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Mike Rand, COO for Kansas City, Kan.-based Associated Wholesaler Grocers (AWG), will retire at the end of the year. Rand has held a variety of roles at the company during his 34-year tenure.
"Seeing the company grow from two divisions and $1 billion in sales in 1980 to seven divisions, 9 DCs and almost $9 billion in sales, including VMC and Always Fresh, in my time here makes me very proud of the continuous growth pattern AWG has achieved," noted Rand. "There have been many success stories over the years, and they will continue to be written as AWG moves forward."
In tandem with Rand's pending retirement, AWG revealed the following promotions:
Effective Sept. 7, David Smith, SVP and division manager of the Gulf Coast division, will be placed on special assignment, reporting to Rand. Smith, who started his grocery industry career as a teenager in a family-owned business, spent 17 years with Fleming before joining AWG in 2003 as director of real estate for the Nashville division, rising through the ranks to his current position.
Also effective Sept. 7, Bob Durand, VP of merchandising for the Gulf Coast division, will become SVP and division manager of the Gulf Coast division, also reporting Rand. Starting out as a store manager in 1977, Durand has worked for Mega Market, Fleming and S&C Foods. He joined AWG as a group sales manager for the Nashville division in 2008 and eventually rose to the position of VP of merchandising, in which capacity he worked with Smith in opening the Gulf Coast division in early 2013.
AWG has more than 600 member-owners and services across 3,000 retail outlets in 31 states.