Natural and organic food distributor Tree of Life Canada, a subsidiary of KeHE Distributors, has appointed Patrick Heffernan as SVP of customer and client development, effective Nov. 29.
Heffernan has an expansive background in the grocery industry, foodservice and drug industry, with more than 20 years of experience in senior executive roles. His previous experience includes holding the VP of supply chain and supplier relations position at United Natural Foods Canada Inc. (UNFI Canada) until 2020.
In his new role as SVP of customer and client development, Heffernan will report directly to Tree of Life President Lisa MacNeil.
Heffernan will succeed current SVP of Customer Development Chris Powell, who will be retiring in May 2022 after a 31-year career. Making impactful contributions not only to Tree of Life, but to the industry as well, Powell has received numerous recognitions, including acknowledgment of excellence from the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG) with the prestigious Life Member award in the Industry Builder Category in 2021.
“We are grateful to Chris for driving success at Tree of Life and thank him for his role in the development and progress of the company,” said MacNeil. “During his tenure, business has doubled and he has been a mentor to many. His influence has made an indelible impact.”
Powell and Heffernan will work closely over the next several months to ensure a smooth transition.
Naperville, Ill.-based KeHE is the largest pure-play distributor of natural and organic, specialty, and fresh products to more than 30,000 natural food stores, chain and independent grocery stores, e-commerce retailers, and other specialty products retailers throughout North America. A Certified B Corporation, the company has more than 5,500 employee-owners.