David Smith to Succeed Jerry Garland as Associated Wholesale Grocers’ New CEO

David Smith to Succeed Jerry Garland as Associated Wholesale Grocers’ New CEO

KANSAS CITY, KS - Associated Wholesale Grocers’ Board of Directors has announced that current company EVP of Operations David Smith has been selected to succeed Jerry Garland as President and CEO beginning in January of next year. 

David Smith, President and CEO, Associated Wholesale GrocersDavid has had a long and successful career in the food industry, beginning as an independent store owner and then rising the ranks to work in various assignments at the wholesale level in positions with Fleming Companies nearly 30 years ago. David joined AWG in 2003 and opened the new Gulf Coast Division in Louisiana in 2013 as Senior Vice President, General Manager, according to a press release.

Barry Queen, Chairman of the Board, Associated Wholesale Grocers“AWG is fortunate to have someone as experienced in family-owned businesses as David with an experienced leadership team in place to support his efforts,” said Barry Queen, Chairman of the Board for AWG. “The AWG board has worked closely with Jerry over the past few years on a succession plan that will provide a smooth transition and continue the momentum that the company and our members have benefited from over his time as CEO.” 

Jerry Garland, Exiting President and CEO, Associated Wholesale GrocersJerry has been serving AWG as President and CEO since 2009, and has grown the company into a nine billion dollar wholesale cooperative operating nine distribution centers. During his tenure the company says that sales have grown by 31%, increasing net income by 70% while lowering operating expenses.   

Barry added, “On behalf of the entire membership we want to thank Jerry for his 25 years of service and particularly for the outstanding results during his tenure as CEO.”  

AWG's Kansas City Distribution Center

The Board of Directors announced that Jerry will continue to serve AWG in an advisory capacity after the transition is complete, as well as continue his role of Chairman of the Food Marketing Institute until the end of his current term.

Associated Wholesale Grocers