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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa - Stockholders of Hy-Vee Inc. on Friday elected Richard N. (Ric) Jurgens c.e.o. Jurgens becomes the third c.e.o. in the 73-year history of the privately owned grocery chain, which was named Progressive Grocer's 2003 Retailer of the Year.
Jurgens, currently president and chief administrative officer of Hy-Vee, succeeds current c.e.o. Ron Pearson, who had held that position since 1989. Effective Jan. 1, Jurgens' new title will be c.e.o., president and c.o.o. Pearson was re-elected by stockholders as chairman of the board and remains chairman of the company's executive committee.
Pearson, who nominated Jurgens to the position of c.e.o., said Hy-Vee's continued growth and diversification have created a need for a new division of responsibilities among the company's top officers.
"Ric has been an officer of Hy-Vee for almost 20 years and has served on the company's board of directors for the past 10 years," Pearson said. "He's a natural leader who knows retailing, is an expert in human resources and has the respect of people throughout our industry. I'm proud to recommend him for this new responsibility, and I'll be proud to work with him for years to come."
Jurgens, a native of Des Moines, joined Hy-Vee as a part-time employee in 1969 while pursuing a business degree from Iowa State University. Upon graduation from ISU, he accepted a full-time position with Hy-Vee. He has served as a store director and a district manager for the company and spent 10 years at the helm of Perishable Distributors of Iowa, an Ankeny-based subsidiary of Hy-Vee. In 1996 he moved into the corporate office to oversee the company's administrative functions, warehousing operations and Drug Town division. He has served as president since 2001.
To learn more about Hy-Vee, check out Progressive Grocer's December 2003 cover story: http://www.progressivegrocer.com/progressivegrocer/magazine/index.jsp.