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Kroger launches annual Bringing Hope to the Table campaign

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI — Kroger has launched its annual hunger awareness campaign, which is expected to generate $4 million in cash and food donations this year.

The Bringing Hope to the Table campaign, which kicked off Sunday and will run for two weeks, is designed to assist 80 local food banks — which are members of Feeding America — in communities where Kroger’s customers and associates live and work. Since 2006, Kroger has contributed $30 million in food and funds to local food banks through the annual campaign.

"Bringing Hope to the Table is a unique opportunity for our customers and Kroger to join together to feed our hungry neighbors," said Lynn Marmer, Kroger’s group VP corporate affairs and a member of the board of Feeding America. "We’re proud that through this campaign, our customers, associates and vendors unite to provide resources to local food banks that support our communities."

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Steven Fitzpatrick appointed to Fred’s board

BY Allison Cerra

MEMPHIS — Former Accredo Health Group president has been elected to serve on Fred’s board of directors.

Fred’s said Steven Fitzpatrick will be presented as one of the director nominees at the discount retailer’s 2012 annual meeting, which will be held later this summer.

"The addition of Steve Fitzpatrick to our board brings a unique blend of business acumen along with a knowledgeable resource for the management to call upon regarding pharmacy operations," Fred’s board chairman Michael Hayes said. "We are delighted to have Steve join our board. Steve will join Bruce Efird, Rick Chambers and Tom Tashjian on Fred’s strategic pharmacy healthcare committee to explore growth and capital needs over the next five years, and he will also serve on several other committees."

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John Standley appointed chairman of Rite Aid

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid has appointed president and CEO John Standley as chairman, the retail pharmacy chain said Friday.

Rite Aid announced that its board of directors had elected Standley to replace current chairman Mary Sammons, effective June 21. Sammons has served as chairman since June 2007 and plans to step down at the company’s annual stockholder meeting.

"John is a proven leader who is highly knowledgeable about our company and has done an outstanding job leading the organization’s turnaround efforts since becoming president and CEO in June 2010," Sammons said. "With the company’s strong progress under John’s leadership, the board believes the time is right to recombine the roles of chairman and CEO and that this unified structure will provide decisive and effective leadership within and outside the company."

Standley originally started working at Rite Aid as EVP and CFO in December 1999 before leaving in August 2005 to become CEO and director of Pathmark Stores. He returned to Rite Aid in September 2008 as president and COO. He also has previously worked in executive positions for Fred Meyer, Fleming, Ralph’s Grocery and Smith Food & Drug Centers, in addition to serving as a member of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ executive committee.

At Rite Aid, Standley has overseen new programs and initiatives such as the Wellness+ loyalty-card program, which has been credited with helping to attract and maintain new customers and whose membership stood at 52 million at the end of the company’s fiscal fourth quarter, on April 12, and the Wellness store format, which currently includes 280 of the company’s nearly 4,700 stores.

In addition to Standley’s appointment, the company also will retain Michael Regan as lead independent director. Regan has served as an independent director since 2007.

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