KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Associated Wholesale Grocers named Doug Carolan president and chief executive officer at the company's annual meeting here last week.
ce president of marketing and has held the positions of executive vice president and assistant secretary. In 1996, he became chief operating officer, with responsibility for the operations of the wholesaler and its subsidiaries, Benchmark Insurance Cos. and Valu Merchandisers Co.
"Following Mike DeFabis as president and CEO will be a challenge," Carolan said at the meeting. "Although our personal styles differ, we share a commitment to this company. Since 1987, we have worked in tandem, sharing the same goals for AWG, so the transition will be a smooth one.
"The past few years have seen AWG emerge as a powerful force within our industry, and we intend to continue this same aggressive philosophy.
"To borrow a quote from Mike, 'If you're standing still, you are, in actuality, going backward.' Rest assured, we have no intention of standing still. AWG will always operate aggressively to have the best, most profitable retailers in the country."
As vice chairman, DeFabis said, he will focus his energies on other initiatives. "These specific projects represent immediate and long-term goals that fall outside the realm of daily business," DeFabis said.
A 40-year food-industry veteran, Carolan held various retail and wholesale management positions before joining AWG.
Carolan is on the boards of the National Grocers Association and Harvesters, a Kansas City-area food bank. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University, with a degree in food distribution.