As part of a realignment that will unite its wholesale operations, subsidiaries and sales and service groups into a single team, Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc. (AWG) announced a series of key leadership changes, including the appointment of Dan Funk to the newly created role of chief operating officer.
Funk, whose new role is effective Jan. 1, will lead all of the day-to-day operations of the cooperative. Since joining AWG in 2012, Funk has held the positions of president of Valu Merchandisers Co. (VMC); SVP of grocery merchandising; EVP of merchandising and marketing; and most recently, chief supply chain and merchandising officer. As COO, Funk will work to effectively execute the wholesaler’s five key strategic initiatives: same store sales growth, member services and support, leadership development and succession, distribution network improvement, and cooperative and subsidiary growth.
In other changes, Jeff Pedersen, EVP of chief sales and support officer, will now assume oversight of the growing VMC subsidiary. Pederson joined the company 22 years ago as a division retail specialist and has served as EVP of division operations.
In addition, Tye Anthony was promoted to SVP of merchandising, effective Nov. 4. He will lead the merchandising team that includes meat, bakery and deli, produce, category management, AWG brands, inventory management and business analytics. Anthony joined AWG in 2013 and has held various leadership roles, including VP of sales and merchandising for both the Nashville and Fort Worth, Texas, divisions; VP of advertising, merchandising and marketing; and most recently VP of AWG brands and merchandising.
“I could not be more proud of all this talented group of leaders have accomplished in the past year. We are blessed to have this kind of leadership talent and depth, and I consider it a privilege to work with all of them,” AWG President and CEO David Smith said. “It is AWG’s mission to provide our member-retailers all the tools, products and services they need to compete favorably in all markets served. This includes top quality supermarket merchandise and support services, all at the lowest possible cost.”