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Topco Bolsters Leadership With Executive Promotions

Danell O’Neill and Mike Ferguson take on EVP and SVP roles, respectively
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Topco Bolsters Leadership With Executive Promotions
Danell O’Neill and Mike Ferguson

Topco Associates LLC has promoted Danell O’Neill to EVP of human resources, brand, marketing, corporate communications, facilities, and Mike Ferguson to SVP of fresh programs, effective immediately.

Previously holding the SVP title, O’Neill will continue her strategic focus on brand and marketing, building out brand architecture and establishing a transparency vision that continues to integrate Topco’s own brands and marketing content. In addition to assuming all components of product and packaging, O’Neill remains responsible for human resources and corporate communications.

Prior to joining Topco in 2013, O’Neill was a partner at WordWize Consulting. She previously held roles at ACNielsen and Zurich Insurance Co. Ltd. An Illinois State University alum, O’Neill holds a bachelor of science degree in public relations and organizational psychology.

“I’ve spent many years working with Danell, and she’s shown an ability to instill a One Topco approach for both our organization and the cooperative as a whole on countless occasions," said Randy Skoda, president and CEO of Elk Grove Village, Ill.-based Topco. "Her additional responsibilities will advance our own-brand excellence efforts, offering added value to both Topco and members’ own brands, further helping members compete in the markets they serve."

Ferguson previously held the title of VP of produce and floral, and he will retain his responsibilities in the department for his new role as SVP of fresh programs. In addition, he will be responsible for fresh and branded meat, deli/bakery, seafood, food services, and commodities. 

Since joining Topco in 2019, Ferguson has expanded the produce business model, developed a packaged salad brand for the Topco membership, and logged record sales in key produce categories. In addition to assuming more comprehensive fresh responsibilities, he will also be tasked with bringing forward new fresh brands.

Ferguson joined Topco after more than 28 years at Kroger. He is a Western Kentucky University graduate, having earned a bachelor of arts in marketing and marketing management.

“Mike’s extensive knowledge in the fresh category has provided the membership with unique perspectives, innovative thoughts and a propensity to see his ideas into reality since joining our organization a few years ago. We’re excited to see Mike execute on our far-reaching fresh initiatives and carry on the steady momentum he’s provided to the membership,” said Skoda.

After leading Topco’s fresh meat business, Scott Caro, SVP, will transition to lead the member development organization, taking over from Marc Kurkiewicz, who recently revealed his plans to retire.

Topco Associates is a $16.1 billion, privately held member-owned company that provides aggregation, innovation and knowledge management solutions for its food industry member-owners and customers, including grocery retailers, wholesalers, and foodservice and pharmacy companies. Topco leverages the collective volume, knowledge and commitment of these companies to create a competitive advantage in the marketplace by reducing costs and offering winning business-building capabilities.

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