Derek Tufts has been promoted to vice president of human resources at grocery distributor and retailer SpartanNash.
Grand Rapids, Michigan-based SpartanNash said Monday that Tufts, previously senior director of HR for corporate and retail, will support 17,500 associates. His expanded responsibilities will include coaching senior leaders, developing and training HR business partners, driving retention and reducing turnover, partnering with centers of excellence in HR and improving overall HR business-facing operations.
“Derek has played a vital leadership role in ensuring the HR strategy and practices align to our ‘People First’ culture, and we’re proud to promote from within to extend his expertise to positively impact our associate experience across the company,” Nicole Zube, senior vice president and chief human resources officer at SpartanNash, said in a statement.
A 25-year HR and employee relations veteran, Tufts joined SpartanNash in September 2019 as director of human resources for the company’s retail business, which currently includes 144 corporate-owned and -operated supermarkets. He was elevated to senior director of HR for corporate and retail in March 2022.
In coming to SpartanNash, Tufts brought years of HR experience at retail chains. That included serving as director of HR and talent acquisition at furniture and mattress retailer Art Van Furniture, director of field HR at office supplies chain OfficeMax, and regional and district HR manager at toy retailer Toys R Us, where he spent more than 14 years.
SpartanNash noted that Tufts showed his leadership in keeping its supermarkets open and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, and he was an integral part of M&A integrations and led a project team to update the associate relations process. He also has been a “trusted coach and adviser to many associates and leaders,” the company said.
Overall, SpartanNash distributes to all 50 states through its core food wholesaling business, supplying over 2,100 independent grocers nationwide plus corporate-run stores in nine Midwestern states. The company also distributes to 160 military commissaries and over 400 exchanges in the United States and internationally.