Associated Wholesale Grocers Realigns Leadership
Associated Wholesale Grocers(AWG) has announced key leadership and alignment changes for 2019 to improve supply performance and provide members with more retail-level support, service and solutions.
“As our business and the challenges facing our members are ever-changing, we must constantly evaluate our performance against our mission objective,” noted David Smith, AWG president and CEO, in a letter to members. “As we measure that performance, from time to time, it becomes necessary for us to realign and adjust our resources with current and emerging member needs and priorities.”
Among the changes was creating a more cohesive supply chain alignment within the grocery wholesaler, which brings together the previous division operations, merchandising and distribution/logistics functions. To support this move and others AWG also made some personnel changes.
Dan Funk has been promoted to chief supply chain and merchandising officer, a new role created in the realignment. Funk will be responsible for all merchandising and operations. He joined AWG in 2012 as president of the Valu Merchandisers subsidiary, later being promoted to SVP of grocery for AWG. In 2015, he assumed the role of EVP, merchandising and marketing.
AWG also has named Jeff Pedersen EVP and chief sales and support officer to lead sales, services, support and solutions. Pederson has worked for the wholesaler for 21 years, most recently as EVP of division operations. He will oversee the sales team – the primary point of contact for AWG members – and will lead the communication as well as the retail execution of sales building strategies.
The services team now encompasses store engineering, store design, store décor, décor manufacturing, lighting and design, construction, maintenance, remodeling and other related needs. The support division encompass advertising and marketing support, creative marketing services, digital, in-store marketing and social media services, customer loyalty programs, shelf space optimization strategies and planogram support.
Pederson also oversees the newly created solutions division that encompasses retail technology, business solutions, and retail pricing. This new area will be expanded in the future to be the go-to for various member needs, which are best fulfilled by AWG or by third-party providers, especially in the areas of technology.
AWG, based in Kansas City, Kan., is a cooperative food wholesaler to independent grocers, serving more than 1,100 member companies and more than 3,800 independent grocery stores throughout 36 states from eight full-line wholesale divisions.