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FMI names Heather Garlich director of media, public relations

BY Michael Johnsen

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Food Marketing Institute on Wednesday named Heather Garlich as the association’s director of media and public relations. She will be responsible for managing communications outreach and information activities related to FMI’s strategic goals, including government relations, food safety, conferences and events, and industry relations.

“We are pleased to welcome Heather to the FMI communications team,” FMI president and CEO Leslie Sarasin said. “Her wealth of experience in consumer, trade and government communications, coupled with her skills in media relations, will most decidedly enrich FMI’s presence as the voice of the food retail community.”

Prior to joining FMI, Garlich spent nearly four years at Porter Novelli Public Services in the food and nutrition practice. At the firm, she held management roles on numerous clients, such as Welch’s, Almond Board of California and Pharmavite, developing business plans related to nutrition policy, food science and current trends. Garlich’s experience spans multiple communications platforms, including stakeholder relations, traditional press and digital media strategies.

In addition, Garlich’s history includes trade associations, as she previously served as the manager for member communications at the Grocery Manufacturing Association and was an integral part of the 2006 merger of GMA and the Food Products Association. Garlich holds a bachelor’s degree in English with a journalism concentration from the University of Delaware.

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Ralphs appoints Donna Giordano as president

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Kroger on Tuesday promoted Donna Giordano to the role of president of the Ralphs division.

Giordano, 57, has been president of the company’s Quality Food Centers division, based in Seattle, since 2002. She succeeds Mike Donnelly, who was recently promoted to SVP merchandising for Kroger.

"Donna is an engaging and strategic leader who has earned the respect of our associates," Kroger president and COO Rodney McMullen said. "Donna’s extensive experience and focus on connecting with customers has contributed to the success of QFC. She has passion and gets the job done. We are excited that she accepted this new role to lead Ralphs."

Giordano joined the company’s King Soopers banner in 1972 while still in college. She was named store manager at King Soopers in 1982, and later held various director-level positions in key areas, including advertising, bakery, general merchandise, grocery and pharmacy. In 1999, Giordano was promoted to VP sales and marketing of King Soopers.

Giordano and her husband, Mario, currently reside in Seattle. They have two daughters. She will transition to Ralphs, headquartered in Los Angeles in early August.

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Meijer opens small concept store in Chicago

BY DSN STAFF

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Meijer announced that it is opening a new concept store in the Chicago suburb of Melrose Park that will provide a tailored grocery offering and a broad variety of general merchandise.

Called Meijer Marketplace, the new store will be 96,000 sq. ft., about half the size of Meijer’s largest supercenters.

"Meijer Marketplace is a dramatic step for us as we work toward bringing everything that’s great about Meijer to a more diverse group of customers," said Hank Meijer, co-chairman and CEO of the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer. "The Chicago market continues to be a very important growth area for us, and our new Meijer Marketplace concept will bring yet another unique offering to our Chicago-area customers."

Meijer said its grocery offering will include a focus on Hispanic and Italian foods to better serve the ethnically diverse community nearby.

In addition to grocery, Meijer Marketplace will offer a full-service pharmacy offering a variety of national and Meijer-brand health and beauty products, the company reported.

General merchandise departments will include electronics, seasonal items, toys, sporting goods and a pet department, with numerous national brand products throughout the aisles, Meijer reported. The store will maintain a flexible layout that allows Meijer planners to bring in new items based on customer feedback.

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