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Regional wholesaler Unified Grocers promoted Bob Ling, EVP, general counsel, and secretary, to president, Unified Grocers.
In his new position, Ling will focus on growing sales throughout the company and on strengthening the business partnerships that Unified has with its retail members, customers, and vendors. He will continue to report to Plamann, who will continue to set the strategic direction of Unified with the board of directors and ensure that the company is executing its plans efficiently, effectively, and successfully. Plamann remains CEO of the company.
"Bob and I have worked closely together over the past 15 years and that will continue for many years to come," said Plamann. "This change makes us stronger as an organization and enhances our opportunities for success in the years that lie ahead."
Prior to joining Unified in 1996 (Unified was then known as Certified Grocers of California, Ltd.), Ling held senior level positions with retail drugstore and supermarket companies. He was VP, general counsel, and secretary for MegaFoods Stores, Inc., in Mesa, Ariz. and also served as acting president and CEO of MegaFoods. Ling also had a similar position with Reliable Drug Stores, Inc., in Indianapolis, Ind. Earlier in his career, he was a partner in the law firm of Michael Best & Friedrich in Milwaukee, concentrating his practice in employment and labor law.
Ling currently serves on the board of the National Grocers Association and was chairman of the board of the California Grocers Association (CGA) in 2009 and recently served as chairman of the board of trustees of the CGA Educational Foundation for four years. Previously, he served on CGA's Executive Committee, was a member of the Government Relations Committee and the Association's Political Advisory Committee. Ling is a board member and Public Affairs Committee Member of California Retailers Association. He also is a member of the California Business Roundtable and the Government Relations Committee of the Food Marketing Institute.
A graduate of Tufts University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, Ling holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School. He is a member of the State Bar of California and the State Bar of Wisconsin.
Los Angeles-based Unified Grocers is a retailer-owned wholesale grocery distributor that supplies independent retailers throughout the western United States.