Monica Garnes, corporate vice president of produce-floral merchandising for Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., is the company’s new president of the Fry’s Food Stores division, effective Feb. 5.
Garnes, who was named to her position in 2015, succeeds Steve McKinney, who was promoted to senior vice president of the retail divisions for the company.
Kristal Howard, Kroger's head of media relations and corporate communications, confirmed that Frank Romero, previously corporate vice president of Our Promise and roles and responsibilities, is taking over as corporate vice president of produce-floral merchandising for the company.
Romero has been with the company since 1987, Howard said, in an email.
“Monica is a recognized leader in our business and across the industry,” said Mike Donnelly, Kroger’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, in a news release.” She combines a willingness to embrace fresh ideas with a keen business savvy that yields real results. As the company’s first African-American division president, we are excited to have Monica drive and influence change in our company through her expertise and perspective, and we are eager for her to bring her passion for people and results to Fry’s.”
Tolleson, Ariz.-based Fry’s is no stranger to Garnes. Prior to being named vice president of produce-floral merchandising, Garnes was named vice president of merchandising for the division in 2013. She began her Kroger career in 1995, when she joined the management training program at the company’s Columbus division. In her 23-year career with the company, she has been produce buyer, human resources coordinator, store manager, public affairs manager, district manager and produce-floral merchandiser.
McKinney was named president of Fry’s in 2013. His career at Kroger began in 1981 as a store clerk at Florida Choice Supermarkets where he moved up the ranks to store manager, buyer, field representative before joining Fry’s in various leadership positions, according to a news release. He was promoted to vice president of operations for the company’s Southwest division in 2006 and vice president of operations for Ralph’s in 2007.
“Steve’s nearly 37 years of Kroger experience and deep knowledge of food retail will help our divisions continue to execute with excellence,” Donnelly said, in a news release. “Steve has always been passionate about creating uplifting associate and customer experiences. We look forward to him joining our senior leadership team as we continue to drive Restock Kroger.”