Festival Foods Hires Southeastern Grocers Senior Leader
Festival Foods will welcome Ken Wicker to its senior leadership team on Feb. 8 as SVP of fresh foods. Wicker spent 30 years with Southeastern Grocers, the parent company of Bi-Lo, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket, and Winn-Dixie grocery stores. Most recently, he was SVP of fresh foods for Southeastern, and he also worked for four years as regional VP of Harvey’s Supermarket, a subsidiary of Southeastern.
“Ken brings great passion to fresh foods, and we are excited about his vast experience in other areas of grocery leadership,” said Randy Munns, Festival Foods’ EVP and COO.
Wicker started his career serving customers, working as a meat clerk, produce manager and store manager. He later held store support roles in loss prevention and labor management, and as regional fresh foods manager, category manager fresh meat, district manager, director of store operations, and director of meat and seafood.
In addition to earning a doctorate of business in marketing from Capella University, in Minneapolis, Wicker also received a baster of organizational management degree from Ashford University, in San Diego, and he holds certifications in Lean & Design for Six Sigma and Green Belt.
Founded in 1946 as Skogen's IGA, Festival Foods began operating under its current name in 1990 and now employs more than 7,500 full- and part-time associates. The retailer is known for its commitment in giving back to the communities it serves. For example, its Festival Foods Turkey Trot event has raised $3.28 million since it began in 2008, with $360,000 coming with this year’s Home Edition, when nearly 20,000 participants laced up all across Wisconsin. Festival Foods gave 100% of proceeds to Boys & Girls Clubs and YMCAs throughout the state. The grocer also recently partnered with dairy brand Kemps to benefit Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin. In addition, it matched funds donated last year to its Food for Neighbors and Paw Away Hunger programs.
Jacksonville, Florida-based Southeastern Grocers is one of the largest conventional supermarket companies in the United States, with grocery stores, liquor stores and in-store pharmacies serving communities throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina. The company is No. 34 on The PG 100, PG’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.
Festival Foods, a De Pere, Wis. family- and employee-owned grocer with 33 full-service supermarkets across the state, is No. 97 on PG's list.