United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) has appointed Chris Finck its new president, Atlantic region, effective May 1, filling the vacancy left by Mark Bushway’s promotion to chief supply chain officer in January. Reporting to UNFI Chief Customer Officer Steve Dietz, Finck will lead the Atlantic region sales team to support customers with UNFI’s portfolio of products and services.
Finck comes to UNFI with 34 years of commercial, sales, marketing, operations, and general management experience. Over the past five years, he’s been chief commercial officer for Dallas-based dairy company Dean Foods (acquired by Dairy Farmers of America in 2020) and chief customer officer at Oak Brook, Ill.-based private label packaged food company TreeHouse Foods. At both companies, he played a key leadership role in the broker network and contract management, the go-to-market organization, and the improvement of customer profitability. Before TreeHouse Foods, Finck was chief customer officer at Mexico City-based Grupo Bimbo, and VP of sales, bakery division at Downers Grove, Ill.-based Sara Lee.
“Chris is a well-rounded, highly passionate and results-driven leader with a strong track record for building effective teams and delivering strategic sales capabilities,” noted Dietz. “With his leadership background and significant experience in the food industry, Chris understands the challenges facing today’s marketplace and, along with the Atlantic region team, will provide innovative and meaningful solutions that help our customers grow and succeed.”
Prior to his work at Grupo Bimbo, Finck spent almost 20 years with Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo, holding positions of increasing responsibility, among them account manager, regional sales manager and market development manager for Pepsi Beverages; director of strategic planning and integration for Quaker Oats; and VP of U.S. sales for Gatorade.
Finck holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Towson University and an MBA from Loyola College. In addition to his food industry work, he sits on the mayor’s advisory board for the city of Naperville, Ill.; is a member of the board of directors for Little Friends, which provides services to people with autism and other developmental disabilities; and was previously chairman of the board of directors for the Downtown Naperville Alliance.
Providence, R.I.-based UNFI delivers a wide variety of products to customer locations throughout North America, including natural product superstores, independent retailers, conventional supermarket chains, e-commerce retailers and foodservice customers. The largest publicly traded grocery distributor in America, the company is No. 47 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.