New director, members join Topco

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New director, members join Topco

Neal Berube joins Topco governing board.

Elk Grove Village, Ill.-based Topco Associates has appointed Neal Berube, president and CEO of retailer-owned food distributor Associated Food Stores, to its governing board. Berube previously served as executive vice president of Associated Food Stores and president of Fresh Market Inc.

“We are excited to have Neal as a member of Topco’s Board of Directors,” said Randy Skoda, Topco’s president and CEO, in a statement. “As a Topco member wholesaler, Neal brings a wealth of strategic insight, industry knowledge and deep commitment that will help Topco advance its strategic priorities and drive additional value to the membership.”

Berube succeeds Emile Breaux, president and CEO of Associated Grocers Inc., who will be leaving the board to serve on Topco’s operations team.

In addition, Topco recently promoted Danell O’Neill from vice president to senior vice president over human resources and corporate communications.

Topco also announced that two new members — American Associated Pharmacies (AAP) and Hartig Drug Stores —have joined the cooperative, which is owned by its member grocery retailers, wholesalers, and food service and pharmacy companies.

“This expansion further enhances the collective strength of Topco, and we look forwarding to working with [both] of them to leverage the Topco platform across our pharmacy programs,” Skoda said in a press release.

AAP is a member-owned cooperative representing more than 2,200 independent pharmacies—providing owners an opportunity to buy like a larger chain. “We believe the partnership with Topco is perfectly aligned with our mission,” said AAP CEO Jon Copeland in the release.

The second oldest family-run pharmacy chain in the United States, Hartig Drug Stores has 21 retail locations throughout eastern Iowa, northwest Illinois and southwest Wisconsin. “Our more than 100-year history of retail pharmacy innovation and customer support is well-complemented by Topco’s 75 years of helping independent retailers,” said Richard J. Hartig, CEO of Hartig Drug Stores. “Through Topco, we will be able to achieve the efficiency of national scale while still maintaining our local connection.”

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