At the Associated Food Stores (AFS) annual meeting on April 5, Brent Foulger, vice chairman of the board of directors, announced this year’s election results. Two new retailers were added to the board of directors. Chris Gentry, from Madison Foods in Ennis, Montana, and Paula Simerly from Simerly’s in Wendell, Idaho were elected to the board. 

Chris went from a 15-year career as a nurse in Baker and Wibaux, Montana to a grocery store owner in 1998 in her childhood hometown of Wibaux. She purchased Madison Foods in 2003. Chris is in the process of doubling the size of her store and brings a wealth of knowledge and a spirit of innovation to the board. 

Paula started in the grocery business when she was in junior high. She is the third generation of Simerly’s and is currently managing day-to-day operations. She jokes she is currently the vice president, secretary and treasurer and that her father retains the title as president but would hand it off as well if the two of them weren’t the last in their family line.  Paula attended the University of Idaho and has a B.S. in Psychology.  She has spent the last 30 years working for their family business.   

“We are thrilled to have these two women join the board of directors,” said Bob Obray, president and CEO, of Associated Food Stores. “Having had wonderful interactions with both of these retailers, I know of their vast experience and perspective. The board will greatly benefit from their guidance and counsel.” 

The AFS Board of Directors is an elected group of member retailers. There are 13 elected members who are AFS retailers and two independent (non-voting) board members who are appointed by the board for a total of 15 individuals.  

In general, the AFS Board of Directors has broad responsibility to advise the business and affairs of the company, primarily for the benefit of the approximately 450 retail members/shareholders in the eight states serviced by AFS.