Derek Jones has joined Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc. (AWG) as EVP, division operations. The 30-year industry veteran will oversee divisions, corporate distribution, sales, support and services at the Kansas City, Kan.-based company.
Prior to joining AWG, Jones was CEO at Super Store Industries. He has also held executive roles at US Foods CHEF’Store, SpartanNash, Unisource Worldwide, Inc. and Office Depot. Jones earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Arkansas and completed executive education in leadership best practices a Harvard Business School.
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“We are blessed to have an accomplished leader such as Derek who will take on this critical leadership role at AWG,” said David Smith, president and CEO. “He complements our high-performing culture, and we believe his reputation for remarkable execution and results as a retailer and supplier have prepared him to be a critical member of the future executive team that will further elevate our performance of AWG’s mission of providing our member retailers with all the tools, products, and services they need to compete favorably in all markets served, all at the lowest possible cost.”
Jones, who officially steps into the role on July 10, will report to President-Elect Dan Funk. As previously announced, Funk will succeed Smith upon his retirement at the end of 2023.
AWG is the nation’s largest cooperative food wholesaler to independently-owned grocers, serving 1,100 member companies and more than 3,400 locations across 31 states. The company also operates subsidiary companies that provide real estate and supermarket development services, health and beauty care, general merchandise, pharmaceutical products, specialty foods and natural and organic products. The company is No. 39 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.