Associated Wholesale Grocers Announces Key Leadership Changes

Kansas City, Kansas –Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc. (AWG) announced they have made some key leadership changes for the cooperative.  These changes align all wholesale operations, subsidiaries, sales and services into a singular operating team.  

In a letter to its members announcing the changes, David Smith, AWG’s President and CEO said “It is AWG’s mission “to provide our member-retailers all the tools, products, and services they need to compete favorably in all markets served.  This includes top quality supermarket merchandise and support services, all at the lowest possible cost.” To fulfill that mission in these times of change, our organizational structure must evolve to best support the needs of our members, our fellow teammates, and to support the ongoing relationship with our vendor-partners.”

Effective January 1, 2020, Dan Funk will serve in a new role of Chief Operating Officer.  This role is being created to lead all of the day-to-day operations of the cooperative and to effectively execute our 5 Key Strategic Initiatives, which are Same Store Sales Growth, Member Services and Support, Leadership Development and Succession Ready Organization, Distribution Network Improvement, and Cooperative and Subsidiary Growth. Dan has been with AWG since 2012 and has progressed to positions of increasing responsibility that has included President of Valu Merchandisers Company (VMC), SVP, Grocery Merchandising, EVP, Merchandising and Marketing, and most recently, Chief Supply Chain and Merchandising Officer.

In addition to his current role, Jeff Pedersen, EVP, Chief Sales & Support Officer, will assume the functional oversight for the growing VMC subsidiary. Jeff has made significant contributions to the success of AWG and its’ member retailers in his 22 years with the company.  His AWG career path started as a Division retail specialist and progressed to multiple other support and leadership positions to serving as EVP, Division Operations and to his current role of EVP, Chief Sales and Support Officer.

In a related move, Tye Anthony is being promoted to a new role as SVP, Merchandising, effective November 4,

2019. He will lead the merchandising team that includes meat, bakery & deli, produce, category management, AWG Brands, inventory management, and business analytics. Tye has been with AWG in various leadership roles since 2013, including VP of Sales & Merchandising for both the Nashville and Fort Worth Divisions, VP, Advertising, Merchandising & Marketing, and most recently VP, AWG Brands and Merchandising.  

Further commenting on the changes, David Smith, AWG’s President and CEO said “I could not be more proud of all this talented group of leaders have accomplished in the past year. We are blessed to have this kind of leadership talent and depth and I consider it a privilege to work with all of them.”


Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc. (AWG) is the nations’ largest cooperative food wholesaler to independently owned supermarkets, serving over 1,000 member companies and over 3,800 locations throughout 36 states from 8 full-line wholesale Divisions.  The consolidated run-rate sales for AWG are approximately $9.7 billion. In addition to its’ cooperative wholesale operations, the company also operates subsidiary companies which provide certain real estate and supermarket development services, print and digital marketing services, and health and beauty care, general merchandise, specialty/international foods and pharmaceutical products. For more information, visit or follow @AWGCorporate on Twitter.