On June 4, Randy Edeker came to work as the newly minted chairman and chief executive officer of Hy-Vee, West Des Moines, Iowa, only the fourth person to hold those titles in the 235-store Midwestern chain’s 82-year history. Edeker, 49, is the very definition of “promoting from within.” After growing up down the street from Hy-Vee’s original headquarters in Chariton, Iowa, he started, fresh out of high school, as a part-time employee at a Chariton Hy-Vee store, ...

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