This New Year’s, Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc. (AWG) has announced restructuring changes and new leadership promotions aimed at creating a more cohesive supply-chain alignment within the company and bringing together Division Operations, Merchandising, and Distribution/Logistics functions. As part of this plan, Dan Funk will assume the new role of Chief Supply Chain and Merchandising Officer, and Jeff Pedersen will become AWG’s new Executive Vice President and Chief Sales & Support Officer.
In his new role, Funk will be responsible for all merchandising and operations. According to the company’s press release, Funk joined AWG in 2012 as President of the wholesaler’s Valu Merchandisers subsidiary. Funk was subsequently promoted to Senior Vice President of Grocery for AWG. In 2015, he assumed the role of Executive Vice President, Merchandising and Marketing. Before joining AWG, Funk worked in various retail and wholesale roles, ranging from a bag boy at an independent supermarket in North Dakota to leadership roles with leading retail chains and wholesalers.
Pedersen, a 21-year veteran of AWG, will lead sales, services, support, and solutions for the wholesaler in his capacity as Vice President and Chief Sales & Support Officer. Pedersen has worked in a variety of leadership roles within AWG, including Executive Vice President of Division Operations. Before he joined AWG, Pedersen began his career in the biz at an independently-owned supermarket, working his way up to prominent management within leading Midwest retail chains.
Pedersen will lead the Supply Chain and Merchandising division and oversee its primary disciplines—Sales, Services, Support, and Solutions.
AWG’s Sales team will be the primary point of contact for AWG members and will lead the communication as well as the retail execution of sales building strategies. The Services team will be the combined functions of Store Engineering, Store Design, Store Décor, Décor Manufacturing, Lighting and Design, and the management and administration of third-party services that serve AWG members’ facility design, construction, maintenance, remodeling, and other related needs. The Support team will be a centrally-managed group of functional areas and departments that are focused on delivering sales support to Division teams and its members. The Solutions team is a new addition for AWG. It currently encompasses retail technology, business solutions, and retail pricing. This new area will be expanded in the future to be the go-to for various member needs in the areas of technology.
“The supermarket industry is both challenging and rewarding,” said Barry Queen, Chairman of the Board. “AWG continues to stay positioned and focused to be the best wholesale partner a retailer needs to meet the challenges of today and the future.”
David Smith, President and CEO, noted in a letter to AWG’s members: “As our business and the challenges facing our members are ever-changing, we must constantly evaluate our performance against our mission objective. As we measure that performance, from time to time, it becomes necessary for us to realign and adjust our resources with current and emerging member needs and priorities.”
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