Kennie’s Markets CEO retires after 40 years

Tom Dempsey, former president of Snack Food Association, takes the reins

Kennie’s Markets Inc. has named Tom Dempsey as its new president and chief executive officer, succeeding P.K. Hoover Jr., who is retiring after 40 years with the company.

Dempsey comes to the Littlestown, Pa.-based independent grocer from his most recent role as president and CEO of the Snack Food Association. During his tenure there, from July 2013 to July 2017, he led the organization’s expansion to a global trade association under the newly branded SNAC International.

Prior to that, Dempsey’s decades of experience in the consumer packaged goods and grocery arena include 24 years at Utz Quality Foods, where he served as president after holding several senior management roles.

“I look forward to working with the almost 500 hard-working employee owners of Kennie’s Markets to continue to serve our local communities the way that P.K. and his family have over the past 50 years,” Dempsey (left) said in a statement. “My focus will continue to be supporting our employee owners and providing Kennie’s customers unmatched quality and service.”

Hoover has served as president and CEO of Kennie’s markets since 1987. His father Paul, who died in late 1995, co-founded the grocery retailer with R. Kenneth Foust in 1959, starting with one store in Gettysburg, Pa.

“One of the most important final decisions a CEO can make is the selection of a successor. I am confident I have made the right choice in hiring Tom, an industry veteran who has served on Kennie’s Board since 2015,” Hoover said. “With our organization becoming 100% employee-owned in 2015, Tom already has a dedicated and experienced team to assist him in his new role. I am proud to have served our communities and worked with the Kennie’s family of employees and am forever grateful to our loyal customers.”

Kennie’s Markets operates four stores in Pennsylvania — in Biglerville, Gettysburg, Littlestown and Spring Grove — and one store in Taneytown, Md.

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