Food Service & Agriculture, Human Resources, and Law

Food distributor names chief legal officer

December 11, 2015
| By Pat Evans |
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Kathleen Mahoney
Kathleen Mahoney. Courtesy SpartanNash

A woman with a career spanning corporate law, private practice and the public sector is the new legal chief at a food distributor.

Byron Center-based SpartanNash said yesterday that it has named Executive Vice President Kathleen Mahoney its chief legal officer.

The role

As EVP and now chief legal officer, Mahoney has varied responsibilities: she's an advisor to the company’s board of directors and its senior leadership; she heads the in-house legal team at SpartanNash, which works with internal businesses segments to "minimize legal obstacles"; and she manages the Corporate Affairs, Communications, Licensing, Government Affairs and Aviation team members.

"Integral" player

“Merging two multi-million dollar companies into a nearly $8-billion organization has been an incredible journey, and Kathy has played an integral role as a member of our executive steering committee,” said Ennis Eidson, president and CEO, SpartanNash.

“Kathy’s legal expertise and extensive knowledge of the retail, wholesale and military distribution industry is a tremendous asset in not only integrating two large companies on to common platforms with cohesive management styles and methods of operations, but also blending the people and combining the cultures of companies with 125 year and nearly-100-year legacies."

Mahoney's law career

Prior to the Spartan Stores and Nash Finch Company merger in late 2013, Mahoney had been Nash Finch’s EVP, general counsel and secretary since 2009. She joined the company in 2004 as VP and deputy general counsel.

She also serves on the SpartanNash Foundation Board of Trustees and is a member of the American, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ramsey County bar associations.

Prior to joining Nash Finch, Mahoney was managing partner of the Larson King law office in St. Paul, Minn. and was with the law firm Oppenheimer, Wolff & Donnelly for 13 years.

For six years, Mahoney worked in the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office as special assistant attorney general.

Mahoney holds a B.A. from Keene State College and a J.D., cum laude, from the Syracuse University College of Law. 

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