Springdale, Ark.-based Harps Foods Stores, which operates 135 stores Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas, announced Friday the promotions of several company directors to the role of vice president.
Robert Acord has been promoted to Vice President of Pharmacy, Layne Chastain to Vice President of Meat & Seafood, Mike Roberts to Vice President of Produce, Hydie Hale to Vice President of Bakery-Deli, Shannon Kincade to Vice President of General Merchandise and Randall Harp to Vice President of Distribution & Grocery Procurement.
“We are thrilled to be able to promote these outstanding directors who have played a pivotal role as the head of their respective departments in driving our company’s success during their tenures with us,” exclaims Kim Eskew, chairman and CEO of Harps. “During the last two years, Harps has grown an incredible 43% under their capable direction. Having become a billion-dollar company in 2020, these promotions are overdue in my opinion and we are excited to see what these new Vice Presidents will accomplish during the years to come.”
Acord (left) joined Harps Food Stores as the Director of Pharmacy in March 2008. He brings over 20 years of pharmacy experience to Harps, including experience in retail pharmacy operations, corporate supervision and IT systems. After completing undergraduate classes at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Acord attended the UAMS College of Pharmacy in Little Rock, Ark. He graduated from UAMS in 1987 and relocated to Springdale. Acord was promoted from Director of Pharmacy to Vice President of Pharmacy.
Chastain (right) began a Meat Cutter Apprenticeship with Harps Foods in September 1978 at Harps in Mountain Home, Ark., until 1988 when he accepted the Meat Market Manager position at Yellville, Ark. While at Yellville, Chastain was awarded Meat Manager of the Year five times. He was later promoted to Meat Merchandiser in 2005 and has held multiple positions throughout his career such as Meat and Seafood Category Manager, Director of Meat and Seafood, and now to his current role of Vice President of Meat & Seafood.
Roberts (left) started his career at a Food 4 Less in North Little Rock in 1988 as a part-time produce clerk while attending college at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He was first promoted to Produce Manager in 1992 and later to Produce Merchandiser in 2001. Throughout his time at Harps, Roberts has had an opportunity to serve in every role in the produce department from Produce Merchandiser, Produce Director and in his current role as Vice President of Produce Operations.
Hale (left) began her career with Harps in 1997 as a Deli Clerk. In 1999 she was promoted to Deli Manager in Fort Smith, Ark. Since then she has served as Bakery-Deli Manager at numerous locations across northwest Arkansas until 2014 when she was promoted to Bakery-Deli Merchandiser serving the North Central/Eastern territory and Northwest Arkansas territory until 2018, when she was promoted to Director of Bakery-Deli Operations. Hale has served on the ESOP Board of Directors and oversees all operations for Bakery-Deli in her current role of Vice President of Bakery-Deli.
Kincade (right) joined Harps in 1985 as a part-time sacker/stocker at Mountain Home, Ark. From there, Kincade transferred to Arkansas State University in Jonesboro,, where he graduated with a B.S. in Marketing in 1992. Later that year Kincade accepted an Assistant General Merchandise Manager position and has served in numerous positions since such as General Merchandise Manager, General Merchandise Specialist, and Director of General Merchandise. He held that title until his recent promotion to Vice President of General Merchandise.
Harp (left) started working for Harps in 1979 as a sacker in Springdale, Ark. He’s also served on the Board of Directors. Harp has held various roles with the company such as Store Manager, Grocery Merchandiser, District Manager, DSD Specialist and Director of Harp’s Distribution Center and Head Grocery Buyer. Harp was then promoted to his current role of Vice President of Distribution & Grocery Procurement.
The promotions follow the appointment of J. Max Van Hoose to president in January.
“J. Max has demonstrated his value to Harps in a great many ways during his tenure as executive V.P. and I am very happy to see this well-deserved promotion take place,” said Eskew, who previously served as president of the employee-owned company.