Following the retirement of David Smith in December, Dan Funk has now assumed the role of president and CEO of Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc. (AWG).
Smith joined AWG in 2003 and became president and CEO in 2015. Under his leadership, the company experienced significant growth and success. Smith was instrumental in steering the company through various challenges and played a key role in shaping AWG’s strategic direction.
During his time with AWG, the cooperative grew from a Midwest company supplying 1,200 stores and three divisions with sales of $3.2 billion to a sprawling company with divisions across the central U.S., with retail sales exceeding $24 billion and wholesale sales exceeding $12 billion.
The news of Smith’s retirement was first announced in December 2022. The Shelby Report honored Smith in 2023 by naming him to its Food Industry Hall of Fame, highlighting his 48-year career in the grocery industry.
“It has been an incredible journey leading AWG, and I am proud of what we have accomplished together,” Smith said. “I am confident in the bright future ahead for the company under Dan Funk’s capable leadership.”
Funk started his career with AWG as president of AWG’s subsidiary, Valu Merchandisers Company in October 2012. After two years leading VMC, he held roles of increasing responsibility including leading center store, merchandising and marketing, supply chain and, most recently, as COO, where he had responsibility for operations for the cooperative. Before AWG, Funk held numerous food retail and wholesale positions for leading independent and chain grocers.
“I am honored to lead AWG into its next chapter,” Funk said. “I am committed to building on the strong foundation laid by David and working collaboratively with our talented leadership team, membership and board of directors to drive continued innovation and growth.”
Barry Queen, AWG’s board chairman, concluded, “On behalf of the board, I want to express our deepest gratitude to David Smith for his outstanding leadership. Under his guidance, AWG has thrived, and we wish him a well-deserved retirement. We are confident that Dan Funk is the right leader to continue AWG’s success, and we look forward to working with him in this new capacity.”
Kansas City, Kansas-based Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc. (AWG) is a large cooperative food wholesaler to independently-owned supermarkets, serving 1,100 member companies and more than 3,400 locations throughout 31 states from nine wholesale divisions.
In addition to its cooperative wholesale operations, the company also operates subsidiary companies that provide certain real estate and supermarket development services, health and beauty care, general merchandise, pharmaceutical products, specialty foods, and natural and organic products.
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