Two Raley's employees were killed in a plane crash Sunday morning in Sacramento County.
The Raley’s Cos.’ CFO, Kenneth Mueller, and its chief pilot, Richard Conte, were both killed Sunday when the twin-engine plane they were traveling in crashed less than 20 minutes after takeoff, according to local reports. Raley’s spokeswoman Chelsea Minor confirmed to The Sacramento Bee newspaper that both men were aboard the plane, but said they weren’t on company business at the time of the crash.
Mueller, 56, and Conte, 68, were the only passengers on the plane when it went down, which occurred just before 9 a.m. PT in a marshy area of farmland near Galt, Calif., just south of the Sacramento metropolitan area. The plane had taken off from Tracy Municipal Airport, northwest of Modesto, Calif.
“Our organization is deeply saddened and heartbroken,” the company said in a statement. “At this time, we are focused on supporting their families, friends and our colleagues.”
Mueller had worked at Raley’s for more than 25 years, most recently in the role of SVP and CFO. Conte had been the company’s chief pilot for eight years and was also employed by Sacramento law firm Dreyer Babich Buccola Wood Campora LLP.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash.
With more than 21,000 employees, privately owned and family-run The Raley's Cos. operates 230-plus locations across four states and four Tribal Nations under eight banners: Raley’s, Bel Air, Nob Hill Foods, Raley’s O-N-E Market, Bashas’, Food City, AJ’s Fine Foods and Bashas’ Diné Market. In addition, the company bridges the divide between the physical and digital retail experiences through the operation of Apium Logistics, Fieldera and FieldTRUE. The company is No. 48 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.