Coborn’s Leader Joins CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion

Latest food retailer to sign on to commitment
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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Top Regionals
Austin Vogler, Coborn’s talent, culture, and human resources manager, introduced the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion commitment as part of the company’s Diversity & Inclusion Action Plan.

Chris Coborn, chairman and CEO of employee-owned Coborn’s Inc., has joined the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion coalition. The organization is the largest CEO-driven business commitment to spur measurable action and meaningful change in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.

Coborn’s joins a partnership of more than 2,200 CEOs pledging to create a trusting environment in which all ideas are welcomed, and employees feel comfortable and empowered to hold discussions on diversity and inclusion.

Austin Vogler, Coborn’s talent, culture, and human resources manager, introduced the pledge as part of the company’s Diversity & Inclusion Action Plan presented to store directors, senior company leadership, board of directors at a recent strategic planning retreat.

“While our company’s core value of Dignity & Respect sets the expectation for an inclusive culture, our communities, guests and, most importantly, our employees, want and need to see, hear and feel our brand promise of being the Greatest Place to Work,” said Vogler. “Joining the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion coalition provides us with the opportunity to share with and learn from other organizations who are at various stages in their diversity, equity and inclusion journey, and this pledge itself complements our plans for future work in this area.”

Last year, JJ Fleeman, president of Peapod Digital Labs, the digital and e-commerce engine of Ahold Delhaize USA’s banners; Roger Wheeler, president of Retail Business Services (RBS), the grocer's services company; and Meg Ham, president of the retail conglomerate’s Food Lion supermarket banner, signed on to the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion.

Members of the coalition are dedicated to working collaboratively to further diversity and inclusion in the workplace through conversation, engagement and collaboration among organizations. 

St. Cloud, Minn.-based Coborn’s Inc. is a 101-year-old employee-owned grocery retailer with nearly 10,000 employees and 66 grocery stores across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin and Michigan under the Coborn’s Cash Wise Foods, Marketplace Foods and Hornbacher’s banners. Coborn’s also owns liquor, fuel and pharmacy locations. To support its 130 various retail business units, Coborn’s Inc. operates its own central bakery, dry cleaning facility and grocery distribution center. The company is No. 82 The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. It was also named a 2022 Top 10 Regional Operator to Watch by the publication. Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize, is No. 10 on PG’s list. 

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