CINCINNATI, June 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today announced that Russ Dispense, president of the company's King Soopers division, plans to retire on July 1, after 51 years with the company.
"Throughout his distinguished career, Russ has always been known for his passion for the community, King Soopers and for people. His desire to see those who work with him grow and develop has changed the lives of our associates and touched the lives of our customers," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "Under Russ's leadership King Soopers has grown significantly while remaining Colorado's favorite grocery store in a highly-competitive market. Russ will end his incredible career as our longest-serving King Soopers president. We are grateful for his many years of exceptional service and leadership, and wish him, Debbie and their family all the best in retirement."
A Colorado native, Mr. Dispense began his career in the supermarket industry in 1965, when he joined King Soopers as a courtesy clerk. He served in various leadership positions in stores and district management through the years, as well as at warehouses, manufacturing plants and administrative offices. Mr. Dispense was promoted to vice president of retail operations and merchandising for the King Soopers division in 1983. He also served as vice president of real estate. In 1999, he was promoted to president of Smith's Food and Drug Stores in Salt Lake City. Russ was named to his current role as president of King Soopers/City Market division in 2001.
Mr. Dispense currently serves on the Board of Directors for Western Association of Food Chains, Children's Hospital Colorado, and the Colorado Health Foundation. He has served as the Past Chairman of the Board for the Better Business Bureau, the Board of Directors for the Mountain States Employers Council, and the Rocky Mountain Food Dealers Association, as well as the State of Colorado Governor's Advisory Council. He holds a degree in Business Administration from Western State College and is a graduate of the University of Southern California Food Industry Management Program.
Mr. Dispense has been married to his wife Debbie for 46 years. They are the proud parents of two grown children, Lisa and Marc, and have five grandsons.
His successor will be announced at a later date.
Every day, the Kroger Family of Companies makes a difference in the lives of eight and a half million customers and 431,000 associates who shop or serve in 2,778 retail food stores under a variety of local banner names in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Kroger and its subsidiaries operate an expanding ClickList offering – a personalized, order online, pick up at the store service – in addition to our 2,231 pharmacies, 784 convenience stores, 323 fine jewelry stores, 1,387 supermarket fuel centers and 38 food production plants in the United States. Kroger is recognized as one of America's most generous companies for its support of more than 100 Feeding America food bank partners, breast cancer research and awareness, the military and their families, and more than 145,000 community organizations including schools. A leader in supplier diversity, Kroger is a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable.
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SOURCE The Kroger Co.