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Associated Grocers Names John Runyan President and CEO

SEATTLE -- Associated Grocers, Inc. (AG) yesterday named ex-Fleming exec John S. Runyan president and c.e.o., taking the helm from interim president and c.e.o. Ron Brake.

Runyan will also serve as vice-chairman of the AG board of directors. Brake will continue as chairman of the AG board of directors, a position he has held since January. AG's 2005 fiscal year-end sales were more than $1 billion.

"John is extremely well-respected throughout the industry," said Brake. "AG is very fortunate to have a man with his experience and stature leading the organization. He is starting on a strong foundation with an outstanding team of wholesale and retail players."

Runyan joins AG after rising through the ranks in the grocery industry to hold numerous management and executive-level positions during a 38-year career with Fleming Companies, Inc. For 10 years prior to his retirement in 2001, Runyan served as a senior officer at Fleming's corporate headquarters, where he was responsible for multiple areas including, Megamarket, Super 1 Foods, Piggly Wiggly, and Save-U-Foods retail stores; retail training and support; consumer research; franchising/licensing; and group president of price impact retail stores. Runyan also served as corporate s.v.p., operations, in charge of eight distribution centers in the Western U.S.

Runyan's introduction to the supermarket industry began at the age of 12 with an independent grocer as a bottle boy/bagger. He then worked his way through college with a multi-store IGA retailer, working in the grocery and meat departments, and eventually into store management. After college, Runyan joined Fleming, holding such positions as buyer/merchandiser, sales manager, California division president, and corporate v.p. in charge of the new Western Region.

Since his retirement from Fleming, Runyan has operated his own consulting firm, JSR&R Company, working with U.S. and international food industry wholesalers and retailers.
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