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WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. -- C-store operator Wilson Farms, Inc. here has added three executives to management, including two grocery industry veterans tapped from former parent company Tops Markets.
The appointments are: Bill Anello as director of perishables and food service; John Jones as manager of MIS, and Tom Heine as director of merchandising and procurement. Anello and Heine are former tops executives.
As director of perishables and food service, Anello will oversee the retailer's perishable field specialists and help develop new products and procedures. He will also create training programs for perishable/food service associates and food safety programs for the company, as well as being responsible for the new Wilson Farms store interior and exterior layout and redesign.
Anello comes to the retailer after almost 28 years in grocery. At Williamsville, N.Y.-based Tops Markets he gained wide experience in several departments and executive positions, among them produce category merchandiser/buyer; support coordinator for Carryout Cafe, deli, and specialty cheeses; produce field specialist; and floral field specialist. More recently, Anello served for six years as regional sales manager for Essex Homes of WNY.
Jones becomes manager of MIS after spending almost seven years in the information technology industry. In his new position, he will manage Wilson Farms information services, including servers, corporate and store computers, Internet security, and POS technology. Jones previously worked at CBE, Inc., where he served as a regional service manager, in which capacity he trained and managed technicians in the company's North East Region.
With over 30 years experience in the grocery industry, Heine, as director of merchandising and procurement, will supervise the category management process and product procurement with Wilson Farms' many suppliers. He will also oversee all Wilson Farms category managers. He spent seven years with Tops, where he directed a team responsible for 159 Tops Markets in New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. He has also served in high-level positions at Tripifoods; Redco Foods, Inc.; Pezrow Food Brokers; and Scrivner, Inc./Flickinger. Most recently, Heine worked at The Buffalo News as the Circulation Sales and Marketing Manager.
Ahold-owned Tops owned Wilson Farms from 1969 until last year, when the banner sold the c-store chain to acquisition team Wilson Farms, Inc. as part of an overall strategy to focus exclusively on traditional supermarkets.
Wilson Farms operates 198 convenience store and gas station locations across New York state. The company's stores offer quality farm-fresh produce, convenient meal solutions, freshly made sandwiches, gourmet coffee, and a wide selection of other beverages, as well as a line of grocery, frozen, and dairy products.
In other Wilson Farms news, the company will soon offer electronic prepaid products, including prepaid wireless, long distance and international calling cards, gift cards, debit cards and handsets, according to a report in the Ithaca, N.Y. Journal. PaySpot, Inc., whose parent company, Euronet Worldwide, Inc., is the leading U.S. prepaid provider, will provide the products. As well as prepaid wireless, long-distance, and international cards, the c-store operator will offer prepaid debit cards, prepaid gift cards -- both gift card mall and Wilson Farms' own gift card -- and mobile content and AirLink handsets.