Food Service & Agriculture, Human Resources, and Retail

Grocery chain hires president of food distribution

June 4, 2019
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Walt Lentz
Walt Lentz. Courtesy SpartanNash

A locally based grocery chain and food distributor has named a new executive.

Byron Center-based SpartanNash hired Walt Lentz as EVP and president of food distribution, effective May 31, according to the company yesterday.

Lentz will report to David Staples, president and CEO, SpartanNash.

“Walt’s multi-disciplined logistics and supply chain career and commanding knowledge of the grocery industry from distribution, retailing and omnichannel commerce to manufacturing and merchandising are in direct alignment with SpartanNash’s supply chain optimization and strategic growth objectives,” Staples said.

“We believe his expertise and energy to accelerate our strategic plan will be an asset to our organization.”


Lentz will oversee SpartanNash’s $4-billion food distribution segment and the total company supply chain.

He will work with the SpartanNash team in developing and executing strategic plans to grow the wholesale distribution and food manufacturing businesses’ profitability.

Lentz’s background

Lentz has 32 years of logistics and supply chain leadership experience, including serving from 2017 to 2019 as acting CEO and chief supply chain officer of Peapod, the grocery e-commerce business division of Ahold Delhaize.

His career with Ahold began in 2009 and included positions as VP of supply chain for Giant Foods, as well as SVP of supply chain logistics, planning and replenishment, Ahold USA Retail.

From 1997 to 2009, Lentz held several executive roles at Battle Creek-based Kellogg Company, ranging from manufacturing operations to logistics operations and business unit sales support.

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