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AWG names successor as president and CEO retires

awg smith funk

KANSAS CITY, Kan., JANUARY 5, 2024 – Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc. BB #:101651 President and CEO, David Smith, has retired as of December 2023. His successor, Dan Funk, has now assumed the role of President and CEO.

Smith joined AWG in 2003 and became president and CEO in 2015. Under David Smith’s leadership, AWG experienced significant growth and success, solidifying its position as a leader in the industry. David was instrumental in steering the company through various challenges and played a key role in shaping AWG’s strategic direction.

During his time with AWG, the cooperative and membership grew from a Midwest company supplying 1,200 stores and three Divisions with sales of $3.2B to a sprawling company with Divisions across the central United States with retail sales exceeding $24B and wholesale sales exceeding $12B.

Smith said, “It has been an incredible journey leading AWG, and I am proud of what we have accomplished together. I am confident in the bright future ahead for the company under Dan Funk’s capable leadership.”

Funk started his career with AWG as president of AWG’s subsidiary, Valu Merchandisers Company (VMC) in October 2012. After two years leading VMC, he held roles of increasing responsibility including leading center store, merchandising and marketing, supply chain and, most recently, as COO where he had responsibility for operations for the cooperative. Before AWG, Funk held numerous food retail and wholesale positions for leading independent and chain grocers.

Funk stated, “I am honored to lead AWG into its next chapter. I am committed to building on the strong foundation laid by David and working collaboratively with our talented leadership team, membership, and board of directors to drive continued innovation and growth.”

“On behalf of the Board, I want to express our deepest gratitude to David Smith for his outstanding leadership. Under his guidance, AWG has thrived, and we wish him a well-deserved retirement. We are confident that Dan Funk is the right leader to continue AWG’s success, and we look forward to working with him in this new capacity,” said Barry Queen, AWG’s chairman of the board.

Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc. (AWG) is the nation’s largest cooperative food wholesaler to independently owned supermarkets, serving 1,100 member companies and more than 3,400 locations throughout 31 states from 9 wholesale divisions. Consolidated sales for AWG in 2022 were $12.3 billion. In addition to its cooperative wholesale operations, the company also operates subsidiary companies that provide certain real estate and supermarket development services, health and beauty care, general merchandise, pharmaceutical products, specialty foods, and natural and organic products. For more information, visit

Contact: Lori Turner
Executive Director of Communications