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David B. Dillon, chairman and c.e.o. of The Kroger Co., was honored this week by the Kansas Society of Washington, D.C. as "Kansan of the Year" for the role he and the chain he leads plays in supporting communities where its customers and associates live and work.
"I am honored to accept this award on behalf of our teams at Dillons and Kwik Shop," said Dillon, citing the associates' dedication "to come up with the right solution when the Greensburg community needed help the most...They are the reason our customers choose us for their daily shopping needs. Our roots in Kansas run deep," said Dillon. "We appreciate our customers and associates throughout this great state and thank them for their support as we move forward together."
Jon Hixson, president of The Kansas Society, said Dillon's leadership "in corporate citizenship has followed him throughout his career, benefiting not just Kansas communities but neighborhoods across the country where Kroger's family of stores touch lives every day."
Hixson said honoring Dillon this year is particularly well deserved as it comes nearly a year after a tornado devastated Greensburg, Kansas. Dillon Stores and Kwik Shop, both owned by Kroger and both based in Hutchinson, partnered with the community to rebuild. Together, the two companies reopened a combination Dillons grocery store and Kwik Shop, enabling residents to meet their daily shopping needs. The store sells food and other items traditionally found in a Dillons grocery store and offers many of the conveniences of a Kwik Shop, including a gas station. Expansion plans call for the store to more than double in size by the end of this year.
In addition, Dillons and Kwik Shop partnered with customers, local media outlets, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army to raise over $500,000 to support Greensburg families as the community rebuilds.
Dillon's great-grandfather, J.S. Dillon, founded what would later become Dillons grocery stores. Today, Dillon Stores operates 97 stores in Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska and employs over 12,000 associates. Kwik Shop operates 131 convenience stores in Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa.
Dillon, who was born and raised in Hutchinson, Kan., has served in a variety of leadership roles during his career and was named Kroger's c.e.o. in 2003. He is a past chair of both Leadership Hutchinson and Leadership Kansas, and is currently a member of the board of directors of the Convergys Corp. and is the chairman for the board of trustees for the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati. He also serves on the board of trustees for the University of Kansas Endowment, the board of Bethesda, Inc. and the board of Catalyst. He is a graduate of the University of Kansas and also holds a law degree from Southern Methodist University.