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An integral part of a carefully planned succession has come to pass at Weis Markets with the promotion of the supermarket chain's president and COO David Hepfinger, 50, who yesterday was named to succeed retiring CEO Norman Rich, 70, who had served in his outgoing role since April 2002.
In his expanded role as the 155-store chain's chief executive, Hepfinger -- who will report to longtime company chairman Robert F. Weis and vice chairman Jonathan H. Weis -- is a member of Weis Markets' executive committee and is now responsible for overseeing all aspects of the company's operations.
"Since joining our company in February, Dave has had an enormous impact," said Jonathan Weis. "He is a highly respected executive with broad-based operational experience, and he excels at developing and managing a growing and diverse organization in a fast-moving retail environment. In the coming years, he will oversee the development and execution of our strategic growth and go-to-market initiatives."
Jonathan Weis went on to praise the efforts of outgoing CEO Norm Rich, who "has contributed much to our company during his 44-year career. He has served our company loyally and with distinction, particularly during the past 14 years, when he served as our company president and subsequently as CEO. We are truly grateful for his many achievements and wish him only the best in the years ahead."
In reflecting on his accomplished industry career, the well-respected and well-liked Rich said, "I have been honored to work with a lot of great people during my career and leave Weis Markets knowing that it is well-positioned for a future of growth and continued success. It has been a great ride and I leave Weis Markets in capable hands."
For his part, Hepfinger said, "For 96 years, Weis Markets has competed and succeeded in one of the most competitive markets in America." The Sunbury, Pa.-based company, he continued, "is well-positioned for short-term and long-term growth. We will continue to focus on maximizing our marketplace advantages, investing in our organization, and the technologies that help improve efficiencies and deliver a better shopping experience."
Prior to joining Weis Markets in March, Hepfinger was an executive with Price Chopper, a 116-store supermarket company in Rotterdam, N.Y., where he oversaw warehouse, distribution, procurement and store operations. Hepfinger began his food retailing career as a night dairy clerk while in high school. During his 32-year career with Price Chopper, he worked as VP of merchandising, VP of retailing operations and regional vice president. Earlier in his career, he worked as a district manager and store manager.
Weis Markets operates 155 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia, and also owns SuperPetz, a 28-store pet supply superstore chain with locations in 10 states.