David J. Hepfinger, president and CEO of Weis Markets, has been named the “Pete Manos Retail Executive of the Year,” the publishers of Food World and Food Trade News announced this month. Hepfinger’s selection was the result of tabulating votes from Best-Met Publishing’s web site, www.best-met.com, e-mail correspondence and phone calls from our readers.
The award was first presented to Pete Manos in 1999 and was subsequently named after him. Manos, the former chairman and CEO of Giant Food Inc., received the award upon his retirement from the Landover, MD chain where he spent 39 years. The award is now given to a food industry executive annually, in recognition of distinguished industry service, leadership and community involvement.
Hepfinger oversees all aspects of the Sunbury, PA based retailer’s operations and management. He is also a member of the company’s executive committee and its board of directors. Established in 1912, Weis Markets currently operates 161 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia.
As president and CEO, Hepfinger helps oversee much of the retailer’s support of numerous charities and organizations throughout its market area, including food banks, community-based health care organizations, schools, pet shelters, the United Way and many other local charities.
Weis’ annual Fight Hunger program generates hundreds of thousands of dollars in product and direct donations by its customers to local food banks, pantries and emergency food providers and supplements their giving with a matching corporate donation.
Weis also donates to community-based health care organizations throughout its trade area, including: clinics for the uninsured, mammography programs, women’s cardiac programs, clinics serving women facing high-risk pregnancies and breast cancer awareness programs.
Hepfinger accepted the award recently from Pete Manos. Manos said, “Dave is truly worthy of this honor. He has been instrumental in improving Weis’ sales and earnings performance since he became CEO, and has also enhanced the company’s culture and perpetuated Weis’ long-standing notable record of community service and charitable contributions.”
Hepfinger joined Weis Markets as president and chief operating officer (COO) on March 1, 2008. Prior to joining the company, he was senior vice president of retailing and administration at Price Chopper, a 116-store supermarket company based in Rotterdam, NY. In that position, he oversaw Price Chopper’s warehouse, distribution, procurement and store operations.
Hepfinger started his food retailing career as a night dairy clerk while in high school. Earlier in his 32-year career with Price Chopper, he worked as a department head, store manager and district manager before entering senior management. He subsequently served as the company’s vice president of merchandising, vice president of retailing operations and regional vice president.
Hepfinger holds an MBA from Rennsselaer Polytechnic Institute.