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KeHE Distributors Names Deb Conklin as President and Chief Executive Officer; Brandon Barnholt Shares

KeHE Distributors Names Deb Conklin as President and Chief Executive Officer; Brandon Barnholt Shares

Friday, January 6th, 2023

An ongoing succession plan is coming to fruition for KeHE Distributors. The operator has just named its newest President and Chief Executive Officer, as Deb Conklin will be stepping into the role on April 1, 2023. She succeeds Brandon Barnholt, who is moving to an Executive Chairman role.

Deb Conklin, Incoming President and Chief Executive Officer, KeHE Distributors“I want to thank the whole Reddy Ice team for being incredibly supportive, and I look forward to this amazing opportunity to serve the marketplace through the KeHE platform,” stated Conklin. “The strength of KeHE’s customer portfolio and diverse supplier universe is very exciting for the future. KeHE is an important distribution and supply chain partner throughout the retail food sector, and I look forward to helping all parties grow and succeed.”

According to the release, the change in executive leadership is the result of a carefully planned succession process. Conklin has served as a Board member for KeHE’s employee-owned enterprise. Concurrently, she has been the President and CEO of the Reddy Ice company, a large manufacturer and distributor of packaged ice in the United States with over 80,000 retail customers.

Deb Conklin will become KeHE Distributors’ newest President and Chief Executive Officer on April 1, 2023, as part of an ongoing succession plan

Known for her visionary approach, Conklin has a history of driving operational improvement, customer service, and building important trade relationships. Conklin is a Clemson University graduate and earned her MBA from Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Conklin will be succeeding Barnholt, who has been the company’s President and CEO for 15 years and helped lead the company through a time of extraordinary growth. During his tenure, KeHE expanded from a Midwest Specialty Distributor to a pure-play Distributor of Specialty, Natural, Organic, and Fresh products in North America, including the acquisition of Tree of Life, Nature’s Best, and Monterrey Provisions.

Brandon Barnholt, Executive Chairman, KeHE Distributors“Deb is a perfect cultural fit and is uniquely qualified with a solid combination of strong distribution and commercial experience in the food retail sector. She is a seasoned, talented executive with deep experience in the capital markets and a keen strategic mind. Beyond that, she is an enthusiastic, humble, and focused leader with a bias for action,” said Barnholt.

Cheers to Deb Conklin and Brandon Barnholt on entering these new roles!

KeHE Distributors