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Former Supervalu Execs Join Unified Grocers

Unified Klug and Bergmann

Last updated on December 6th, 2012 at 05:39 pm

Unified Grocers has appointed Susan M. Klug as SVP and CMO and Leon G. Bergmann as SVP of sales, a new position at Unified. The announcement was made jointly on Dec. 3 by Unified Grocers CEO by Al Plamann and President Bob Ling. Both Klug and Bergmann previously worked for Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Supervalu.

Klug, formerly president of the Southern California division of Supervalu’s Albertsons, is assuming the responsibility for marketing activities at Unified that were held by Phil Smith, EVP and chief marketing and procurement officer, who announced his retirement from the company, effective, Jan. 1, 2013 (but will continue to work on special projects for the company). In her new position, Klug will be responsible for all marketing functions at Unified, as well as the company’s retail support services and retail technology functions. In this capacity she will work closely with all of the company’s sales teams and member retailers and will provide support for their marketing efforts and programs. Klug will report to Plamann.

“We are extremely pleased to add Sue Klug to Unified’s management team,” Plamann said. “She has impeccable credentials, a wealth of experience in the grocery industry and understands our retailers and what they need in order to remain successful in the marketplace. Sue Klug is an outstanding addition to our team at Unified.”

Klug served as president of the Southern California division of Albertsons for five years until earlier this year. Previously, she served as SVP of sales and merchandising for Albertsons/Supervalu for two years. Klug also served as chief development officer at Catalina Marketing in St. Petersburg, Fla., where she focused on new business development opportunities, such as new product development, network expansion into alternative channels and creation of new business concepts to serve retailers and manufacturer clients. Additionally, she served as group president of retail and VP of the western U.S. for Catalina. Klug also was SVP of sales and merchandising at Lucky Stores and SVP of marketing at The Vons Cos. Inc.

An accomplished executive and skilled professional, Klug has been recognized numerous times for her accomplishments within the grocery industry and contributions to women’s organizations. Klug also served on the board of directors of the Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC) for more than five years.

She earned both Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Southern California.

In his new position, Bergmann will be responsible for sales and service functions across all regions of the company and will participate with other sales product leaders in developing programs that meet Unified’s member retailers’ and customers’ needs. Bergmann will report to Ling.

“The addition of Leon to our management team strengthens our entire organization,” Ling said. “He has a wide range of experience in virtually all segments of the grocery industry, including wholesale, retail, consumer packaged goods manufacturers and transportation and logistics. We are looking forward to the insight, fresh ideas and energy that he will bring to our organization.”

“I am proud to join Unified Grocers, a company with strong retail owners, an experienced wholesale team, and strong market share,” said

Bergmann. “I look forward to leveraging the strength and natural alignment of a co-op to benefit retail, our owners and Unified Grocers.”

Bergmann comes to Unified from Supervalu, where he was president of independent business and was responsible for supporting the growth and success of independent retailers who were supplied by the wholesaler. Prior to assuming this position, Bergmann served as group VP of independent sales, marketing and merchandising in Supervalu’s supply chain services division.

Prior to joining Supervalu, Bergmann spent six years at Keene, N.H.-based C&S Wholesale Grocers, the last three of which (2008-2011) were as

SVP of sales and customer service for the Northeast region, where he was responsible for total customer satisfaction and sales for the company’s major retail customers in the northeastern U.S. While at C&S, Bergmann also spent two years as GM for West Coast operations and one year as VP of corporate development.

During the course of his career, Bergman also has served as VP of process economics and engineering for ES3 Ltd. (C&S Holdings), was a Six Sigma Black Belt at Penske Truck Leasing/Logistics and had a successful career with the U.S. Navy as a Naval Aviator.

Bergmann holds a BBA in economics from Memphis State University and a MBA from the University of Memphis. He is a past member of the board of directors of IGA USA and also is a past member of the board of directors of the California Grocers Association.

Founded in 1922, Unified Grocers is a retailer-owned wholesale grocery distributor that supplies independent retailers throughout the western United States. Unified and its subsidiaries, which generated approximately $3.8 billion in sales during fiscal 2012, offer independent retailers all the resources they need to compete in the supermarket industry.


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