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Photo Release -- Unified Grocers Associates and Member Retailers Named Progressive Grocer Top Women in Grocery

Signe Franzen
Karen Cononetz
Abby Fox
Tina Juarez
Kathy Sgro
Lauren Johnson
Unified Grocers Logo

LOS ANGELES, June 5, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Four Unified Grocers associates — Signe Franzen, Divisional Controller; Karen Cononetz, Senior Director Center Store Procurement, PNW; Abby Fox, Manager, Procurement Strategy, and Tina Juarez, Director, Benefits — have been named Progressive Grocer 2014 Top Women in Grocery award winners. Two Unified member retailers were also honored: Kathy Sgro, Chairwoman and Executive Vice President, Pay-Less Supermarkets, Guam, and Lauren Johnson, Chief Operating Officer, Newport Avenue Market, Bend, Oregon.

Signe Franzen, Divisional Controller, Unified Grocers


Karen Cononetz, Senior Director Center Store Procurement, PNW, Unified Grocers


Abby Fox, Manager, Procurement Strategy, Unified Grocers


Tina Juarez, Director, Benefits, Unified Grocers


Kathy Sgro, Chairwoman and Executive Vice President, Pay-Less Supermarkets, Guam


Lauren Johnson, Chief Operating Officer, Newport Avenue Market, Bend, Oregon


The Progressive Grocer Top Women in Grocery awards program recognizes the leading role women play across all areas of the food industry. This year, 300 winning candidates were chosen from a field of over 500 nominees from the food supplier and retailer communities in three categories: Senior-Level Executives, Rising Stars and Store Managers. Franzen, Sgro and Johnson were named winners in the Senior-Level Executives category and Cononetz, Fox and Juarez were named winners in the Rising Stars category. The award winners were selected based on their demonstrated outstanding leadership in their companies and in the industry, as well as their specific achievements between Jan. 1, 2013, and March 1, 2014.

"Congratulations to all this year's Top Women in Grocery honorees," said Bob Ling, President and Chief Executive Officer, Unified Grocers. "Having six members of our Unified family recognized among the best in our industry reflects the strength of our organization. We are very proud of their success."

Meg Major, Chief Content Editor, Progressive Grocer, said, "The incredible achievements of our 2014 Top Women in Grocery honorees provide an enduring portrayal of our program's founding purpose: to celebrate the continuing progress the previously male-dominated grocery industry is making to close the historical gender gap while prominently recognizing the vital roles women serve in their companies, communities and the industry at large."

Unified's Top Women in Grocery honorees have made many valuable contributions to the grocery industry, their organizations and the communities in which they live and work. They are being recognized along with the other Top Women in Grocery award winners from around the country in the June issue of Progressive Grocer and will also be honored at the Progressive Grocer 2014 Top Women in Grocery Awards Gala scheduled for November 12 in Chicago, Ill.

About Unified Grocers, Inc.

Founded in 1922, Unified Grocers is a retailer-owned wholesale grocery distributor that supplies independent retailers throughout the western United States. Unified and its subsidiaries, which generated approximately $3.7 billion in sales during fiscal year 2013, offer independent retailers all the resources they need to compete in the supermarket industry.

Photos accompanying this release are available at

Signe Franzen, Divisional Controller, Unified Grocers: http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=25759

Karen Cononetz, Senior Director Center Store Procurement, PNW, Unified Grocers: http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=25760

Abby Fox, Manager, Procurement Strategy, Unified Grocers: http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=25761

Tina Juarez, Director, Benefits, Unified Grocers: http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=25762

Kathy Sgro, Chairwoman and Executive Vice President, Pay-Less Supermarkets, Guam: http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=25763

Lauren Johnson, Chief Operating Officer, Newport Avenue Market, Bend, Oregon: http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=25764

CONTACT: Paul Dingsdale, Director of Communications (323) 881-4150 pdingsdale@unifiedgrocers.com

Source: Unified Grocers