Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc. (AWG) has made some key leadership changes aligning all wholesale operations, subsidiaries, sales and services into a single operating team. These moves consist of promoting Dan Funk to COO, effective Jan. 1, 2020; appointing Tye Anthony to the role of SVP, merchandising; and giving Jeff Pederson oversight for the Valu Merchandisers Co. subsidiary.
In a letter revealing the changes to the cooperative’s members, AWG President and CEO David Smith wrote that it was the company’s mission “to provide our member-retailers all the tools, products and services they need to compete favorably in all markets served. This includes top-quality supermarket merchandise and support services, all at the lowest possible cost. To fulfill that mission in these times of change, our organizational structure must evolve to best support the needs of our members, our fellow teammates, and to support the ongoing relationship with our vendor-partners.”
In his new role, Funk will lead all of the day-to-day operations of the cooperative and effectively execute its five Key Strategic Initiatives: Same-Store Sales Growth; Member Services and Support; Leadership Development and Succession-Ready Organization; Distribution Network Improvement; and Cooperative and Subsidiary Growth. Employed by AWG since 2012, Funk has progressed to positions of increasing responsibility, including president of Valu Merchandisers Co.; SVP, grocery merchandising; EVP, merchandising and marketing; and, most recently, chief supply chain and merchandising officer.
In addition to his current role of EVP, chief sales and support officer, Pederson will assume functional oversight for the growing Valu Merchandisers Co. subsidiary. A 22-year AWG veteran, he started out as a division retail specialist and proceeded to take on various support and leadership positions, among them EVP, division operations.
In a related move, Anthony will become SVP, merchandising, effective Nov. 4. In his new role, He will lead the merchandising team that includes meat, bakery and deli, produce, category management, AWG Brands, inventory management, and business analytics. Anthony has been with AWG since 2013 in a range of leadership roles, among them VP of sales and merchandising for both the Nashville and Fort Worth divisions; VP, advertising, merchandising and marketing; and, most recently VP, AWG Brands and merchandising.
“I could not be more proud of all this talented group of leaders have accomplished in the past year,” added Smith. “We are blessed to have this kind of leadership talent and depth, and I consider it a privilege to work with all of them.”
The nation’s largest cooperative food wholesaler to independently owned supermarkets, AWG serves more than 1,000 member companies and 3,800-plus locations across 36 states from eight full-line wholesale divisions. In addition to its cooperative wholesale operations, the company also operates subsidiary companies that provide certain real estate and supermarket development services, print and digital marketing services, and health and beauty care, general merchandise, specialty/international foods and pharmaceutical products.