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Retirement leads to new leadership for Dillons, Kroger's Central division

The Kroger Co. announced the retirement of Pam Matthews, president of the Central division, and promotions of Colleen Juergensen — currently president of the Dillions division — to president of the Central division and Steve Dreher — currently vice president of the Dillions division — to president of the Dillions division.kronew

Matthews will retire from the company, effective Feb. 2, after 40 years of service. Most recently, she's led the Central division, which has 134 stores and more than 15,000 associates, primarily throughout Indiana, southern Illinois and eastern Missouri.

"Pam's passion for our associates and the retail business has been demonstrated throughout her successful career with Kroger," said Mike Donnelly, Kroger's executive vice president and COO. "She has been an exceptional mentor and coach to many and will leave a legacy of caring, dedicated teams who care about each other and the customers and communities they serve."

Matthews began her career with Kroger in 1980 as a courtesy clerk in the Fred Meyer division. She held a variety of leadership roles in her 25-year career with Fred Meyer before being promoted to a director of merchandising at Kroger's corporate office in Cincinnati. In 2006, she was promoted to vice president of merchandising for the Central division. Several years later, she moved to the Delta division to serve in the same role and ultimately became the region's vice president of operations. In 2016, she was promoted to president of the QFC division and then became president of the Central division in 2017.

In her retirement, Matthews and her husband, Craig, plan to continue to reside in Indianapolis, travel, spend the cooler months in Florida and welcome their first grandchild in March.

As for her successor, "Colleen has been very successful throughout her long career with the Kroger Family of Companies, and we know she'll continue to serve our associates, customers and communities with excellence as the leader of our Central division," said Donnelly. "Her diverse background in operations and merchandising, joined with her passion for the community, will help us deliver our vision to serve America through food inspiration and uplift."

Juergensen has more than 38 years of experience with the company and began her career in 1981 as a bakery clerk in her hometown of Great Bend, KS. She has served in various leadership roles in the Dillons division, including store leader, district manager and director of advertising. She was promoted to vice president of operations for Dillons in 2008. She transferred to the Smith's division as vice president of operations in 2012 and was then named vice president of merchandising in 2015. Juergensen was promoted to her current role as president of Dillons in 2016.

"We are pleased to elevate Steve to the role of division president at Dillons," said Donnelly. "Steve has driven positive results in his role as vice president and understands the Dillons customer and market well. We look forward to his continuation of achieving great results and inspiring our associates to deliver the outstanding customer experience expected at Dillons."

Dreher began his career with the company 1985 in Hays, KS, as a courtesy clerk. He was promoted to assistant store leader in 1998 and soon after was promoted to store leader. In 2003, he was promoted to division labor specialist and then labor manager. Dreher served as a district manager in several regions before being named to his current role of vice president of operations in 2018.