After 38 years of distinguished service, the Kroger Co. today announced the retirement of Central Division President Katie Wolfram, effective November 4. Pam Matthews, the current QFC Division President, will succeed her, and Suzy Monford will join the company to serve as the new President of the QFC division.
"We are grateful for Katie's nearly 40 years of dedicated service to our associates and customers, and we are excited to have Pam and Suzy take on these indispensable leadership roles in our company," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's Chairman and CEO, in a press release. "Both leaders bring successful and distinguished retail experience to the roles and will help with the execution of the Restock Kroger Plan that will bring valuable changes to our customers, associates, communities, and shareholders."
After beginning her career with Kroger in 1979 as an assistant store manager in the Cincinnati-Dayton division, Katie Wolfram went on to serve in several leadership positions at Kroger’s corporate office in Cincinnati and with Kroger’s Manufacturing Division. In 2005, she moved to Denver to join the King Soopers Division as Vice President of Merchandising, before joining the Central Division in 2014 to serve in the same role. Wolfram was named to her current role in 2016 and has been spearheading an aggressive growth strategy in the Central Division since joining the region as the Vice President of Merchandising in 2014.
In the last two years of Ms. Wolfram’s service, the company has invested nearly $329 million in the central Indiana market, expanding its 138 stores and employing more than 19,500 associates total by adding five new Marketplace stores and 12 new gas stations, remodeling and/or expanding 14 existing stores, building a regional training center, and adding more than 1,400 new jobs to the regions.
Wolfram was also a leader for the first Cultural Council, a team development and culture-building group, started at the corporate office, and she started the Reach Higher initiative in Kroger Manufacturing. Additionally, Wolfram represented Kroger as a leader in the Network of Executive Women, Denver.
"Katie has accomplished much in her career with Kroger and has always been passionate about creating an inclusive and diverse work culture," continued McMullen. "She has been a valued leadership partner across the company and Central division. We truly appreciate the many contributions Katie has made to Kroger, and we wish her and her family the best in retirement."
In retirement, she plans to move back to Denver to be near her daughter and grandson.
Pam Matthews is currently the President of the QFC division,and will succeed Wolfram as President of Kroger’s Central Division, effective October 23. Matthews started with the company in 1980 in the Fred Meyer division and has held a variety of leadership roles over the course of her 25-year Fred Meyer career, including store management, training, corporate brand development, and merchandising for deli-bakery, drug-general merchandise, and grocery.
Before being named President of the QFC division in 2016, Matthews also served as Director of Deli-Bakery Merchandising and Director of Floral Merchandising and Procurement at Kroger's corporate office in Cincinnati before being promoted to Vice President of Merchandising for the Central Division in 2006. She moved to the Delta division as Vice President of Merchandising in 2014 and was named Vice President of Operations in 2015.
Suzy Monford has been named President of QFC Division, succeeding Pam Matthews, effective October 23. Before joining the company, Monford was the former CEO of Andronico’s Community Markets, a Bay Area chain acquired by Albertsons in early 2017. Prior to Andronico's, Monford was the head of innovation for Woolworths Supermarkets in Australia, after spending 10 years as an executive for H-E-B Central Market and H-E-B Grocery Company in Texas.
Passionate about creating healthy communities, Monford is an internationally-certified group exercise instructor and health coach.
She will be based at the division office in Seattle and oversee QFC's 65 stores in Washington and Oregon.
The Deli Market News team wishes Pam Matthews and Suzy Monford luck in their new roles, and Katie Wolfram a happy retirement.