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Publix Names New VP of Marketing

Promotion of Malinda Renfroe comes as Mark Irby prepares to retire
Left to right: Mark Irby, Malinda Renfroe

After 48 years with the company, Publix Super Markets’ VP of Marketing Mark Irby will retire at the end of February 2022. With Irby’s retirement, the company is promoting Malinda Renfroe to the role.

Irby, 66, started at Publix in 1973 at the sign shop in Lakeland, Fla. After working in several roles within that department, in 1983, he moved to the advertising department as a marketing and research manager. In 1988, he became director of marketing and advertising and to his current position in 1989.

“Mark’s dedication to helping build, promote, protect and bring to life the Publix brand has made us a better company,” noted Publix President Kevin Murphy. “He’s given meaning to our ‘Where Shopping Is A Pleasure’ slogan and shaped opportunities for customers to connect with us in authentic ways, creating memorable moments with ‘my Publix’ stories. He’s made our brand a part of the fabric of our communities, building loyal and raving fans in existing markets and introducing us in new areas. We are grateful for all his years of dedicated service.”

Irby and his wife, Debbie, will continue to live in Lakeland, where they hope to spend more time with family and friends and pursue their personal interests.

Renfroe, 42, joined Publix in 2005 as a marketing support associate in Lakeland. She progressed to field marketing coordinator in 2006, category marketing manager in 2010 and manager of marketing brand management in 2016. Renfroe took on her current role of director of marketing operations in 2019.

“Malinda is a strong leader with extensive experience across all marketing functions,” said Murphy. “Her ability to foster collaboration and team building, along with her passion for developing associates, will be instrumental as she takes this next step in her Publix career. We are excited to see the contributions she’ll continue to make in her new role.”

Renfroe, and her husband, Jason, live in Lakeland.

Privately owned and operated by its more than 225,000 employees, Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix has 1,294 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. The grocer is No. 11 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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