More Leadership Changes at Allegiance Retail Services

Michael Conese named new VP of perishable merchandising; Dean Holmquist tapped as VP of store ops
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
allegiance Mike Conese
Michael Conese

The retailer-owned grocery cooperative Allegiance Retail Services has appointed Michael Conese as its new VP of perishable merchandising. Reporting to Chief Merchandising Officer Samer Rahman, he will oversee all fresh department activities for the co-op, including produce, meat, seafood, deli, bakery and meal solutions.

Previously, Conese was director of operations at Stop & Shop and also served as VP of center store merchandising and private label for Foodtown/Allegiance Retail Services. His background includes other roles in store operations and merchandising for Fairway Market and Pathmark Stores.

[Read more: “Allegiance Retail Services Adds 3 New Stores”]

“Mike’s extensive merchandising experience will benefit both the existing membership and position Allegiance to seamlessly transition the accelerated store growth which will be realized over the next two quarters,” said John T. Derderian, president and COO.

Dean Holmquist
Dean Holmquist

Conese takes on the position most recently held by Dean Holmquist. A 35-year company veteran, Holmquist has been elevated to the role of VP of store operations at Allegiance, where he will guide the expansion of the store network over the next year.

This is the latest leadership change at the co-op. In August, the company announced that Derderian will transition to a part-time role on Oct. 1 of principal advisor for retail development and strategic business. VP and CFO Joseph Fantozzi will assume interim president responsibilities while the board conducts a search for a permanent replacement for Derderian. In November 2022, the co-op’s Chairman and CEO Daniel Katz passed away.

Based in Iselin, N.J., Allegiance provides independent supermarkets such as Foodtown, Freshtown, D’Agostino, Gristedes, Pathmark, LaBella Marketplace, Brooklyn Harvest, Market Fresh, Morton Williams, Big Deal Food Market, Green Way Markets and Shop n Bag with marketing, advertising, technological and merchandising support. The business also offers a full line of private label products, under the Foodtown, Green Way and Rancher’s Legend names.

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