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Hepfinger named president, COO of Weis Markets

BY Michael Johnsen

SUNBURY, Pa. Weis Markets on Wednesday named David Hepfinger president and chief operating officer.

In his new role, Hepfinger will oversee the company’s day-to-day store operations, perishable and center store marketing, merchandising and procurement, pharmacy, distribution, human resources and store support services.

“Dave Hepfinger has a broad and varied background in food retailing which is particularly well-suited to our company,” stated Jonathan Weis, Weis Markets’ vice chairman. “He has a strong combination of operational and executive skills which will be essential to our company’s growth and success in the coming years.”

Hepfinger will report to Weis Markets’ chairman Robert Weis, vice chairman Jonathan Weis and Norman Rich, who will continue as chief executive officer.

Prior to joining Weis Markets, Hepfinger was senior vice president of retailing and administration at Price Chopper, a 116-store supermarket company based in Rotterdam, N.Y.

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Safeway in Seattle raises $32.6 million for charity

BY Doug Desjardins

SEATTLE Safeway announced that it donated $32.6 million to various charities through its four-state Seattle division in 2007.

Safeway said the donations were made through cash, gifts and services to groups in Washington, Idaho, Alaska and Montana. The largest amount was $21.5 million in perishable foods given to local food banks in 2007. The company also donated more than $2 million to breast cancer research, $1.3 million for prostate cancer research and $644,000 to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Safeway’s Seattle division is made up of 205 stores and is the third largest division in the supermarket chain.

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Gleeson to retire as Walgreen’s chief strategy officer

BY Adam Kraemer

DEERFIELD, Ill. The Walgreen Co. on Tuesday announced that senior vice president and chief strategy officer John W. Gleeson, 61, is retiring at the end of the month after more than 45 years with the company.

Starting in the company as a stock clerk in 1962, Gleeson made the move to the corporate offices in 1969 after graduating from the University of Illinois. He has served as an analyst in the results department, divisional vice president of marketing systems and services, and vice president of corporate strategy and treasurer. He was named to his current position in 2007. 

“John was an ‘idea’ guy throughout his career,” said Walgreens chairman and chief executive officer Jeffrey Rein. “He conceptualized the freestanding store concept, which Walgreens pioneered and has been pivotal to our growth since the early 1990s. He also headed our Strategic Inventory Management System project, which has saved billions of dollars in inventory investment. Most recently, John has led the work on our health care service initiatives. All of us at Walgreens thank him for his countless contributions and wish him a productive and enjoyable retirement.”

Robert G. Zimmerman, 56, vice president of corporate development, will lead the strategy group. He has been with the company for 30 years, including a 16-year stint with Walgreens Health Services.

The company also announced that Howard Atlas, 47, a vice president of store operations, has been named to the new position of vice president of health and wellness integration. “Howard will bring understanding of our operations to Take Care Health, while also bringing Take Care expertise to Walgreens,” said Rein. “By the end of calendar 2008, we’ll have more than 400 stores with Take Care Health Clinics. We acquired Take Care last year to offer patients treatment for acute conditions by health professionals. But that is just the beginning. We also plan to develop convenience-oriented health and wellness services such as vaccinations, wellness management, monitoring of chronic diseases and administration of infused or injected specialty drugs.”

Rein also stated that Take Care would “provide more convenient access to quality, routine health care at an affordable cost to patients and payers, including employers.”

“With the 7,000 easily accessible stores we’ll have nationwide within two years,” he said, “we’re better positioned than any other retailer to succeed in offering this new level of health care.”

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