DAYVILLE, Conn., Oct. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- United Natural Foods, Inc. (Nasdaq: UNFI) announced today that Ms. Gail Graham was appointed to its Board of Directors for a term ending in December 2004. Ms. Graham was nominated and confirmed by the Board of Directors as a new director on October 2, 2002, and her appointment is effective immediately.
Ms. Graham's election enlarged the membership of the Board of Directors from seven to eight directors. Ms. Graham joins the Board of Directors with over 25 years of experience in the natural products industry. She is currently the general manager of Mississippi Market Natural Foods Cooperative, a consumer owned and controlled cooperative in St. Paul, Minnesota, and vice chair of Blooming Prairie Cooperative's board of directors, the largest volume distributor of natural foods in the Midwest region of the United States. On September 28, 2002 the membership of Blooming Prairie Cooperative approved a proposal to sell the regional distribution company to United Natural Foods. Consummation of the transaction is contingent upon, among other things, execution of an asset purchase agreement.
From 1997 through 2000 Ms. Graham served as chairperson of the board of directors of Blooming Prairie Cooperative. Michael Funk, Chief Executive Officer of United Natural Foods, said, "We are pleased that Gail has joined our Board of Directors as an outside director. Her distinguished business career, extensive industry knowledge and over 30 years of experience on board of cooperatives, non-profits, foundations and community organizations should be of great value to our Company. We look forward to the benefit of her counsel and believe her experience offers a key complement to the expertise already available on our Board."
From 1986 through 1999, Ms. Graham was the general manager of Seward Co-op Grocery & Deli, one of the oldest community-owned natural food stores in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Previously, from 1979 through 1986, she was part of the management team at Wedge Community Co-op, a member-owned natural food cooperative based in Minneapolis. Additionally, Ms. Graham was a founding member and is a current director of Twin Cities Natural Foods Co-ops, an eight member non-profit organization of natural foods co-ops in the Minneapolis metropolitan area. She also is a founding member, and currently serving as chair of the board, of the Co-Op Grocer's Information Network, a membership organization founded to support the growth and development of food co-op's. Previously, from 1984 through 1998, Ms. Graham was on the board of directors of Minneapolis-based Distributing Alliance of North Country Cooperatives and served as its treasurer and vice- president.
About United Natural Foods United Natural Foods, Inc. carries and distributes over 30,000 products to more than 7,000 customers in 50 states. The Company serves a wide variety of retail formats including conventional supermarket chains, natural product superstores and independent retail operators. For more information on United Natural Foods, Inc., visit the Company's web-site at http://www.unfi.com .
"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding United Natural's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including but not limited to general business conditions, the impact of competition and our dependence on principal customers, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed with the Commission on June 13, 2002, and its other filings under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Any forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and, as such, speak only as of the date made. United Natural is not undertaking to update any information in the foregoing reports until the effective date of its future reports required by applicable laws.