KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Steve Dillard, vice president, corporate sales development, for Associated Wholesale Grocers  here, told SN Friday he plans to retire Jan. 4 after 37 years "with the greatest company in America."
Dillard, 60, said he plans to remain in this area to pursue "ministry work I've wanted to do," including various church, civic and missionary endeavors.
No successor has been named.
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Dillard, well known as a speaker at industry conferences and events, started working for AWG in 1974 as a meat buyer in the cooperative's Springfield, Mo., division. He moved through various buying and merchandising positions until 1995, when he was named vice president, education and training.
He assumed his current position in 2003, where he has been responsible for recruiting new member retailers. He is also a director at AWG.
According to Jerry Garland, president and chief executive officer of AWG, "Steve will be missed. He has spent his entire career representing AWG and, more importantly, independent family-owned businesses in the best light possible. His contribution to our industry will remain for many years to come."
Dillard is also a director for the Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska grocers associations.
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