Big Y Makes Executive Moves

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Big Y Makes Executive Moves

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Big Y Foods, Inc. here named a new marketing head among several executive shifts yesterday.

Antonio F. Gomes has been appointed to the position of v.p. of marketing and corporate strategies, in which capacity he will head up the company's consumer research, database marketing, target marketing initiatives, and corporate strategies. He reports to president Charles L. D'Amour.

Gomes joined Big Y in 1976 as a financial analyst and subsequently worked in the areas real estate, marketing, buying, and labor planning before becoming v.p. corporate planning in 1982. Under Gomes' leadership Big Y created its Express Savings Club loyalty card program. In 1998 he became v.p. corporate strategies.

Phillip J. Schneider has become v.p. of sales. In his new role he will handle overall sales and procurement, advertising, and retail pricing for all sales departments, including center store, corporate brands, health and beauty care/general merchandise, pharmacy, frozen foods, dairy and fresh foods including meat, produce, bakery, seafood, floral, deli and food service. He also reports Charles L. D'Amour.

A 44-year veteran of the supermarket industry, Schneider started out as a service clerk for Stop & Shop and worked his way up to store manager, grocery and direct buyer for Stop & Shop's Connecticut and New Jersey division, and assistant grocery sales manager for the banner's Connecticut division. After 22 years at Stop & Shop, Schneider became director of grocery sales for Waldbaum's Food Mart. In 1991 he took the job of director of grocery procurement for Big Y, and in 1996 was appointed to the position of center store. Schneider has also been a member of international buying cooperative Topco Associates.

Michael P. D'Amour has been appointed to the new position of senior director fresh foods, in which capacity he will continue to be in charge of sales and marketing for produce, floral, deli, bakery, food service, seafood and meat. As well as developing a long-term fresh foods strategy for Big Y, D'Amour will also handle all aspects related to these departments, including financials, training and development, merchandising, and advertising, along with links to operations. He reports to Schneider.

D'Amour joined Big Y in 1987 as a service clerk in the East Longmeadow, Mass. supermarket, and has worked in all areas of the markets. In 1996 he was took over deli and food service management at the West Springfield, Mass. World Class Market. Next, in 1998, he became a trainer/merchandiser for the chain within the foodservice department. Later he served as assistant store manager at the Manchester, Conn. and then Westfield, Mss. Big Y World Class Markets, before being promoted to store manager at the Rocky Hill, Conn. Big Y. In 2001 he opened the new Big Y World Class Market in East Windsor, Conn. D'Amour then went on to become a category manager for the frozen foods and dairy departments, followed by the same position in the produce department in 2004.

Peter M. Dudis has been named director of grocery sales, in which position he has greater responsibilities for all aspects of the grocery department. Additionally, he oversees the implementation of all new software systems and the category and space management functions for Big Y. He also reports to Schneider.

Dudis, who has over 38 years of experience in the supermarket industry, began as a part-time clerk while in high school for a local independent grocer and rose to become store manager before graduating from college. Later, he served as dairy and frozen foods buyer, grocery buyer, and v.p. of sales for the former Greenfield's Supermarkets in Connecticut. In 1989 Dudis joined Big Y as assistant director of grocery and was promoted to director of grocery operations in 1994.

With over 30 years with experience in all aspects of retail under his belt, Mark L. Gaudette has been promoted to the position of director of loss prevention. In his new role he is responsible for the loss prevention and security needs for the company's 56 supermarkets, 28 pharmacies, two distribution centers and corporate headquarters. He reports to v.p. of operations David Brunelle.

Gaudette was a store manager for Big Y's liquor division in 1976 and in 1995, became store manager in the supermarket division. He rose to his most recent position, that of loss prevention manager, in 1999. Gaudette serves on FMI's Loss Prevention Committee and the board of the Massachusetts Food Association's Loss Prevention Council.

Ann K. Wallenius has become director of Big Y Brands, making her now responsible for Big Y's entire store brand program throughout the store, including both center store and fresh foods. As such, she oversees product assortment, pricing, merchandising, marketing, consumer trial, and education for nearly 4,000 items across 13 brands throughout the chain. She works through the international buying co-op Topco Associates and is a member of its purchasing action committee. She reports to Schneider.

Since joining Big Y over 33 years ago, Wallenius has held such positions as assistant accounts payable department manager, private label coordinator, Big Y brands manager, and until recently, category manager Big Y brands. Before coming to Big Y, she was a stocker, re-order buyer, scheduler and floor supervisor at KMart.

Family-owned and operated Big Y, one of the largest independently owned supermarket chains in New England, operates 56 stores in Connecticut and Massachusetts, with over 9,200 employees.