Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc. (AWG) has made some key leadership changes for the cooperative, including promoting Dan Funk to chief operating officer. These changes align all wholesale operations, subsidiaries, sales and services into a singular operating team.
In a letter to its members announcing the changes, 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. To fulfill that mission in these times of change, our organizational structure must evolve to best support the needs of our members, our fellow teammates and to support the ongoing relationship with our vendor-partners.”
Effective Jan. 1, 2020, Funk will serve in the new role of COO. This role is being created to lead all of the day-to-day operations of the cooperative and to effectively execute its five key strategic initiatives, which are: Same Store Sales Growth, Member Services and Support, Leadership Development and Succession Ready Organization, Distribution Network Improvement, and Cooperative and Subsidiary Growth.
Funk has been with AWG since 2012 and has progressed to positions of increasing responsibility that has included president of Valu Merchandisers Co. (VMC); SVP, grocery merchandising; EVP, merchandising and marketing; and most recently, chief supply chain and merchandising oficer.
In addition to his current role, Jeff Pedersen, EVP, chief sales and support officer, will assume the functional oversight for the growing VMC subsidiary. Pedersen has made significant contributions to the success of AWG and its’ member retailers in his 22 years with the company. His AWG career path started as a division retail specialist and progressed to multiple other support and leadership positions to serving as EVP, division operations and to his current role.
In a related move, Tye Anthony is being promoted to a new role as SVP, 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 has been with AWG in various leadership roles since 2013, including VP of sales and merchandising for both the Nashville and Fort Worth divisions; VP, advertising, merchandising and marketing; and most recently VP, AWG Brands and merchandising.
“I could not be more proud of all this talented group of leaders have accomplished in the past year,” Smith said. “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, based in Kansas City, Kansas, is the nations’ largest cooperative food wholesaler to independently owned supermarkets, serving more than 1,000 member companies and more than 3,800 locations throughout 36 states from eight full-line wholesale divisions.