Hy-Vee executive newest GMA hall of fame inductee

WASHINGTON — Ric Jurgens spent the past 43 years working for and building Hy-Vee into a strong regional chain, and later this summer his accomplishments will be acknowledged by the Grocery Manufacturers Association when he receives the organization’s Hall of Achievement Award.

Jurgens announced plans to retire last December with an effective date of June 1. He is succeeded by Randy Edeker, an executive who spent the past 30 years with the grocer and most recently served as president and COO of the employee owned company. Jurgens served as CEO since 2003 and added the chairman title in 2006. Hy-Vee operates 235 stores in eight Midwestern states with annual sales of $7.3 billion.

"It has been my privilege to serve Hy-Vee and our customers for over 43 years," Jurgens said of his retirement decision. "I'm eternally grateful for the support and guidance given to me by our employees throughout our eight-state area. Since I've given my entire working life to Hy-Vee, the future of our company is very important to me. I retire with great confidence knowing that we have a strong, talented leader in Randy Edeker, and knowing he is surrounded by an outstanding team of executives at every level who will make Hy-Vee even better in the years to come."

In addition to acknowledging Jurgens, GMA also plans to honor Dean Pappas, CEO of Clement Pappas and Company, a leading supplier of private label fruit juices and beverages and cranberry sauce. Pappas joined the family-owned company in 1962 and served as CEO until last June when the business was sold.

“Lifetime achievement is the hallmark of the GMA Hall of Achievement Award, and by that standard, no two people are more deserving than Ric Jurgens and Dean Pappas,” said GMA president and CEO Pam Bailey. “Their business savvy, their desire to make the world a better place and their compassion for their associates, their communities and their consumers sets them apart.”

The awards will be presented during a ceremony at the GMA Executive Conference held August 25-27 in Colorado Springs.