007. In 2009 he was promoted to vice president of merchandising for the Memphis, TN, division. In conjunction with his contributions in Memphis, Smith was soon promoted to senior vice president and division manager and led the team in the successful start-up of the new Gulf Coast division.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

4Earth Farms seeing major growth in organic division

4Earth Farms has recently expanded its organics division and has experienced double-digit sales growth in both sales and SKUs under the “4Earth Organics” label.4earth

“More and more we are seeing organic produce becoming mainstream,” Mark Munger vice president of sales and marketing at Los Angeles-based 4Earth Farms, said in a press release. “While organics have always been a part of our product mix, over the past two years, we have put significant investments into branding, time, acreage and strategic growing partnerships. This has allowed us to develop consistent year-round supply on our organics items to meet this demand. Our goal is to continue to add additional organic items and achieve year-round availability on as many items as possible. We move closer to that goal every day.”

4Earth Farms’ organic sales increases are being seen in the company’s retail, foodservice and in wholesale divisions.

“The combination of our recent ’4Earth Organics’ brand refresh and industry awareness of our organic expertise has really resonated with key decision-makers, which has resulted in significant sales gains,” Munger added in the press release. “We have become a ‘one-stop’ organic solution for our customers and we are passionate about helping our customers capitalize on the growing consumer demand for organic fruits and veggies.”

“Besides expanding to year-round supplies on key items, we are also working hard to bring new items to market,” Anthony Innocenti, vice president of organic sales, added in the press release. “We are leading the industry with our cultivation of organic Kalettes — the exciting new hybrid of brussels sprouts and kale. We are also expanding into additional programs, such as organic pineapples, sweet potatoes, and expanded vegetable items, all brought to market under the ’4Earth Organics’ label.”

4Earth Farms sells over 100 organic SKU’s including potatoes, pineapples, green beans, cilantro, spinach, kale, brussels sprouts, Napa cabbage, green and yellow squash, cantaloupe, avocados and a full citrus line.

“Anthony and his team deserve a lot of credit for all they have done to make our vision for 4Earth Organics a reality,” David Lake, chief executive officer of 4Earth Farms, added in the press release. “This is the most excitement we’ve seen in our organics division since we started it 18 years ago, and I couldn’t be more pleased.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

4Earth Farms seeing major growth in organic division

4Earth Farms has recently expanded its organics division and has experienced double-digit sales growth in both sales and SKUs under the “4Earth Organics” label.4earth

“More and more we are seeing organic produce becoming mainstream,” Mark Munger vice president of sales and marketing at Los Angeles-based 4Earth Farms, said in a press release. “While organics have always been a part of our product mix, over the past two years, we have put significant investments into branding, time, acreage and strategic growing partnerships. This has allowed us to develop consistent year-round supply on our organics items to meet this demand. Our goal is to continue to add additional organic items and achieve year-round availability on as many items as possible. We move closer to that goal every day.”

4Earth Farms’ organic sales increases are being seen in the company’s retail, foodservice and in wholesale divisions.

“The combination of our recent ’4Earth Organics’ brand refresh and industry awareness of our organic expertise has really resonated with key decision-makers, which has resulted in significant sales gains,” Munger added in the press release. “We have become a ‘one-stop’ organic solution for our customers and we are passionate about helping our customers capitalize on the growing consumer demand for organic fruits and veggies.”

“Besides expanding to year-round supplies on key items, we are also working hard to bring new items to market,” Anthony Innocenti, vice president of organic sales, added in the press release. “We are leading the industry with our cultivation of organic Kalettes — the exciting new hybrid of brussels sprouts and kale. We are also expanding into additional programs, such as organic pineapples, sweet potatoes, and expanded vegetable items, all brought to market under the ’4Earth Organics’ label.”

4Earth Farms sells over 100 organic SKU’s including potatoes, pineapples, green beans, cilantro, spinach, kale, brussels sprouts, Napa cabbage, green and yellow squash, cantaloupe, avocados and a full citrus line.

“Anthony and his team deserve a lot of credit for all they have done to make our vision for 4Earth Organics a reality,” David Lake, chief executive officer of 4Earth Farms, added in the press release. “This is the most excitement we’ve seen in our organics division since we started it 18 years ago, and I couldn’t be more pleased.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

California Giant announces Executive Director for Blueberry Division

California Giant announces Executive Director for Blueberry Division

To further establish a strong commitment to being a leader in the blueberry industry, California Giant has made a significant staffing change to facilitate growth and expansion in the blueberry market.

Nader Musleh, has been promoted to Executive Director – Blueberry Division for California Giant Berry Farms.  Musleh will take on full responsibility for the profitability of the company-wide blueberry and non-strawberry division working with senior management to develop the strategy and vision necessary to grow the business both domestically and internationally.    

Musleh plans to expand the geographical reach to continue to build the year round supply of berries to meet sales needs and increase market share. He will manage the existing Bush Berry sales team including Jerry Connery the Bush Berry Category Manager and Evan Pence, Blueberry Operations Manager for North America.

“I will be moving my family here in January and even though it is a big change for all of us we are excited about the new opportunity ahead and I look forward to expanding our berry program”, says Musleh.  Previously, Musleh was based in Chile and served as the General Manager for the company’s South American operations.  He is relocating to the corporate offices in Watsonville, CA in his new position effective August 12, 2014.  

“Nader has proven to be a leader in the development of the company’s blueberry program.  We understand this is a big move for him and his family and are very pleased he will take a larger leadership role within the company as we take this program to the next level,” says Bill Moncovich, President/CEO.

Nader Musleh has been with California Giant Berry Farms for 4 years, is married to Susan and has a 3 and ½ year old daughter, Isabella.

For more information:
Cindy Jewell
California Giant Berry Farms
Tel. (831) 728-1773
Fax. (831) 728-0613
[email protected]
 
 

Publication date: 8/19/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Associated of NYC forms new division

Associated Food Holdings said it has created a new division and hired Mike Turner and John Borzumato as VPs to lead business development and sales.

The new division, Metropolitan City Foods, was formed to develop new stores under the Met Food Markets, Pioneer Supermarkets, Met Fresh Supermarkets and Metropolitan Citymarkets of NYC banners. Associated, based in New York, is a specialty distributor of grocery products to independent — predominately Hispanic-owned — supermarkets in the New York area under several banners.


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Turner, who was named VP of Metropolitan City Foods with responsibility for sales and business development. He most recently had been director of corporate sales at White Rose Foods, a division of Associated Wholesalers Inc., Robesonia, Pa.

Borzumato was named VP at Metropolitan with repsonsibility for working with existing Associated retailers and developing new opportunities for the division throughout the Northeast. He joins the division from C&S Wholesale Grocers, Keene, N.H.

“As part of our vision in acquiring Associated Foods, we saw the opportunity to become more integrated with our retailers and provide them better service,” said Andy Unanue, managing partner of AUA Private Equity Partners, parent of Associated. “By establishing Metropolitan City Foods and building out our sales and business development efforts we can better serve the needs of our store owners while simultaneously growing our store count. I look forward to expanding our presence in the NYC market and contiguous areas.”

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Ahold USA announces retirement of Giant Carlisle division president

Ahold USA announced that Rick Herring, president of the Giant Carlisle Division, has made the decision to retire, effective Feb. 14.

hshoHerring has had a successful career at Ahold companies for nearly 25 years and has made many contributions to the Ahold organization.

“We would like to thank Rick for his numerous contributions to our companies, as well as for his leadership, dedication, and years of service,”James McCann, chief operating officer of Ahold USA, said in a press release. “We wish him all the best in this next phase of his life and career.”

Bhavdeep Singh, Ahold USA executive vice president of operations, will oversee the Giant Carlisle Division on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is named.

The Giant Carlisle Division, headquartered in Carlisle, PA, operates nearly 200 supermarkets in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia under the banner of GIANT/MARTIN’S. The division employs more than 31,000 associates.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Kroger shuffles division presidents

Kroger Co. said Tuesday that Jay Cummins has been named president of the Smith’s Food & Drug Stores division, and Joe Fey has been named to succeed him as president of Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic division.

Kroger Smith's Food & Drug president Jay CumminsCummins, 62, succeeds Mark Tuffin, who had been named SVP of retail divisions at Kroger in December. Cummins began his Kroger career in 1972 as a clerk in Huntington, Beach, Calif., and later had management and merchandising roles in Kroger’s Food 4 Less division. In 2002, he was named VP and general manager at the Food 4 Less Midwest division, where he led the expansion of the price-impact format in the Chicago area. He was named president of Food 4 Less in 2004 and president of the Mid-Atlantic division in 2007.

“In his more than 40 years with the company, Jay has been an enthusiastic and passionate leader in each role he has held,” said Mike Ellis, Kroger’s president and COO. “Jay’s experience and commitment to our ‘customer 1st’ strategy will ensure Smith’s continues to go above and beyond for our customers.”

Smith’s, based in Salt Lake City, operates 131 stores in Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.

Read more: Kroger names Tuffin SVP of retail operations

Fey, 59, has president of the company’s QFC division in the Pacific Northwest. He began his career as a meat clerk with Kroger in 1972 while in college. He was promoted to a variety of leadership positions in management and merchandising in the company’s Central division and corporate office in Cincinnati. In 1999, Fey was named VP of merchandising for the Dillons division. He was named VP of merchandising for the Michigan Division in 2008, before being named president of QFC in 2011.


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“Joe always leads by example and is deeply committed to our customers, our associates and our company,” said Ellis. “His merchandising expertise and experience in leading the QFC Division will be great assets in our Mid-Atlantic division. We are looking forward to his positive energy and guidance.”

Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic division, based in Roanoke, Va., operates 121 stores in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and the eastern portions of Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio.

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Riteway Taps Bishop to Head New Fresh Division

LAKELAND, Fla. — Riteway Foods here said Monday that Don Bishop has joined the sales and marketing agency to lead and develop a new fresh foods division.

Don Bishop of Riteway FoodsRiteway Fresh will target the Southeast market, the company said. Bishop, who will serve as director of Riteway Fresh, has a 30-year background with Del Monte in perishable sales from regional sales manager, director of national accounts to vice president of Eastern region. For more than 20 years, Bishop has served as president of Bishop Targeted Marketing, Tampa.

“We are excited to take the Riteway know-how and approach into the fresh market,” Jim Hall, president of Riteway, said in a statement. “We are also pleased that Don Bishop has joined our team of professionals to lead and develop our Riteway Fresh division.


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“Don’s produce knowledge from the farm to the store to the table and his passion for sales make him the perfect person to lead Riteway Fresh,” Hall aded. “We look forward to working with Don building another successful sales organization supporting our Southeast retailers.”

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