Meijer has appointed Rick Keyes as president, succeeding J.K. Symancyk, who is leaving Meijer for a CEO position with outdoor retailer Academy Sports + Outdoors.
Keyes is a 26-year Meijer veteran who joined the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company as a pharmacist in Columbus, Ohio. He has served various pharmacy and store operations positions and has been Meijer’s SVP of supply chain and manufacturing since 2006.
“We are pleased to introduce Rick as our new president,” Hank Meijer, co-chairman and co-CEO, said in a statement. “Rick’s proven leadership has been an inspiration to our team. He has grown up with Meijer, excelling in positions in both pharmacy and store operations, and, most recently, building industry-leading supply chain and manufacturing operations.”
Keyes, 46, in his most recent position oversaw the retailer’s expansion into manufacturing with the acquisition of one dairy and construction of another, and pioneered initiatives ranging from the launch of a near-zero emission truck fleet to significant investments in lean distribution technologies.
“I am truly humbled and honored to accept the role as president of Meijer,” Keyes said. “I joined this company as a front-line team member more than 25 years ago, and Meijer has provided me the opportunity to learn, grow and develop experiences across a variety of disciplines. I’m very much looking forward to working with our team members at all levels to ensure Meijer continues to grow and thrive.”
While Keyes’ imprint on the increased sophistication of Meijer supply chain and manufacturing operations is dramatic, he is also known as a strong advocate for team members, including a passion for increasing employment opportunities for persons with disabilities, the company said. Since 2012, Keyes has led an initiative at several Meijer distribution facilities to create job opportunities for persons with various levels of disability, partnering with several local non-profit agencies.
“A company can only be great if its team members feel valued and engaged, regardless of their role or level,” Keyes said. “Together with a strong senior leadership team, I’m looking forward to charting a course for our company where everyone can feel ownership for our success, while delivering the excellent customer service Meijer is known for.”
Keyes will be the seventh president in the company’s 81-year history. He is a native of Columbus, Ohio, and a graduate of Ohio Northern University’s College of Pharmacy.
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