Publix Super Markets VP of Real Estate Strategy Bob Balcerak will retire, effective March 31.
Balcerak, 61, began his Publix career in 1993 as a meat cutter in Orlando, Fla. After working in various positions within the meat department for a few years, he was promoted to meat manager and in 1999 to assistant store manager. A year later, he was named real estate manager. In 2011, he was selected as director of real estate strategy, and in 2017 he was promoted to his current role as VP of real estate strategy.
“We are grateful for Bob’s leadership in new store growth, new market and site acquisition strategies,” said Publix President Kevin Murphy. “He has perpetuated our Publix culture of promotion from within and preparing for opportunity each time his team has secured a new store site. He’s been our brand ambassador as we have charted our way into new communities, passing on the Publix spirit, and developing his team to further our company’s real estate development strategy. We are grateful for his years of dedicated service.”
Balcerak and his wife, Karen, will remain in central Florida, and are looking forward to spending quality time with family, including their first grandchild.
Meanwhile, Publix has revealed Balcerak’s successor. Citing her extensive planning and real estate experience at the company, the grocer has promoted Bridgid O’Connor to the role.
O’Connor, 40, began her Publix career in 1998 as a part-time cashier in Dunedin, Fla. After working in customer service roles at various store locations, she transferred into the company’s real estate department as administrative support in 2005. Within nine months, she was promoted to property specialist. From 2007 to 2009, O’Connor worked as a real estate specialist and was promoted to real estate manager in 2011. She was named director of real estate strategy, her current role, in 2017.
“For the past 18 years, Bridgid has pursued her passion of strategic planning and real estate development by honing her skills and achieving her goal to learn every aspect of the business,” said Murphy. “Her ability to be a strong, strategic leader — along with her commitment to developing her team — has allowed her to excel. We are excited to see the contributions she’ll continue to make in her new role.”
Privately owned and operated by its more than 225,000 employees, Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix has 1,281 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. The grocer is No. 11 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.