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Dispense, president of King Soopers, sets retirement

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CINCINNATI — King Soopers president Russ Dispense has announced plans to retire from the Kroger Co. division July 1, after 51 years with the company.

kingsoopers-logo“Throughout his distinguished career, Russ has always been known for his passion for the community, King Soopers and for people,” said Kroger chairman and chief executive officer Rodney McMullen. “His desire to see those who work with him grow and develop has changed the lives of our associates and touched the lives of our customers.

“Under Russ’ leadership King Soopers has grown significantly while remaining Colorado’s favorite grocery store in a highly competitive market. Russ will end his incredible career as our longest-serving King Soopers president. We are grateful for his many years of exceptional service and leadership, and wish him, Debbie and their family all the best in retirement.”

Dispense began his career in 1965, when he joined King Soopers as a courtesy clerk. He served in various leadership positions in stores and district management through the years, as well as at warehouses, manufacturing plants and administrative offices.

Dispense was promoted to vice president of retail operations and merchandising for the King Soopers division in 1983. He also served as vice president of real estate. In 1999, he was promoted to president of Smith’s Food and Drug Stores in Salt Lake City. Dispense was named to his current role as president of Kroger’s King Soopers/City Market division in 2001.

Dispense currently serves on the board of the Western Association of Food Chains, Children’s Hospital Colorado, and the Colorado Health Foundation.