JOLIET, Ill. — Central Grocers, the member-owned grocery cooperative here, said it has hired Kenneth W. Nemeth as executive vice president and chief operating officer.
He is currently president and chief executive officer of Valu Merchandisers Co., a subsidiary of Associated Wholesale Grocers, Kansas City, Kan.
"We are pleased to welcome someone with such an extensive background to our company," said Central Grocers President and CEO Jim Denges in a statement.
"Ken has a tremendous track record in marketing and has exhibited the leadership skills that will allow us to continue to meet the objectives our board has for the future of Central Grocers."
The position at Central Grocers, which supplies about 400 stores in the Midwest, had been vacant "for some time," a spokesman told SN.
Prior to becoming president and CEO of Valu Merchandisers in 2000, Nemeth spent five years as vice president of sales and merchandising. During that period Nemeth focused on programs to drive incremental sales, including expanding their product base to include dollar grocery, specialty foods and a pharmacy program, Central Grocers said.
Nemeth was raised in nearby Calumet Park, Ill., and has family in the area.
"I have the greatest respect for Jim Denges and the management team and employees at Central Grocers," Nemeth said. "They are highly regarded throughout the grocery industry and I look forward to contributing to their continued success."
Nemeth is expected to begin at Central Grocers in early March.