Retailer cooperative Allegiance Retail Services LLC (ARS) has made three leadership team promotions: Samer Rahman, VP of perishables, was promoted to VP of center store; Dean Holmquist, VP of store operations, was appointed VP of perishables; and Kevin Komisky, director of merchandising and operational effectiveness, was named senior director of store operations.
In his new role, Rahman will provide member stores with support in the areas of supply, product and operational costs. Part of the ARS team for nine years, he previously worked at A&P, Food Bazaar and Pathmark.
“My objective is to provide the best cost of goods for in-demand products and continue to demonstrate best-in-class merchandising,” noted Rahman, a third-generation grocery industry member, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. “Through my decades in the business and various positions I’ve held, I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”
Holmquist has been with the ARS/Foodtown cooperative for 36 years, starting with Twin County Grocers Foodtown Inc. He previously led the merchandising and in-store execution teams for member stores, coordinated onboarding efforts for new members, and had oversight of third-party food safety and sanitation and shrink and labor programs. In his new role, he will supply perishable departments with quality products and services.
Komisky started out in the grocery industry as an assistant manager for A&P in 1981, moving through various roles and stores, before joining the ARS team in 2020. In his new position, he will address members’ concerns, assist with projects/ideas, and work on initiatives to bring new members into the co-op.
“We have tremendous talent among our associates at Allegiance and look to promote from within first,” said ARS President and COO John T. Derderian. “Samer, Dean and Kevin’s dedication and knowledge of the grocery industry will bring strong support to the co-op’s members as they navigate changing consumer demands.”
The promotions were revealed at ARS’ Annual Member Meeting, held last month at the Upper Montclair Country Club, in New Jersey. Other important items of business included the election of the Allegiance board of managers and Foodtown board of directors for the 2022-23 fiscal year. Board appointees were as follows: Daniel Katz as chairman, Louis Scaduto Jr. as vice chairman, Esmail Mobarak as treasurer, Derderian as president and COO, and John Estevez, Jason Ferreira, Michael Mignosi, Joseph Parisi and John Shakoor.
Discussions at the meeting focused on immediate challenges facing independent grocers and what can be expected in the years to come, given the current economic outlook and industry forecasts.
“As a cooperative, our members are uniquely positioned to grow their operations based on the strategic investments we have made in business intelligence and benefiting from the enhanced digital offerings we have worked tirelessly to implement and deploy,” noted Derderian.
Added Katz: “The membership has embraced the new post-pandemic retail environment, and we are keenly aligned with the needs of the ever-changing consumer. We are extremely confident about the prospects of the Allegiance Cooperative in the future.”
Iselin, N.J.-based ARS provides independent supermarkets such as Foodtown, Freshtown, D’Agostino, Gristedes, Pathmark, LaBella Marketplace, Brooklyn Harvest, Market Fresh, Big Deal Food Market, Green Way Markets, and Shop n Bag with marketing, advertising, technological and merchandising support, as well as a full line of private label products, including Foodtown, Green Way and Rancher’s Legend.