Will oversee operations at both Tops Friendly Markets & Price Chopper/Market 32
√ Mike Miller named chief administrative officer; Ron Ferri named new president at Tops
Northeast Grocery Inc. (NGI), the parent company of Tops Friendly Markets and Price Chopper/Market 32, has named John Persons as chief operating officer. Persons will oversee both the Tops Markets and Price Chopper/Market 32 and operating companies, as well as the Northeast Shared Services (a subsidiary of NGI providing services to both operating companies) merchandising and marketing functions. He will report directly to Frank Curci, CEO of Northeast Grocery Inc. Ron Ferri, a 34-year Tops veteran, will succeed Persons as Tops president.
Persons joins NGI after 39 years with Tops, most recently as the president of the grocery chain based in Williamsville. During his tenure at Tops, he has had oversight for various functions including operations, merchandising, sales and marketing, real estate, information technology, and organizational strategy – all leading to his appointment as president in 2015. A Western New York native, Persons holds a B.A. and an M.B.A. from the University at Buffalo.
In addition to his role at Tops, Persons has served on the board of numerous Western New York not-for-profits, including his recent role as board chair of The Children’s Hospital of Buffalo Foundation and current role on the board of directors of Kaleida Health. He and his wife, Amy, are the parents of four children and live in Clarence.
In addition to Persons’ promotion, Mike Miller was named chief administrative officer (CAO). Miller was previously senior vice president, human resources and executive vice president, human resources and administration, at Northeast Shared Services. In his new role, Miller will lead the human resources, legal, government affairs, corporate communications, public relations, and risk management functions, as well as oversee merger integration.
“Promoting John to COO and Mike to CAO fills out our executive leadership team and bolsters our experience and expertise in many of the functional areas that continue to contribute to our combined company’s growth,” Curci said. “I’m confident that our executive team, which also includes Dave Langless (CFO), Scott Kessler (CIO), Blaine Bringhurst (Price Chopper/Market 32 President) and Ron Ferri (Tops’ newly promoted president), is equipped to provide us with cutting-edge leadership.”
He added, “We are very fortunate to have the seasoned, proven leadership of Blaine Bringhurst at Price Chopper/Market 32 and now Ron Ferri at Tops at the helms of our operating companies.”
Ferri, previously executive vice president, operations and distribution at Tops, was promoted to president of Tops and will also report to Persons. Ferri began his career at Tops as a produce clerk in 1989, and has held many store-level and executive management positions over the ensuing 34 years. He has held his current role since 2016. He, too, is a Western New York native and holds a B.A. from Houghton University and an M.B.A. from the University at Buffalo.
Mike Patti has been promoted to succeed Ferri as senior vice president, operations, for Tops Markets. He has a 50-year history with Tops, where he currently serves as regional vice president for Tops’ west region stores. Jim Gibson will succeed Patti as regional vice president for Tops’ west region. He and John McCaffrey, the regional vice president for Tops’ east region, will report to Patti.
“After nearly 40 years of learning and growing with Tops, I’m excited to continue building the company in this new role, working collaboratively with the talented teams at Tops and Price Chopper/Market 32 to help our combined businesses meet the grocery needs of the communities we serve,” Persons said. “Among the tremendous workforce we’ve developed at Tops, Ron Ferri stands out as someone who understands our communities and cares deeply for our customers. As he has for over 30 years, he’ll continue to give this job his all. Ron is well-prepared to lead Tops forward.”
Ferri said, “John Persons has been an incredible leader for Tops at a time when we needed a strong, empathetic company president – and he always made time for mentorship. As I take on this new role, I’ll carry with me the guidance I gained from John and the commitment to our customers that is at the heart of Tops’ approach to business. Importantly, John will remain deeply involved in our community and local business operations. In the months and years to come, Tops customers will continue to enjoy our consistent, friendly store experience as we further our focus on supporting our communities, fostering innovation in customer service, and developing our talented workforce.”
Curci said, “One of the things that connected Tops and Price Chopper/Market 32 was that the strength of our companies was in our people, from our executive offices to our stores. The talent in our teams continues to be an asset, fostering stability and consistency in our store experience as we build this new enterprise and develop further synergies that will benefit our people, customers, and communities.”
More About Northeast Grocery
Headquartered in Schenectady, Northeast Grocery is the parent company of Price Chopper/Market 32 and Tops Friendly Markets, which collectively operate nearly 300 supermarkets across New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, and employ more than 30,000 associates/teammates.
Founded by New York families, Tops and Price Chopper/Market 32 have more than 150 years of industry leadership combined. Both companies share longstanding traditions of innovative food merchandising and exceptional customer service, and are driven to provide sustainably sourced, high-quality products to nourish the communities in which they operate while reducing environmental waste and energy consumption. For additional information, visit www.pricechopper.com and www.topsmarkets.com.