What’s it like to work for the same employer for 40 years? Denise Ward gives perspective 

Denise Ward, executive assistant in the corporate office, just celebrated her 40-year anniversary with Associated Food Stores.  

While 40 years is a long time, Denise has had a relationship with Associated Food Stores beyond her four decades. As a little girl she would come to the Associated office for “will call” orders with her dad. Her dad would do his shopping and sometimes even grab something for her, like a banana. This was the start of a lifelong connection with Associated Food Stores. Denise’s grandfather even bought a grocery store with his GI bill and worked with Associated Food Stores. As a little girl, Denise would say that when she gets older, she would work at Associated Food Stores. 

Flashforward years later, and Denise is beginning her first position at AFS in accounts payable. While working for AFS, Denise raised four children and became the grandma to 14 grandchildren. Her favorite part of working here is that “family comes first.”  

Denise is the queen of fun. As the executive assistant to the CFO, and chairman of the fun committee, Denise plans many of Associated Food Stores’ favorite events and activities. She said she loves planning these activities because she “gets to see team members interact with each other and their families.” 

Recently, Denise was asked to present at an executive meeting. She entered the meeting mildly anxious to present. When she walked in, the entire executive team stood up and gave her a round of applause. Denise is adored by her fellow team members at Associated Food Stores and the company is lucky to have her. 

In closing, Denise wants to, “thank the whole company. They’ve helped mold me into who I am and let me grow”.