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Former Unified Grocers EVP Passes Away

Philip S. Smith worked for company from 1994 to 2012
Unified Grocers Phil Smith Main Image
Philip S. Smith

Philip “Phil” S. Smith, former EVP, chief marketing and procurement officer of Commerce, Calif.-based wholesaler Unified Grocers (now part of UNFI), died on April 27 at his home after a long battle with cancer. 

Born in 1950, Smith began his grocery industry career at Market Wholesale Grocery Co., where he was a senior executive for 23 years. In 1994, he joined Unified Grocers and rose through the ranks, eventually reaching the position noted above, until his retirement in 2012. After retiring, Smith founded The Grocery Marketing Group, a consulting company.

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In addition to his work, Smith took part in various industry organizations. He served on the State of California WIC Stakeholders Committee, was a board member of Food4All, sat on the executive committee of the National Grocers Association and volunteered for cancer charity City of Hope.

His contributions to the industry and the community were recognized with such prestigious awards as the Food and Beverage Humanitarian Award from the California Conference for Equality and Justice, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Timothy Lautrup Humanitarian Award.

Details for a celebration-of-life service will be released at a later date. In the meantime, personal remembrances may be sent to [email protected].

“Phil will be deeply missed by all who knew him and whose lives he touched,” a spokesman noted.

Smith’s survivors include his wife of 45 years, Jan; their two sons, Stephen and David; and their seven grandchildren.

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