Reflecting on a career spanning nearly half a century, Dave Karpowitz’ journey in the grocery industry is marked by significant milestones and personal growth. Starting as a bagger at Dan’s in 1974, he worked in eight different stores, eventually grand opening two stores for AFS: Sandy Macey’s and South Ogden Macey’s.

Dave’s start at Dan’s impacted him immensely, giving him a strong foundation in customer service and guest relations. “Dan’s means a lot to me,” Dave recalls. “It got me off to a great start and helped me learn about serving guests and helping customers.”

When Dave moved from store operations to the AFS corporate office it was a significant change, but Dave felt appreciated, welcomed and valued in his new workplace. Balancing his life professionally and personally was a challenge that Dave worked through with goal setting and maintaining a focus on his family. “It was a challenge, but focusing on my family at home helped me do a good job at work with AFS,” said Dave.

As Dave moves into retirement, he plans to delve deeper into family history research, spend more time golfing and enjoy activities with his wife and 12 grandchildren. He is excited for the chance to teach at the University of Utah, where he would like to stay current with business practices and workplace safety. “I’m looking forward to teaching and gaining more knowledge,” said Dave. “Staying up to date with business practices will be important.”

Dave learned valuable life lessons at AFS, particularly the importance of people in achieving success. During his career, he realized that genuine care for those around you, and lifting them up, is key to personal and professional fulfillment. Dave believes the primary key to success is people. AFS, with its focus on people, has been instrumental in shaping his outlook on life and his career, highlighting the significance of supportive relationships and mentorship. Influential people in Dave’s career include Dan Gardner, and Ken Macey with both contributing to and influencing his career.

Managing challenges and changes taught Dave to appreciate hard times for the strength they built. He stayed committed to learning continuously and growing on a personal level, guided by the AFS values gave him a strong foundation.  As he continues into retirement, Dave hopes the spirit of the independent grocer continues to thrive, maintaining a focus on community and values in the face of competition from large retailers.

Dave’s advice to the next generation of team members is to always give their best, be genuine, lift those around them, stay positive and be generous. He has continued faith in the current AFS leadership and expressed that AFS will continue to succeed under their guidance. Dave said, “With the leadership we have, AFS will be successful.” As he continues forward into the next phase of his life, Dave brings experience, gratitude and a legacy of dedication to both his work and the people he served.

Lance Satterthwaite had this to say about Dave “Dave Karpowitz, affectionately known as “Safety Dave”, has been the driving force, for the north star (safety) of the Associated Food stores compass for many, many, years. His dedication to the company and to helping deliver a safe place to work and shop is second to none in the industry. The amazing work he has done in his career will leave a lasting impression on our company.”