Supermarket executive Bob Mariano has joined the board of directors of Southern California supermarket chain Gelson’s Markets.
“Bob Mariano is a legend in the supermarket industry, especially in the Midwest where he has made an indelible impact with the chain of stores that carry his name. We are thrilled he has agreed to join our board of directors, bringing his vast expertise, his vision for the industry, and relationships to Gelson’s,” said Gelson’s President and CEO Rob McDougall.
The son of a butcher, Mariano began his career in 1967 while still in high school as a part-time deli clerk for Chicago grocery chain Dominick’s. Earning a BS in biology from the University of Illinois and an MBA at the University of Chicago, he rose to become president and CEO of Dominick’s from 1995-98 through its acquisition to Safeway. After consulting for Milwaukee-based Roundy’s Supermarkets, Mariano was named CEO in 2002. Eight years later, under the aegis of Roundy’s, he launched the first Mariano’s Fresh Market in Arlington Heights, a suburb of Chicago.
Kroger purchased Roundy’s for $800 million in November 2015, and Mariano retired as chairman and CEO of the brand the following year, continuing to serve as a strategic consultant.
Founded in 1951, Gelson’s operates 25 full-service specialty grocery stores in Southern California.