KeHE names Reddy Ice's Conklin as new president and CEO

Current CEO Brandon Barnholt becomes executive chairman when Deb Conklin takes over April 1.

Chloe Riley

January 25, 2023

1 Min Read
KeHE names Reddy Ice's Conklin as new president and CEO

KeHE Distributors has named Deb Conklin president and CEO, as current CEO Brandon Barnholt downshifts into a different role.

As part of an ongoing succession process, Barnholt will move into the executive chairman role. Barnholt, who turns 65 in April, has been president and CEO of Naperville, Illinois-based KeHE for 15 years.

Deb Conklin, president and CEO of KeHE Distributors, effective April 1, 2023

During his tenure, KeHE expanded from a Midwest specialty distributor to the largest pure-play distributor of specialty, natural, organic and fresh products in North America, including the acquisition of Tree of Life, Nature's Best, and Monterrey Provisions.

Conklin, who has served as a board member for KeHE's employee-owned enterprise, most recently was president and CEO of the Reddy Ice company, a manufacturer and distributor of packaged ice in the United States with over 80,000 retail customers.

Conklin has a history of driving operational improvement, customer service and building important trade relationships, according to KeHE. She is a Clemson University graduate and earned her MBA from Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina.

She will assume the role on April 1.

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This piece originally appeared on Supermarket News, a New Hope Network sister website. Visit the site for more grocery trends and insights.

About the Author(s)

Chloe Riley

Chloe Riley is the executive editor of Supermarket News, which delivers the ultimate in competitive business intelligence, news and information for executives in the food retail and grocery industry. A graduate of the School of Journalism at Columbia College Chicago, Chloe previously served as a digital strategist at SEO firm Profound Strategy, associate editor at B2B hospitality mag HOTELS Magazine, as well as CEO of her own digital strategy company, Chlowe. She lives in Woodstock, Illinois. 

Email her at [email protected], or reach out on LinkedIn and say hi. 

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