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Whole Foods Adds to Board of Directors, Operating Divisions

AUSTIN, Texas -- Natural and organic foods retailer Whole Foods Market, Inc. said yesterday that natural foods retailer Hass Hassan would join the grocer's board of directors, increasing the size of the board from seven to eight directors.

"Hass Hassan has been actively involved in the natural products industry since 1973, when he founded [the Rainbow Grocery,] one of the country's first one-stop natural foods stores in Denver, Colo.," said Whole Foods chairman, c.e.o., and co-founder John Mackey in a statement. "We believe his global food retailing knowledge and expertise will be a great benefit to our board of directors and company."

In 1978 Hassan founded Alfalfa's Markets, a chain of natural foods stores in Boulder, Colo., serving as president and c.e.o. until the company was acquired in 1995 by Boulder-based Wild Oats Markets, Inc. He served as president of Wild Oats from 1995 to 1997. In 1999, Hassan founded Fresh & Wild, Ltd., an organic food retailer in the United Kingdom. He was Fresh & Wild's president and executive chairman until 2004, when that company was acquired by Whole Foods.

Whole Foods additionally said that it was expanding the number of its operating regions from 10 to 11 by dividing the North Atlantic region into the North Atlantic and Tri-State regions as of Oct. 1, 2005. The new Tri-State region will be headed by Christina Minardi, formerly regional v.p. of the North Atlantic region. The company further noted that its board declared a seventh quarterly dividend of 25 cents, payable July 25, 2005 to shareholders of record at the close of business on July 15, 2005.

Minardi, who came to Whole Foods in 1996, has served as regional v.p. of the North Atlantic region since 2001, overseeing the opening of the Columbus Circle, White Plains, and Union Square stores in New York. Before rising to regional v.p., Minardi held various store team leader positions with the company and with Fresh Fields Markets, Inc. which Whole Foods acquired in 1996.

Whole Foods currently operates 169 stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
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