Unified Grocers, Los Angeles-based member-owned cooperative, said Wednesday it has appointed Brad Alford, former chairman and CEO of Nestlé USA, to its board as an independent, non-shareholder director.

Alford, who spent 32 years with Nestlé, retired in 2012 after nearly seven years as chairman and CEO of its USA division.

Brad AlfordAccording to Richard E. Goodspeed, Unified’s board chairman, “[Brad’s] deep expertise in manufacturing and distribution with one of the world’s largest CPG companies will add a valuable perspective to our board and complement the retail experience we gained with the appointment of Rocky Laverty in April.”

Laverty was president and CEO of Farmer Bros. Co from 2007 to 2011 and also served as president and CEO of Smart & Final from 1993 to 1998.

Bob Ling, president and CEO of Unified, said Alford’s appointment “reflects our confidence regarding the business prospects for independent retail grocers and our commitment to serving that market. Adding two such distinguished directors [as Alford and Laverty] in the space of a few months only strengthens the overall capability of our board.”

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