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Cameron Completes a Successful First Year at Helm of ROFDA Francis Cameron became president and CEO of Retailer Owned Food Distributors & Associates (ROFDA) on Sept. 1, 2012. He joined ROFDA in 2010, first in the role of VP of business development and then EVP and COO. Cameron recently finished his first year leading the organization. The Shelby Report gathered his perspective relative to the last year and discussed future plans for ROFDA.
we’re doing. As it relates to the first item, to Enhance Industry Identity, we recognized ours might be under the radar, so to speak. We are a 51-yearold organization and much of the industry doesn’t know about us. It’s surely an issue, if we wish to be effective as a co-op. We are taking action in the way we present ourselves and communicate with the industry. Recently at ROFDA’s fall conference, we announced our new branding that included a new logo and tagline. Both are more in tune with who we are and what we do. At the same time, we launched our new website that better reflects our organization. The most critical pieces have come in our ability to better define ourselves within our members’ organizations, trade groups and the press. This interview is a good example. Also, we have met with some key trade association leaders like David McConnell, president and CEO of Global Market Development Center (GMDC), Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and Peter Larkin, president and CEO of the National Grocers Association (NGA). These trade associations are important to our members and ROFDA. As such, we are finding new and effective ways to collaborate. Peter, in fact, spoke at our fall conference about our shared interests and efforts. Doesn’t our second initiative— Improve Communication and Information Sharing Methods— seem like an issue with every organization? We’ll throw in the fact that we have 14 members all in different parts of the country and more than 80 associates, and you might recognize our challenge. While modern technology allows us to efficiently connect, we went a step further with ROFDA’s new web portal to more effectively connect. This tool will continue to evolve but will provide the
means to further improve our ability to communicate. We’ve also seen a ton of activity regarding share groups. This past year, our heads of IT, procurement, risk management and CEOs have met to discuss issues and share information. We intend to facilitate more in the future. Information sharing is a critical piece of our cooperative. Our third initiative, Expand Aggregated Activity, can be misunderstood. Some jump to the conclusion that’s all about group buying. ROFDA has no intention of becoming a centralized procurement group. In fact, we shall never supersede the relationship between our members and their suppliers. However, we are finding effective ways to align interests with suppliers and use our scale
mance, creating standards and taking consistent positions. All these things lend themselves to creating parity for the independent grocer.
cooperative formed to facilitate A and enhance the success of Independent Retail Grocers.
Francis Cameron president and CEO, ROFDA
How would you characterize your first year leading ROFDA? One word comes to mind: successful. I think anytime you can make incremental improvements that build a greater foundation for things to come, it’s hard to think of a better way to characterize our year. We are very fortunate to have started from all the good Mr. Ferrell Franklin brought to ROFDA and that of Mr. Jim Morton. Without their leadership and many contributions to this organization, we could not be where we are today. Furthermore, our chairman, Jay Campbell, president and CEO of Associated Grocers-Baton Rouge, unselfishly gave of himself. I, personally, am indebted to him for his counsel, patience, perspective and leadership. I have joked with Jay on several occasions in the last year about his second full-time job as chairman of ROFDA. Lastly, our Board of Directors has been amazing. I have witnessed their willingness to come together and act for the greater good of the independent grocery retailers they serve. Can you summarize some of your accomplishments? When I look back at the last 12 months, I am amazed at what we’ve done. It really does provide a great example of how a cooperative works. That said, our accomplishments have much less to do with me than they do about us. My job is simply to facilitate—get the right people to the table, and good things happen. To start, our directors met early in the year to discuss our future. We came away with ROFDA’s new purpose, mission and four strategic initiatives. Can you speak specifically about each of your strategic initiatives? Absolutely, I can speak to each and give you some examples of what
“Cooperatively united to utilize and leverage all available resources, industry best practices, and business relationships to provide added value to our Independent Retail Grocers.”
• Enhance Industry Identity • Improve Communication and Information Sharing Methods • Expand Aggregated Activity • Support “Operational Fairness”
What challenges have you faced? May I state the obvious? If so, I would have to say time. There never seems to be enough time to do all those things that we recognize need to be done. But, the realist in me keeps my focus on the incremental gains that will allow us to continue to improve. The optimist in me knows that we can do it. What’s next for ROFDA? Our members are a smart, strong and passionate group. They care deeply about the independent retail grocers they serve. ROFDA’s collec-
Jay Campbell and Francis Cameron salute Gary Millard (center) of Reily Foods on his retirement at the 2013 ROFDA Spring Conference.
for special offers or promotions that are passed down to the independent grocers our members serve. Our aggregated opportunities also include considerations like data, best practices and business development. Lastly, Operational Fairness: This initiative supports a whole other level of information sharing for the purpose of benchmarking our perfor-
tive knowledge, scale and leadership will enhance their efforts not just to survive but also to thrive. Jim Morton, ROFDA’s first president and CEO, coined our first tagline, “Building for the Future.” At our fall conference we introduced the theme “The Future is NOW.” It’s really what Jim Morton and Ferrell Franklin prepared us for…we simply need to act.
Promoting, Supporting and Servicing the Independent Retailer
The diverse resources that make up ROFDA are revealed through its members and associates. Rather than create redundancy, Francis Cameron, ROFDA’s president and CEO, believes in taking advantage of the resources and expertise that currently exist to efficiently support the needs of the co-op. “If we are truly committed to collaboration and our structure as a cooperative, we must seek out methods that harness our collective talent,” said Cameron. This philosophy has proven itself in ROFDA’s recent announcements regarding its new branding and web presence.
Creating a new identity
In the past year ROFDA announced a new Purpose Statement and Mission Statement (see page 3). At the spring board of directors meeting, it was decided that the ROFDA brand should reflect the evolution of the organization and make the recent changes evident to the industry.
Developing a website that is MSC’s website development an actual hub of process mirrors ROFDA’s communications for ROFDA collaborative values As is the case for many organizations, ROFDA’s first website, developed in 2001, was a static brochure with the primary objective to deliver basic information about ROFDA on the web. Realizing that the site could deliver much more in terms of member communication, interaction and efficiencies for the organization, Cameron began an important initiative to update the site. Media Solutions Corp. (MSC), a digital solutions company with extensive retail wholesaler and independent markets experience, was chosen to help ROFDA take advantage of current technology and create a site that would be an asset and that would contribute to the goals of the organization.
Chris Miller, president of Associated Grocers of Florida, suggested that the members’ creative teams submit designs for consideration. This suggestion led to a “logo & tagline” initiative. True to their collaborative nature, the development of a new identity took the form of a contest involving all of the members. Although development of an identity in this manner is unconventional, the results were 26 well-thought-out entries, which were then voted upon and narrowed down to five contenders. Final voting revealed one clear winner submitted by Affiliated Foods Midwest. Martin Arter, president and CEO of Affiliated Foods Midwest, empowered and supported his team, led by Mandy Lauck in marketing, to create ROFDA’s new logo design.
ROFDA: ‘Strength in Unity’
A byproduct of the new branding was a new tagline that reflects the group’s identity. Neal Berube is president and CEO of Associated Food Stores in Salt Lake City. His company’s marketing team, which was led by Jason Sokol, along with Rand Mickelson and KC Carlson, provided this evocative tagline: “Strength in Unity.” It became the creative theme and an important element in representing the brand. The logo is a simple representation of the three important ROFDA relationships: Members, Associates and Suppliers, who are interlinked to meet the mission of adding value to the independent grocer.
MSC’s website development process started with a “wholistic” approach to understand the big-picture view of the website. “Beyond the new and improved features and functions, we wanted to create a website that works hard to deliver a total experience that meets the needs of the users,” says Jim Lukens, MSC’s general manager. “Naturally, a site should be visually appealing and architecturally sound, but it also needs to create an accurate impression of who ROFDA is; what it stands for; and why that is of benefit to its stakeholders.” The first step of the process was to create clarity for the important facets of the new website, such as an understanding of the ROFDA brand, the users and targets of the website and the specific details— domain names, hosting, etc. In many respects, with surveys and interviews as part of the process, the MSC approach mirrored the collaborative nature of ROFDA. The first step was a survey sent out to a number of stakeholders that used both closed and open-
ended questions, allowing for important feedback, which guided the site development.
Some of the learnings from the survey were: • Online registration is very important, with 82.5 percent stating it would be extremely useful or very useful. • 79 percent of the responses indicated a likelihood to use online payment options, thus payment options beyond Paypal needed to be considered. • The site would be viewed from a number of devices, such as mobile, tablets and laptops. Respondents also were in favor of the creation of a private forum for the exchange of ideas and information; a membership directory; and the capabiluity to use the site for polling and opinion surveys.
MSC Website Development Process
Website evolves into an important & secure hub of communications for ROFDA MSC’s first step, “Clarify,” led to the formation of the goals and guiding principles for the site: 1.) Become a hub for members, associates and suppliers for an ongoing exchange of information and ideas in a secure environment; 2.) R educe paperwork and create more efficiency for site updates and changes; and 3.) C learly communicate the ROFDA brand.
Web design and development based on goals & guiding principles
MSC’s second step, “Create,” revolved around meeting the goals and guiding principles for the site. To achieve the first goal, the site’s scheme was divided into two important sectors—public facing and membership only. The public-facing side’s content strategy rests on
ROFDA Members Well Represented on NCB Co-op 100 List
National Cooperative Bank (NCB) released its latest Co-op 100 list in October, ranking the nation’s cooperative businesses by revenues. The top co-op industry in the nation is agriculture, with $139.2 billion in revenues, followed by grocery and food distribution at $36.1 billion. Among ROFDA members, Unified Grocers Inc. in Commerce, Calif., is the highest-ranking company on the list at 11, with 2012 revenues of nearly $3.8 billion. The next ROFDA member on the list is Associated Wholesalers Inc. in Robesonia, Pa., at $2.3 billion (No. 18); Associated Food Stores, Salt Lake City, Utah, with $2.0 billion (21); Central Grocers Cooperative, Franklin Park, Ill., with $1.97 billion (22); Affiliated Foods Midwest Co-op, Norfolk, Neb., with $1.5 billion (33); Affiliated Foods Inc., Amarillo, Texas, $1.46 billion (36); URM Stores, Spokane, Wash., $957 million (59); Piggly Wiggly Alabama, Bessemer, Ala., $734 million (83); and Associated Grocers Inc., Baton Rouge, La., $685 million (92). The highest ranking grocery co-op on the list—
a clear communication of ROFDA’s brand, mission and scope of membership. The membership-only side of the site starts with a log-in area, which leads to members, associates and suppliers to their respective areas, with both shared and partitioned features and functions. Features include: • Conference & Events (detailed information, registration and payments) • Photo Gallery • Forums with various interest categories • Calendar & News • ROFDA Directory • Library for various documents
The site is developed responsively, meaning that it is optimized for viewing from different devices such as mobile, tablet, laptop or desktop.
at number four—is Wakefern Food Corp. of Keasbey, N.J., with revenues of $11 billion. Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc. in Kansas City, Kan., reported revenues of $7.8 billion to remain at number six. In total, the country’s co-op businesses have revenues of $226.4 billion, a 5 percent increase from 2011. In addition to agriculture and grocery/food distribution, other co-op categories include energy & communications, finance, hardware & lumber, healthcare, recreation and pharmaceutical distribution. “The NCB Co-op 100 is a great reminder of the substantial impact and important role cooperative businesses play in our national economy across every sector. As we continue to see improvements in the market, there is an increase in the formation of new cooperatives in urban, suburban and rural setting—offering competitive goods and services to meet the needs of these communities,” said Charles E. Snyder, president and CEO of NCB, whose mission is to provide financing to promote the growth and expansion of these businesses, thereby supporting underserved communities and cooperative expansion initiatives. “As a socially responsible financial institution, created to address the needs of our nation’s cooperatives, we are proud of our role in supporting the growth of these organiza-
ROFDA’s new website reduces paperwork and increases efficiency
The new ROFDA website is built on a content management system (CMS) platform, allowing ROFDA personnel direct access to the site for updates and administration purposes. One example, conference management, includes flexible form development for event/activity registration. Lists of event attendees are compiled automatically and exported with ease. Online payments are tracked and handled securely. The new ROFDA Directory allows associates and suppliers to create a page about their company and its offerings. ROFDA’s Forums are an important feature of the site as the membership is able to communicate about ideas, information and trends year-round. The conferences are an integral part of ROFDA, and it is anticipated that the Forum communications will add additional strength to their agendas. MSC’s third phase, “Connect,” is not meant to be a conclusion of the process but to create readiness and enable future development. It includes a comprehensive review of the site and optimization, training and analytics. For ROFDA, the launch of the site is the “Connect” phase, enabling it to strengthen and enhance its values and, importantly, communicate and connect with the industry. With its new design, the ROFDA website has become a part of the fabric of “Strength in Unity.” ABOUT MSC…GM Jim Lukens directs the vision of MSC. With more than 40 years in the supermarket industry in positions ranging from stock clerk to president/CEO, Lukens has a keen understanding of what independent grocery stores need today to compete—affordable digital solutions. MSC creates programs that will enable retailers to succeed. tions, while also giving back to the communities they serve.” The top two co-ops are in agriculture: CHS Inc., based in St. Paul, Minn., reported $40.6 billion in revenues in 2012 and maintained its first place position, while Land O’ Lakes, also based in St. Paul, reported $14.1 billion in revenues, earning the No. 2 ranking this year. Land O’Lakes eclipsed Dairy Farmers of America, Kansas City, Mo., whose revenues were down over the past year to $12.1 billion from $13.0 billion the previous year. Cooperatives provide more than 2 million jobs and create more than $75 billion in annual wages with revenue of nearly $650 billion. Although similar to other business models, a cooperative has several unique features. It is owned and controlled by its members, who have joined together to use the cooperative’s goods, services and facilities. A board of directors, elected by the membership, sets the cooperative’s policies and procedures. By pooling resources, members can leverage their shared power to buy, sell, market or bargain as one group, achieving economies of scale and sharing in any profits generated. In addition, communities benefit both socially and fiscally by the cooperatives’ ability to access and deliver goods and services from across the nation.
Chairman Jay Campbell: ROFDA a ‘Brotherhood’ of Retailer-Owned Companies
J.H. “Jay” Campbell, Jr., Chairman, ROFDA
ROFDA has a plan. Actually, it always had a plan, according to Jay Campbell, president and CEO of Associated Grocers Inc. in Baton Rouge, La.—a longtime member of ROFDA as well as its predecessor organization, the Southeast Food Cooperative Association (SFCA). Case in point: The retirement of former President and CEO Ferrell Franklin. Campbell says ROFDA was well prepared, having groomed current ROFDA President and CEO Francis Cameron for the role for several years prior to Franklin’s an-
nouncement. “...When Ferrell Franklin made the decision to retire...we had already begun a search process prior to that, and obviously we had done some strategic planning for continuity of the business,” said Campbell. “We had brought Francis in earlier just to be sure that we had an appropriate backup in the event of any problem that we might have had with Ferrell— from a health or accident perspective, or anything of that nature. With timely forward planning, we knew that we were going to have to plan for the possibility of management continuity like any other business does.” What makes ROFDA unique, however, is that the organization has had only three leaders in its history: Cameron, Franklin and, prior to Franklin’s tenure that began in 2000, Mr. Jim Morton. “We’ve been blessed with continuity of good and effective leadership,” said Campbell, who has served as ROFDA’s chairman for a total of four years now; Fall 2001 to Fall 2003 and Fall 2011 to Fall 2013.
He came into the chairmanship shortly after Ferrell Franklin became president and CEO in 2000 and again was chairman during Cameron’s transition into the top spot at ROFDA in September 2012. “I would say that we have been very fortunate to experience a very smooth transition from Ferrell to Francis,” Campbell said. “I think Ferrell facilitated that. He was selfless in this process to ensure that Francis was able to make the decisions necessary while Ferrell was still there. They worked very collaboratively together so the transition was quite smooth.” Cameron has proved, according to Campbell, that ROFDA is ready to “take on some new and creative things,” including updating the organization’s logo and website and even its purpose and mission statements. “We have clarified that through direct communications with the industry trade press—that ROFDA exists and well represents its 14 retailerowned companies, and that ROFDA can be an extraordinary organization
to assist independent retail grocers through their wholesale suppliers and meeting their needs in the marketplace.” Part of that has entailed joint promotions, according to Campbell. “…Not joint procurement, but joint promotions—by going to the vendor community and making it quite clear that we can act as a group in the marketplace and that we can be a considerable force given the network of retail stores that we serve throughout the country.” ROFDA membership has been supportive. “...That is something that we have been focusing on and that is not a matter of semantics at all,” Campbell said of ROFDA’s joint promotional efforts. “It is that we can go to a vendor and commit that we can promote aggressively their organization and its products during a period of time where we can make a real statement in the marketplace. I think we have proven through our successes that we can do that.”
Facing challenges head on The chairman’s job
Campbell, better than anyone perhaps, understands the challenges that come along with running a business; and in no other business are the challenges probably more abundant or fierce than in the food retail sector. “The retail environment is a very tough environment,” Campbell said. “It’s highly competitive. It’s a cross-channel retail grocery business, and that makes it very difficult sometimes for the independent to be effective in their competing processes. So each of our retailer-owned companies are working very hard with their respective retailers to grow the independent retail grocer market share in their marketplace. “The competitive landscape is always going to be a significant challenge for ROFDA as an organization and also, more importantly, for the retailer-owned companies and the retailers that they serve,” he said. “It’s really not as much about ROFDA as it is about the independent grocer and what can we do to further their ability to compete in the marketplace. I think we put as much emphasis as we possibly can on value-added programs and services at the ROFDA level that trickle all the way to the retailer-owned company and ultimately to the independent grocer.”
Campbell will finish out his chairman’s term this year, and as immediate past chair, will remain a member of ROFDA’s executive committee. “I hope to continue to do things that are important for the organization and help, in any way that I possibly can, the new chairman,” Campbell said. “And be sure that the organization remains responsive to its members.” Martin Arter, president and CEO of Affiliated Foods Midwest, is slated to take over as ROFDA’s chairman, pending election. Arter currently serves as secretary of the organization. Campbell again stresses the importance of relationships when asked to impart his advice to ROFDA’s incoming chair. Campbell is particularly mindful of new CEOs or executives who might be coming into the ROFDA group for the first time. “I think it is incumbent upon us, who have been around a longer period of time, to ensure that they are welcomed fully and that we embrace them wholly to be sure that their organization is getting the representation they need, and that they feel they have the ear of the entire organization and all of the members of ROFDA,” Campbell said. “We are a brotherhood of retailer-owned companies and we owe it to one another to work very closely together and try and share as much as we can to improve all of our operations for the independent retail grocers that we serve.”
Similar challenges face ROFDA and the organization’s leadership. The chairman’s job, for instance, largely involves serving as an intermediary between the CEO, the board and the shareholders of ROFDA. “The CEO has an access point (the ROFDA chairman) to discuss matters of interest relating to ROFDA, its members, board of directors and shareholders,” according to Campbell. While, generally speaking, his job as chairman has not taken up “a great deal of time,” Campbell reveals it has its “peaks and valleys.” The past couple of years have been busy for Campbell due to the management transition, as well as ROFDA’s 50th anniversary that it celebrated over the course of 2012. That, of course, has been coupled with the organization’s various conferences, in addition to ensuring that specific requests of ROFDA members are met or addressed. And ROFDA has been successful in fulfilling those needs due to effective communication and teamwork. For Campbell, his company’s membership in ROFDA, and holding the chairman’s role especially, has always been about the relationships built and maintained with ROFDA people. “It’s always offered me the opportunity to be around people and talk with them directly about things, to listen to their concerns and try to develop favorable solutions to issues, concerns or problems, or just try to find answers to questions that a member might have. “It puts you kind of on the firing line to a certain extent, to be of assistance, and to be of service to other folks in the organization,” Campbell added. “I have always enjoyed that opportunity and privilege.”
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ROFDA Working on Second Half-Century of History It was 1962 when a few cooperative food distributors around the Southeast formed the Southeastern Food Cooperative Association (SFCA). The cooperative’s purpose was, and remains today, “to facilitate and enhance the success of Independent Retail Grocers.” The “Southeast” portion of the name eventually no longer applied, as cooperatives across the country recognized the advantages of being part of a cooperative-only group. A name change was approved by the board of direc-
Here are some highlights from ROFDA’s history book:
• S FCA changes its name to Retailer Owned Food Distributors & Associates (ROFDA), based on the expanding geography of its member co-ops.
• T he Southeastern Food Cooperative Association (SFCA) was founded.
•A WI in Robesonia, Pa., joins ROFDA—the first to join under the new name.
•H illar Moore, president and CEO of Associated Grocers Baton Rouge, is SFCA chairman. • Affiliated Foods, Amarillo, Texas, joins SFCA. • The oldest meeting minutes on file are from Oct. 13, 1983; in the early years the distributors would get together somewhat informally to exchange ideas, and no one officially was recording the minutes. Four of today’s ROFDA members were SFCA members in 1983—AG Baton Rouge, AG Birmingham, AG Florida and Affiliated Foods Amarillo.
•A ffiliated Foods Midwest, Norfolk, Neb., joins SFCA.
tors in 1988, and Retailer Owned Food Distributors & Associates (ROFDA) emerged. Just this year, a new mission statement was adopted to launch the group into its second half-century: “Cooperatively united to utilize and leverage all available resources, industry best practices, and business relationships to provide added value to our Independent Retail Grocers.”
land in Pembroke, N.H., joins ROFDA. • ROFDA is incorporated as a cooperative. Before that, it had been a nonprofit association, but the aim of the association to “do things in an aggregate way that would generate income,” as Franklin described it, led to the change.
• CERTCO in Madison, Wis., joins.
• J im Morton is hired as ROFDA’s first executive director.
•O lean Wholesale Grocery Cooperative in Olean, N.Y., joins ROFDA.
•A ssociated Food Stores, Salt Lake City, becomes a ROFDA member. • Ferrell Franklin is hired as assistant director under Jim Morton.
•U RM Stores, Spokane, Wash., becomes a member of ROFDA. • Unified Grocers, Los Angeles, joins. • AG of the South resigns its ROFDA membership.
•A G of the South rejoins ROFDA under its new leader, Gerry Totoritis. • Ferrell Franklin succeeds Morton as president and CEO of ROFDA.
•A ssociated Grocers of Seattle joins ROFDA.
•A G of Seattle merges with Unified Grocers. • Central Grocers in Joliet, Ill., becomes a member of ROFDA.
• F rancis Cameron succeeds Ferrell Franklin as president and CEO of ROFDA.
•C ameron and the ROFDA board of directors develop a new purpose, mission and four strategic initiatives as well as a new, modern logo.
•P iggly Wiggly Alabama Distributing Co. in Bessemer becomes a member of ROFDA.
• Associated Grocers New Eng-
ROFDA Membership Retailer Owned Food Distributors & Associates offers three categories of membership: * Regular Members are made up exclusively of Retailer Owned Food Distributors, defined as those primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of food and related services in the United States, and having at least 66-2/3 percent of its issued and outstanding voting stock owned by active retail outlets. * Associate Members are firms regularly engaged in the supply of services or products to Regular Members.
Francis Cameron, ROFDA president and CEO, with his family: Cole, Teri and Kaci
* Honorary Members are those former members or associates who are not presently active in the food industry, but permitted to retain an association with the organization in recognition of past service and dedication to the association.
ROFDA Supports Members’ Communities Group raised more than $35,000 for good causes in latest fiscal year
We continually seek out new ways to use our collective power for the greater good. It’s really what ROFDA is all about.”
At the 2012 ROFDA Fall Conference, money was raised for Hurricane Sandy relief through “auctioning” some top golfers—Sean Wright, Mike Bauers and Ron King. Jay Campbell served as auctioneer.
ROFDA’s members and the independent retailers they support have a proven history of giving back to the communities they serve. In that light, ROFDA has begun to use its conferences as a means to support causes important to its members, associates and suppliers. ROFDA’s first impromptu effort was reflected in raising money for Hurricane Sandy relief at the 2012 Fall Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. J.H. “Jay” Campbell, Jr., president and CEO of Associated Grocers in Baton Rouge, La., and ROFDA chairman, served as auctioneer for three top golfers.
There are many worthy charities, but Make-A-Wish is a perfect fit for Wells and the Blue Bunny brand and has touched everyone in our organization with their great work for kids with life-threatening medical conditions. We are honored that ROFDA would choose to help us celebrate our 100th birthday by supporting Make-A-Wish.” —Mike Crone, SVP-sales, Wells
Attendees could purchase one of the top golfers to fill a spot on their team in the ROFDA Scramble played the next day. Ron King from Western Family, Sean Wright with GVH Millennium and Mike Bauers from Capstone Logistics provided their golf skills to the highest bidder. When the enthusiastic bidding was over, the ROFDA Conference attendees had raised more than $13,000 for the American Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief effort.
—Francis Cameron, president and CEO, ROFDA
ROFDA carried the momentum from the evening before into the next day in recognizing Veterans Day and the many veterans represented in the audience. In honor of those veterans, ROFDA made a cash donation in their names to The Wounded Warrior Project. ROFDA’s 2013 Spring Conference provided another opportunity for participants to gather, engage and collaborate. At the Chairman’s Dinner, Jay Campbell again emceed an evening of fun, entertainment and generosity. The group chose to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. At the spring event, all golf teams were auctioned to the highest bidder. Upon the conclusion of the evening, ROFDA participants raised more than $21,000 for the cause. All told, ROFDA exceeded $35,000 in donations to support meaningful causes during its last fiscal year, which concluded at the end of August. At ROFDA’s recent Fall Conference members chose to support the cause of longtime ROFDA associate member, Wells/Blue Bunny. Wells is celebrating 100 years by aligning with Make-A-Wish to help grant the wishes of 100 kids with life-threatening medical conditions. “There are many worthy charities, but Make-A-Wish is a perfect fit for Wells and the Blue Bunny brand, and has touched everyone in our organization with their great work for kids with life-threatening medical conditions,” said Michael W. “Mike” Crone, SVP of sales for Wells. “We are honored that ROFDA would choose to help us celebrate our 100th birthday by supporting Make-AWish.” At a tailgate-themed party, ROFDA members raised money to support Wells in this worthy cause. “The generosity of those affiliated with ROFDA never ceases to amaze me,” said Francis Cameron, ROFDA president and CEO. “It’s inspiring. We continually seek out new ways to use our collective power for the greater good. It’s really what ROFDA is all about.”
Hurricane Sandy is the biggest U.S. disaster response by the Red Cross in more than five years, and the generous support of so many people and companies across the country have enabled the Red Cross to provide food, shelter, relief supplies and comfort to tens of thousands of people impacted by Sandy, especially in New York and New Jersey.” —The American Red Cross
ROFDA’s New CEOs Ken Nemeth, Central Grocers, Joliet, Ill. Jim Denges stepped down as president and CEO of Central Grocers, one of the nation’s leading grocery cooperatives, in the summer of 2013. The new top executive is Ken Nemeth, who joined Central Grocers as EVP and COO in March 2012 after serving as president and CEO of Valu Merchandisers Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) in Kansas City, Kan. “I appreciate the confidence that Jim and the board of directors have placed in me,” said Nemeth of his appointment by the board. “We’re working toward a smooth transition and I look forward to continuing the exceptional work that has been done by employees and members at all
levels of this organization.” Founded in 1917, Joliet, Ill.-based Central Grocers has grown to become the nation’s seventh largest grocery cooperative on consolidated annual sales of more than $2 billion. Cooperative members range from 3,000-s.f. neighborhood grocers to 100,000-s.f. warehouse outlets. Central Grocers supplies more than 20,000 products, including dry groceries, deli products, fresh produce and meats, dairy and frozen foods, to more than 500 retail stores in the Midwest market. Denges retired following a 35-year career with Central Grocers, the last six as president and CEO. “After three and a half decades of commitment to Central Grocers, our
members and our stores, I could not be more pleased with where our company stands today,” said Denges. “We have experienced sustained growth and established exceptional operating efficiencies across our facilities. I am confident that I am leaving Central Grocers well situated for continued success as we near our second century of service.” Central Grocers maintains a 1 million-s.f. distribution center and operates a fleet of more than 80 trucks and 400 trailers. The co-op employs 600 full- and part-time employees at the wholesale level and includes more than 6,000 employees when all retail outlets are factored in.
Ken Nemeth, president and CEO, Central Grocers
ROFDA’s New CEOs Bob Ling, Unified Grocers Inc., Commerce, Calif.
Bob Ling, president and CEO, Unified Grocers
The board of directors of Unified Grocers chose the co-op’s president, Robert R. “Bob” Ling, to add the CEO title on May 1 this year. Ling had been president of the Southern California-based company for two years before being chosen to succeed Al Plamann in the CEO role. Plamann had joined Unified predecessor company Certified Grocers of California in 1989, so his career with the company had spanned about 24 years by the time he retired. During his tenure Unified, annual sales grew from $1.8 billion to nearly $4 billion. Ling, as president and CEO in 2013, has big shoes to fill, but he has a strong background, and a strong team, to help him toward the company’s goals. He’s been with Unified since 1996, previously serving as EVP, general counsel and secretary, with responsibility for the company’s HR, labor relations, real estate and government relations functions. Earlier in his career, he was a partner in a Milwaukee law firm and then served in a number of roles at MegaFoods Stores Inc. in Mesa, Ariz., including acting president and CEO, prior to joining the company that would become Unified. “Bob Ling is an outstanding administrator and a thoughtful and creative leader,” said Richard “Dick” Goodspeed, chairman of the Unified board, when Ling’s promotion to CEO was announced in February. “Having spent 16 years as a top executive at our company, he understands our business, he knows our retail members and customers, he has built strong relationships with the vendor community and he works well with our associates. We believe that Bob Ling is an excellent choice to lead our company at this point in time.” Ling has been candid about the fact that Unified is in a transitional
period, not only with the leadership change but also due to competitive and economic conditions. The good news is that the company has the team members to guide it to a bright new future. “Not only have we had my transition as CEO but we’ve had other changes in our organization,” Ling notes. “We have some fresh eyes from internal advancements but also some new folks coming in. I think that has created across the company a commitment to look at everything we do and to see if we can’t do it better,
Independent grocers are invigorating, challenging Leading a co-op, one deals with the joys and challenges inherent in the entrepreneurial class, Ling says. “In terms of working for and being a leader of a co-op, the best thing about it is the chance to work with a diverse group of passionate entrepreneurs who are very anxious and dedicated to building their businesses and serving their customers in their particular areas. The flip side of that in terms of what’s the most challenging is that you have to deal with
and I’ve been very encouraged by the response both from our members and our employees that we need to work really hard to make sure that we’re moving our organization forward in a very positive way.”
a collection of passionate, diverse entrepreneurs who are very focused on their businesses,” he says. “Sometimes they’re not all on the same page in terms of what’s best for their businesses. And reconciling all of those divergent views and expectations is probably the biggest challenge.” Outside market forces also play a role in the challenges faced by Unified and its members in the West. “I think California and Arizona and other areas in our marketing areas are particularly hard-hit by the recession, especially in the housing sector and some others, which so much drives the economy in California and Arizona,” Ling says. “Layered on top of that was the impact of immigration issues and in many cases a very aggressive stance on that…in Arizona, and even here in California, (we were impacted) due to the failure to come up with acceptable immigration reform. It helped to drive away many Hispanic consumers from our states and therefore our stores.” The good news is that “we are seeing some signs of growth economically and recovery economically, not only in California but certainly into the Pacific Northwest,” he adds.
I think we’re all in favor of learning from others in the organization. We’ve seen some early benefits from those exchanges—the sharing of information and working together with some of the other ROFDA members.”
ROFDA membership yields benefits Ling has a place on the ROFDA board now that he’s a CEO, and he says this greater level of participating in the group is “a learning experience” for him. But from all his prior experience, he knows that “ROFDA stands for the notion of, A, servicing its members and shareholders, but it also stands for the notion of open exchange of information and ideas so that we can all serve our shareholders better, and that’s not only a great mission, it’s one that we endorse completely and we hope to contribute to that and benefit from those types of exchanges. “I think we’re all in favor of learning from others in the organization,” he continues. “We’ve seen some early benefits from those exchanges—the sharing of information and working together with some of the other ROFDA members.” Having a common purpose is key at ROFDA. “We all have the same objectives and challenges in terms of making sure we’re serving our members and our shareholders effectively,” Ling says. “We certainly are humble enough to know that we don’t know everything. If there’s a good idea out there that can be shared, we’re more than happy to take it on.”
Developing tools for success for members Unified has a number of projects under way on the technology front that are designed to benefit its member retailers. One of the most wide-ranging is the Scan Data Initiative, which now is being rolled out to retailers and involves not only the gathering of data
but applying the analytics that allow the data to guide retailer decisions. “We’re really excited about how it’s going to be able to help us and our members be much more effective retailers,” Ling says. “We have nearly 600 stores already signed up and we expect that roster to grow as we continue it throughout the year.” Ling says Unified has made a concerted effort to acquaint retailers with the program, “getting out there selling it and presenting it and dialoguing” about it. And retailers have been receptive. “As we’ve rolled this out and explained not only the purpose but the benefits that we all can derive from it, the reception has been great,” he says. “We went from zero to 600 stores participating in a matter of less than six months. We’re going to continue to build the offering, and starting now, as we gather and have a better ability to analyze the data, I’m sure we’re going to be able to get even more excitement and participation. They’ll be able to see what this information can do for us.” As retailers begin to see benefits, it could become even more well entrenched. “Retailers do talk to each other, and they’re the best advocates there could be.” Unified now has about 425 members, which represents “many more stores than that,” Ling reports. Unified has seen a pickup in the number of new store openings and remodels among its members and the industry as a whole, and there may be opportunities for more as marketplace dynamics change. “With all the things going on, whether it be Fresh & Easy or the Albertsons spinoff to everything else that’s going on in the industry, there is a lot of activity and a lot of availability of stores, and I think our members will be very anxious to take advantage of good opportunities,” Ling says. Unified remains focused on helping its retailers “provide a real value proposition,” says Ling. “And that’s not just necessarily being price-competitive but also to make sure that both quality and service and, where appropriate, differentiation is front and center. But there clearly remains a focus, from the consumer standpoint, of price and value. I think our members have been very effective in answering that call, or responding to those conditions.”
ROFDA’s New CEOs Ray Sprinkle, URM Stores, Spokane, Wash. The grocery business is a family business for Ray Sprinkle. His father, Charles “Chuck” Sprinkle, worked for a range of grocery wholesalers and retailers during his career. He started at the Dillon organization in Kansas, and then spent time at United Grocers in Richmond, Calif., Fleming Cos., Save Mart and Skaggs Alpha Beta. “He had a long career in the grocery industry,” Sprinkle says, “so I grew up in it.” And he chose to follow that path. “When I graduated from college I went into Ralston Purina, the sales side of it. From there I went into Fleming; then I went with Super Store Industries out of Northern California. Then I joined Fleming again, and 10 years ago I was with Fleming outside of Philadelphia, and when Fleming’s demise came about, I joined URM,” he recalls. He joined URM Stores as VP of procurement, retail services and profit centers, working with Dean Sonnenberg, the co-op’s longtime president and CEO. By the time Sonnenberg retired—March 1 this year—the URM board of directors had selected Sprinkle to succeed him. Sprinkle says that being chosen to lead URM has been “a dream come true for me.” Being a part of the URM family has been pretty good for Sprinkle’s own family, too, especially wife Kim. When the family moved from the East Coast (Philadelphia) to the West Coast (Spokane, Wash.) for Ray to join URM, it was he and Kim’s eighth move in their 25 years of marriage. “My family has sacrificed a lot to allow me to pursue my career,” Sprinkle acknowledges. “Hopefully this is my last move.” ROFDA affiliation valuable for a new CEO Sprinkle says that being a member
of ROFDA is good for both him and URM Stores. “From a URM perspective, it allows us to leverage the power of the other ROFDA members, which would help lower cost of goods as we meet with the national CPG companies. We’ve had several programs and several success stories along those lines,” Sprinkle says. “In addition to that, it helps us with other services and programs that we couldn’t do ourselves, but it allows us to meet with service providers and negotiate programs with them that make it mutually beneficial—not only for URM but also for our membership. “And then we’re able to learn from other members what’s working, what’s not working; it allows us to shorten the learning curve,” he adds. “Another thing ROFDA helps us do is work with other members within ROFDA to eliminate some duplication so that we can combine some of the things that we do so we don’t have to do them individually.” On a personal level, “For me, being a new CEO, it’s given me an immediate peer group that I have a relationship with that I can pick up the phone and call them,” Sprinkle says. “We have some outstanding CEOs in the group that have been CEOs for quite a while, and I can pick their brain and get some opinions from them that help me. “From that standpoint it’s just been a great relationship with the ROFDA group. All of them are just first-class individuals and very good at what they do. That has helped me significantly in my new role as CEO.”
A welcoming work family Asked what he enjoys about leading URM, Sprinkle says, “The first thing I have to tell you is that we have an outstanding staff that has just been extremely supportive of the transition and has embraced some of
Olean’s Ried to Retire in 2014 Another ROFDA member will have a new CEO by next year’s fall conference in November. Jim Ried, president and CEO of Olean Wholesale Grocers Co-op Inc. in Olean, N.Y., has set his plans to retire, and his successor has been named. Ried will step down Sept. 30, 2014, and hand the reins to Bob Ketchner, who currently serves as the co-op’s director of financial services. The CEO announced his retirement about a year in advance, which will give him “the opportunity to thank you all personally,” Ried said in a Sept. 20 letter to the company’s members and associates. “I will be working with Bob over the next 12 months to ensure a transparent succession and most importantly that he understands the importance of our tremendous relationships with Western Family Foods, DeJarnett Sales, ROFDA, NGA, The Food Industry Alliance of NY, our lending institutions, insur-
Kim and Ray Sprinkle at the ROFDA Spring Conference earlier this year.
the changes and new ideas. “We also have just an outstanding relationship with our memberowners, which obviously is unique; they’re our shareholders and our customers.” Sonnenberg led URM as CEO from 2003 until 2013 and had been with the company for 37 years when he retired. While Sprinkle has brought in new ideas as the leader of the company, some things remain constant. “I think the foundation was already laid, and we’ll continue to try to become more efficient and lower our cost of doing business,” he says. “At the same time, we’re trying to bring in some lower cost of goods. We will put a focus on IT and IT development and the support at retail,” according to Sprinkle. “And I want to open lines of communications not only with our employees but also with our membership.” To help with communication, URM installed a new portal “that allows us to communicate directly with all our stores as well as our employees. We will be moving shortly to allow the vendor community on that portal as well,” he says.
ance providers, legal team and all of the other industry leaders who have been instrumental in our success and growth.” Ried has spent nearly his whole life in the grocery business. He started in the business at age eight, with his dad Charles A. “Charlie” Ried, who ran a small grocery store under the family name in Allegany, N.Y. Young Jim cleaned the meat room and performed other basic store tasks before becoming a cashier. In 1973, his father opened a larger store in Allegany, and Jim returned to the family business after having spent a year as a food broker. In 1976, the Rieds opened a store in Olean, and in 1988, the Allegany store closed. That was when Jim Ried moved to the next phase of his career at Olean Wholesale Grocery Co-op. He had risen to COO when he was tapped to be the president and CEO, succeeding Jim Robinson, in 2005. Olean Wholesale has been a member of ROFDA since 1991.
URM also is part of RORC, which develops and writes programs for the company’s front-end systems. URM serves members in four states—Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon. Its store groups include Family Foods, Harvest Foods, Trading Co. Stores, Super 1 Foods, CenterPlace Market, Yoke’s Fresh Market and Rosauers Supermarkets. “We have a very aggressive group of retailers that have continually reinvested into their future, which is ultimately our future,” he points out. URM’s members are investing in remodels, and together, URM and its members are “aggressively going after new sites and stores as we speak.” While the independent grocer members of URM “continually face competition from the national operators that continue to build and remodel,” such as Walmart Supercenters and WinCo, they continue to compete well in the Northwest, where natural, organic, local products are in high demand. URM has its own produce subsidiary, Peirone Produce, that supplies member stores and URM’s own corporate stores, which include Rosauers and Cash & Carry.
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NGA and ROFDA Seek Out Profitable Collaboration As president and CEO of the National Grocers Association (NGA), Peter Larkin is vitally concerned with the health of independent grocers across America. So are retailer-owned co-ops—food distributors that are owned by their independent member retailers—many of which are members of ROFDA. So it makes sense that the two national trade associations would take their common goal—keeping independent grocers strong—and figure out if, in partnership, they could enhance offerings for their members and eliminate duplicate efforts. “I think our collaboration goes back to the mission of both of our organizations,” Larkin said. “Clearly, our mission is to support the indePeter Larkin president and CEO, pendent grocers and the wholesalers National Grocers Association that serve them. ROFDA focuses on the wholesale side, but by strengthening their wholesalers, delivering that value to retailers, I think both organizations in today’s environment are always looking for how we can be relevant to our members and how we can add more value. We don’t want to be doing things that our retailers either don’t value or are unaware of, so everything we do individually and whatever we are going to do collaboratively is all designed to increase our value proposition to the independent grocery channel.” Larkin has known of ROFDA for many of his 30 years in the food industry, but he became more familiar with the organization when he served as president and CEO of the California Grocers Association (CGA). Some of his members and associate members also were members of ROFDA.
We don’t want to be doing things that our retailers either don’t value or are unaware of, so everything we do individually and whatever we are going to do collaboratively is all designed to increase our value proposition to the independent grocery channel.”
“My first attendance at a ROFDA event came shortly after I started at NGA,” said Larkin, who took the helm of NGA on July 1, 2010. Since then, he has been a presenter at a number of ROFDA’s conferences, providing members and associate members with updates on what’s happening in Washington and at NGA. He is on the program for the Fall Conference this November in Carlsbad, Calif. Asked about the membership overlap between NGA and ROFDA, Larkin said, “I think about 95 percent of the coops that participate in ROFDA are NGA members. How does that translate into how many of the retailers are members…it’s really hard for me to parse that….A simplified way of answering the question is that we have a very broad cross-over in our various audiences.” Larkin spoke to The Shelby Report the week prior to NGA’s board meeting in Chicago, where NGA conducted its revised Trading Partner Business Program. For the first time, not only NGA retailer and wholesaler members but also associate (supplier) members and ROFDA members were invited to attend the two-day meeting. The setting allowed “either one-on-one or one-to-many business meetings with their trading partners,” Larkin said. In the spirit of collaboration, he shared the five areas where ROFDA and NGA believe there are opportunities to work together.
1. Trade Relations/ Industry Relations Larkin: The first is something we have been talking about and I think it makes a lot of sense for us to collaborate in the area of trade relations/ industry relations. In this arena, it’s really seeking opportunities to work together to address issues with our trading partners...When we were talking to ROFDA about this opportunity, they said they would be interested in bringing some of the ROFDA wholesaler CEOs to Chicago and to schedule meetings as part of our program with some of the key supplier companies. That is happening. The total between the retailers, wholesalers and suppliers—over 50 companies that will be there during that two-day period for scheduled meetings. I don’t have the exact total but I think there will be 200 to 250 individual trading partner meetings, and ROFDA will be a key part of that.
Really what we have been talking about is aligning our various technology initiatives to ensure that we’re exploring opportunities to bring new solutions to our members, but at the same time not duplicating efforts or working at cross-purposes. I think you may know from some of the columns I have had in your publication or some of the reports you have done on our conventions that we have three major technology initiatives that we have launched or are in the process of developing further. That has to do with our Innovation Center, our Solutions Center and our startup company Personiphi, which is a direct-to-consumer marketing program creating a network of independent grocers throughout the country. We have shared all of the details of our plan and our direction with ROFDA. They are also working on some technology initiatives that would aggregate some of the data they have available through their members. And as I say, our joint work would be to make sure that we’re working without duplicating effort and not going at cross-purposes with one another.
3. Affinity Programs and Services
If you look at our website, you’ll see that we offer services and programs to our members—debit and credit card processing, a whole laundry list of things that are attractive to independent grocers—and ROFDA has similar programs. What we have discussed is ways to seek opportunities to collaborate in that arena by
bringing the right mix of products and services to our members. We haven’t actually done anything jointly yet, but we’ve started the conversations about, again, how to do it without duplicating efforts.
4. Education and Research
This is something where ROFDA doesn’t really have the staff size or the depth within the organization to do a lot in terms of educational programs or research projects, so we have talked about ways that we can work together to promote and support our education and research programs, whether it’s our weekly Webinar Wednesdays; our various conferences and meetings; a research project like our Economic Impact Study that you know about so well (see data next page). In this whole arena of education and research, we’ll make sure we’re talking and staying in touch with each other to look for new opportunities. That would also include an area that we both currently do some work in, and that is in terms of our share groups. We have an expanding share group program here. We have share groups for human resources, CFOs, next-generation leaders. We’re looking at meat, we’re looking at produce; we’re looking at doing one for companies that operate as ESOPs. And ROFDA has a variety of share groups in technology and other logistics, so we’re going to stay in touch on what our share groups’ plans are and how we may be able to cross-pollinate those.
5. Government Affairs
ROFDA doesn’t really do any work in the government affairs or legal arena. We have talked about sharing some of the information and resources that we have for our members and at least providing that information to ROFDA so they can share whatever they see fit with their members, and then hopefully engage them in grassroots activity when appropriate. There are some issues we deal with in the government relations arena that are very kind of wholesaler-specific, when it comes to hours of service for truck drivers or OSHA regulations….There’s a whole variety of issues that are really more wholesaler-specific than retailer-specific, and we think by sharing that with ROFDA we may have an expanded reach with the good work we’re doing here in Washington, D.C.
Independent Grocers Impact America Independent Grocery Channel Makes Up 1 Percent Of America’s Economy The National Grocers Association (NGA), with support from its Grocers Research & Education Foundation, as well as sponsorship from Mondelez International, Nielsen and The Shelby Report, released in April 2013 the findings of its “Independent Grocers Impact America” study. A key finding: The independent grocery channel is responsible for about 1 percent of America’s economy. From single-store operators to multi-store regional operators, the independent grocery channel, which includes nearly 21,000 of the 36,500 U.S. supermarkets, generates $129.5 billion in annual sales, representing nearly 25 percent of the total domestic market. Indepen-
Impact by state
dents operate supermarkets of all formats and sizes that cater to a wide variety of consumer tastes. These grocers are directly responsible for creating and maintaining 945,000 stable, reliable jobs that generate just more than $30 billion in wages paid to long-term employees, ranging from those who have established careers in the industry to young people seeking their first work experience. When factoring in the impact of the goods and services purchased but not resold (equipment, supplies, technology, transportation, legal, real estate, etc.) and the ripple effect of that economic activity, the total number of jobs created jumps to 1.5 million with total wages of $58 bil-
lion. Independent supermarkets and the wholesalers that serve them also are a major source of tax revenue for the federal, state and local governments. All told, the independent channel and its employees generate about $14 billion in state and local taxes and $13 billion in federal taxes. The combined total of $27 billion is equal to approximately 1.75 percent of federal, state and local tax revenues. For more in-depth information—including Congressional distict, State House district and State Senate district level data—visit www.grocersimpactamerica. com.
Direct Jobs - 15,090
$2.2 billion Direct Wages
Direct Jobs - 2,420
# Indep. Stores - 463
Direct Jobs - 13,980
# Indep. Stores - 72
$3.6 billion Direct Wages
Direct Jobs - 9,560
$19.7 billion Direct Wages
# Indep. Stores - 270
Direct Jobs - 6,430
$2.1 billion Direct Wages $238.9 million
# Indep. Stores - 205
$3.9 billion Taxes
# Indep. Stores - 2,691
Direct Jobs - 105,280
Direct Wages $83.1 million
# Indep. Stores - 319
Taxes $208.3 million
Direct Jobs - 15,750
Direct Jobs - 3,100
Direct Wages $605.4 million
# Indep. Stores - 228
# Indep. Stores - 39
Direct Jobs - 16,140
$914.0 million Taxes
# Indep. Stores - 435
Direct Jobs - 5,340
# Indep. Stores - 117
$5.2 billion Direct Wages
Direct Jobs - 21,470
# Indep. Stores - 468
Taxes $574.8 million
Direct Jobs - 10,310
$1.3 billion Direct Wages $310 million
# Indep. Stores - 246
Sales $1.5 billion
Direct Jobs - 8,600
# Indep. Stores - 873
Direct Jobs - 34,500
# Indep. Stores - 122
Direct Wages $474.4 million
Direct Jobs - 5,590
# Indep. Stores - 590
Direct Wages $91.8 million
Direct Jobs - 30,710
# Indep. Stores - 197
Taxes $256.1 million
Independent Grocers Impact America
Sales $2.1 billion
Direct Jobs - 10,270
Direct Jobs - 16,260
# Indep. Stores - 387
# Indep. Stores - 381
Direct Jobs - 13,560
# Indep. Stores - 274
Direct Jobs - 18,480
Direct Jobs - 29,980
Direct Wages $961.2 million
# Indep. Stores - 753
Taxes $880.9 million
Direct Jobs - 7,520
Direct Wages $202.7 million Taxes
Taxes $556.2 million
# Indep. Stores - 368
# Indep. Stores - 340
Sales $2.8 billion
Direct Jobs - 24,330
Taxes $340.5 million
# Indep. Stores - 115
Direct Wages $440.9 million
Direct Jobs - 2,960
# Indep. Stores - 271
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Independent Grocers Impact America
Direct Jobs - 25,700
Direct Jobs - 2,590
Direct Wages $702.8 million
# Indep. Stores - 508
# Indep. Stores - 78
Direct Jobs - 5,990
# Indep. Stores - 121
Direct Jobs - 52,070
# Indep. Stores - 685
Direct Jobs - 93,480
# Indep. Stores - 152
Direct Wages $1.8 billion
Direct Jobs - 6,710
Taxes $188 million
# Indep. Stores - 83
Direct Wages $215.5 million
Direct Jobs - 7,080
Taxes $63.7 million
# Indep. Stores - 152
Direct Wages $78.9 million
Direct Jobs - 7,810
$6.8 billion Direct Wages $2.9 billion
# Indep. Stores - 2,022
Taxes $2.8 billion
Independent Grocers Impact America
Direct Jobs - 18,000
Direct Jobs - 4,030
Direct Wages $569.2 million
# Indep. Stores - 477
Direct Jobs - 44,370
# Indep. Stores - 85
Direct Jobs - 16,180
# Indep. Stores - 319
Direct Jobs - 58,310
Direct Wages $296.4 million
Direct Jobs - 1,910
# Indep. Stores - 1,035
$6.9 billion Direct Wages
Taxes $70.2 million
Direct Jobs - 14,920
# Indep. Stores - 46
Direct Wages $482.1 million
# Indep. Stores - 260
Direct Jobs - 9,550
Direct Wages $94.1 million
# Indep. Stores - 821
Direct Wages $449.2 million
# Indep. Stores - 335
Taxes $380.8 million
Direct Jobs - 3,580
Direct Jobs - 14,240
Direct Wages $86.6 million
# Indep. Stores - 87
# Indep. Stores - 477
Direct Jobs - 58,340
Direct Jobs - 2,420 # Indep. Stores - 51
Direct Jobs - 14,100
# Indep. Stores - 395
# Indep. Stores - 196
Taxes $369.3 million
Direct Jobs - 7,990
# Indep. Stores - 238
Taxes $213.5 million
Direct Jobs - 3,830
# Indep. Stores - 162
Direct Jobs - 1,160
# Indep. Stores - 414
Direct Jobs - 21,060
Direct Jobs - 20,350
# Indep. Stores - 1,393
Sales $11.5 billion
Taxes $523.8 million
Direct Wages $34.6 million
# Indep. Stores - 39
Taxes $26.1 million
Directing ROFDA “Get the right people to the table, and good things happen.”
President & CEO, Associated Grocers of the South, Inc.
President & CEO, Associated Grocers of New England, Inc.
CEO, Associated Wholesalers, Inc.
President & CEO, Associated Grocers, Inc.
President & CEO, Olean Wholesale Grocery Co-Op, Inc.
President & CEO, Central Grocers, Inc.
President & CEO, Affiliated Foods, Inc.
President & CEO, URM Stores, Inc.
President & CEO, Piggly Wiggly Alabama Dist. Co., Inc.
Randy Simon President & CEO, Affiliated Foods MW Cooperative, Inc.
President & CEO, Associated Food Stores, Inc.
President & CEO, CERTCO, Inc.
President & CEO, ROFDA
—President/CEO Francis Cameron
President & CEO, Unified Grocers, Inc.
President, Associated Grocers of Florida, Inc.