Harps Food Stores President and CEO Kim Eskew has also added the title of chairman.
At the Springdale-based company’s annual board meeting Nov. 15, Eskew was elected to fill the position previously held by Roger Collins, who is retiring after serving as chairman for the past 17 years.
Eskew, who went to work for Harps as a part-time stock boy and cashier in 1977 while attending the University of Arkansas, replaced Collins as president and CEO in November 2016.
“Roger Collins was exactly the right person at the right time to lead Harps from a family-owned and operated business to an employee-owned and operated business,” Eskew said in a statement. “Every employee owner will have a better retirement and future because of Roger’s leadership.”
Collins joined Harps in 1986 as the company’s top finance officer, and was eventually appointed chairman and CEO in 2000, the first time since the company was founded in 1930 someone outside the founding Harps family would lead the business.
He took over after Gerald Harp — one of four children of founders Harvard and Floy Harp — announced his retirement.
Also at the Nov. 15 meeting, three new board members were elected to serve from Harps: David Ganoung, vice president of marketing, Frank Ray, vice president of human resources and Mike Thurow, vice president of store systems.
Harps, which became 100% employee-owned after a buyout in 2001, operates 90 supermarkets in Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas.