SpartanNash Names President of Food Distribution
SpartanNash has hired Walt Lentz as its EVP and president, food distribution. Bringing more than three decades of logistics and supply chain experience to his new role, Lentz was acting CEO and chief supply chain officer of Peapod LLC, the Chicago-based egrocery business division of Ahold Delhaize USA, from 2017 to 2019.
At Grand Rapids, Mich.-based SpartanNash, Lentz oversees the company’s $4 billion food distribution segment and has responsibility for the total company supply chain, working with the SpartanNash team to develop and execute strategic plans to grow the wholesale-distribution and food-manufacturing businesses’ profitability. Lentz reports to SpartanNash’s president and CEO, David M. Staples.
“Walt’s multidisciplined logistics and supply-chain career and commanding knowledge of the grocery industry from distribution, retailing and omnichannel commerce to manufacturing and merchandising are in direct alignment with SpartanNash’s supply-chain optimization and strategic growth objectives,” noted Staples. “His proven track record of achieving top-line sales growth and bottom-line cost savings with emerging innovative solutions, merchandising and marketing initiatives, and improved customer and associate satisfaction, are reflective of Walt’s transformational leadership skills. We believe his expertise and energy to accelerate our strategic plan will be an asset to our organization.”
Lentz joined Ahold in 2009, starting as as SVP, supply chain for Giant Food and rising to SVP, supply chain logistics, planning and replenishment, for Ahold USA Retail, before becoming chief supply chain officer of Peapod in 2016 and a year later taking on the role of acting CEO. From 1997 to 2009, Lentz had positions of increasing responsibility for the Battle Creek, Mich.-based Kellogg Co., ranging from manufacturing operations to logistics operations and business unit sales support.
SpartanNash’s core businesses include distributing grocery products to various independent and chain retailers, its corporate-owned retail stores, and U.S. military commissaries and exchanges, as well as fresh produce distribution and fresh food processing. The company serves customer locations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Bahrain, Djibouti and Egypt. No. 33 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States, SpartanNash operates 160 supermarkets, mainly under the Family Fare, Martin’s Super Markets, D&W Fresh Market, VG’s Grocery, Dan’s Supermarket and Family Fresh Market banners. Through its MDV military division, the company is a leading distributor of grocery products to U.S. military commissaries. Ahold Delhaize USA is No. 4 on the Super 50 list.