Outpost Natural Foods Cooperative, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., announced that its board of directors has selected Ray Simpkins as its next general manager. Simpkins, 45, succeeds outgoing general manager Pam Mehnert, who retires next month following a 42-year career with the co-op. Simpkins brings more than 20 years of retail store management experience, including serving in leadership roles at several national grocery chain locations.
He joins Outpost from the Greater Columbus, Ohio, area where he was most recently District Manager for Dollar General responsible for a network of locations. Previously, Simpkins was a Store Manager for The Home Depot and a Club Manager for Sam’s Club. He also served as Store Director for Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, where he helped lead that store’s construction and local market launch. Simpkins has an MBA from Strayer University and received his bachelor’s degree from Wright State University, both of which are in Ohio.
“After a nationwide search, we are thrilled to have found a general manager who brings such a rich background and extensive experience in grocery retail,” said Ashley Fisher, President, Outpost’s board of directors. “Ray’s an energetic team leader with a passion for customer service. We’re excited to watch him excel at Outpost.”
As general manager of Outpost, Simpkins will take the helm during a time of renewed growth amidst a crowded retail food marketplace.
“I can’t wait to move to Milwaukee and meet Outpost employees, owners, shoppers and community partners,” Simpkins said. “Together, we’ll continue to create healthy, diverse, and sustainable communities by offering the area’s largest selection of regionally and locally sourced organic products, all within an engaging consumer experience.”