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In IGA communities across the country, you hear stories every day of families who have been in the business for generations and employees who have devoted a lifetime to working at their local IGA. That dedication to entrepreneurial business and community service are the norm rather than the exception, so it should come as no surprise that IGA’s corporate office team has a similar legacy of long-term commitment to serving the IGA brand, its retailers, and their store teams. Today IGA celebrates the retirement of two industry veterans who have devoted more than a decade of their professional careers to the IGA family, and officially welcomes a new team member with his own history of dedication to the brand.
Since 2011, Kurt Schumacher has been working closely with the IGA Chicago office and IGA Licensed Distribution Centers to improve overall IGA Exclusive Brand distribution and assortment both regionally and nationally. With a background including marketing, category management, and logistics, Kurt’s guidance has seen the Exclusive Brands team safely through some significant challenges and helped position the brand to embrace opportunities. Most recently, Kurt has been leading the redesign of the IGA Exclusive Brand label.
“Over the past year I’ve had the privilege of working closely with Kurt as we reposition the IGA label in a more fresh, modern light,” IGA CEO John Ross says. “His knowledge and insight surrounding the industry and his dedication to the independent retailers we serve made him an invaluable partner in this process. We appreciate all he has done to help navigate the past and future success of our brand.”
Kurt will be retiring at the end of the year when he and his wife plan to spend time with family and travel.
In 2007, Terry Car was brought on board as an IGA area director to assist in launching the IGA program at Unified Grocers. Terry was a perfect fit for the assignment given his prior wholesale experience on the West Coast. Over the past 11 years, Terry continued to serve IGA by managing IGA retailer relationships and recruiting new retailers.
“Terry has earned the respect of the LDCs he supports and the many independent retailers he has served within the IGA family,” IGA CEO John Ross says. “We owe him a debt of gratitude for recruiting some of IGA’s finest retailers. While he will be missed, we wish Terry and his wife Susan many more years of good health and much happiness as they move into this next phase of their life together.”
Doug Walter officially joined IGA on December 10 as an area director. Doug comes to IGA with extensive wholesale and marketing experience, including his most recent role as professional services for retail technology at Supervalu, where he sold, implemented, and trained retailers on technology. Prior to Supervalu, Doug worked for Unified Grocers on their fresh branding and “Just in Time Delivery,” and served as director of IGA marketing for Unified’s IGA retailers.
Doug and his wife Marianne reside and enjoy an active life in beautiful Washington state.
“Doug was highly instrumental in developing a best-in-class IGA program for Unified Grocers, drawing in many IGA retailers who are still with us today,” IGA CEO John Ross says. “Doug’s wholesale, marketing and technology experience is exactly what we need as we work to transition IGA as the leader for fresh, local food and customized service."