Board of Directors
David Hirz has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer since January 2012, and previously served as our President and Chief Operating Officer from April 2010 to January 2012. Additionally, Mr. Hirz has served as a member of our board of directors since January 2012. Prior to joining us in April 2010, Mr. Hirz was an executive with divisions of The Kroger Company, one of the world's largest supermarket operators, including President of Food4Less, a national warehouse grocery store chain of The Kroger Company, from 1999 to 2004 and from September 2007 to April 2010, and President of the Ralphs Grocery Company, the largest supermarket chain in Southern California, from March 2004 to September 2007. Previously, he held store and operations management positions with several retail grocery companies. Mr. Hirz is a graduate of California State University, Fullerton. Mr. Hirz brings significant senior leadership and both operational and industry experience to our board of directors, along with an extensive knowledge of the food retail and foodservice industries.
David Kaplan has served as our Chairman of the Board since November 2012. As Chairman of the Board, Mr. Kaplan presides at the regularly scheduled executive sessions of the non-management independent directors. Mr. Kaplan is a Co-Founder of Ares Management, our principal stockholder, and a Director and Senior Partner of Ares Management GP LLC, Ares Management's general partner. He is a Senior Partner of Ares Management, Co-Head of its Private Equity Group and a member of its Management Committee. Mr. Kaplan joined Ares Management in 2003 from Shelter Capital Partners, LLC, where he was a Senior Principal from June 2000 to April 2003. From 1991 through 2000, Mr. Kaplan was affiliated with, and a Senior Partner of, Apollo Management, L.P. and its affiliates, during which time he completed multiple private equity investments from origination through exit. Prior to Apollo Management, L.P., Mr. Kaplan was a member of the Investment Banking Department at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp., an investment banking and securities firm. Mr. Kaplan currently serves as Chairman of the boards of directors of the parent entities of The Neiman Marcus Group LLC, a luxury retailer and 99 Cents Only Stores LLC, a deep-discount retailer, and as a member of the board of directors of Guitar Center Holdings, Inc., a musical instruments retailer, and Floor and Decor Outlets of America, Inc., a hard surface flooring and related accessories retailer. Mr. Kaplan's previous public company board of directors experience includes Maidenform Brands, Inc., an intimate apparel retailer, where he served as the company's Chairman, GNC Holdings, Inc., a specialty retailer of health and wellness products, Dominick's Supermarkets, Inc., a grocery store retailer, Stream Global Services, Inc., a business process outsourcing provider, Orchard Supply Hardware Stores Corporation, a home improvement retailer, and Allied Waste Industries Inc., a waste services company. Mr. Kaplan also serves on the Board of Directors of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, is a Trustee of the Center for Early Education, is a Trustee of the Marlborough School and serves on the President's Advisory Group of the University of Michigan. Mr. Kaplan graduated with High Distinction, Beta Gamma Sigma, from the University of Michigan, School of Business Administration with a B.B.A. concentrating in Finance. Mr. Kaplan's over 20 years of experience managing investments in, and serving on the boards of directors of, companies operating in various industries led to the conclusion that he should serve as chairman of our board of directors.
Norman Axelrod has served as a member of our board of directors since March 2013. Beginning in 1988, Mr. Axelrod served as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of Linens 'n Things, Inc., a retailer of home textiles, housewares and decorative home accessories, was appointed as Chairman of its board of directors in 1997, and served in such capacities until its acquisition in February 2006. Mr. Axelrod is also the Chairman of the boards of directors of the parent entities of Guitar Center, Inc., a musical instruments retailer, and Floor and Decor Outlets of America, Inc., a specialty retailer of hard surface flooring and related accessories, and serves on the boards of directors of the parent entities of 99 Cents Only Stores LLC, a deep-discount retailer, and Jaclyn, Inc., a handbags and apparel company. Mr. Axelrod has also previously served as the Chairman of the board of directors of GNC Holdings, Inc., a specialty retailer of health and wellness products, National Bedding Company LLC, a mattress and bedding product manufacturer, and Simmons Company, a mattress and bedding product manufacturer, and as a member of the board of directors of Reebok International Ltd., a leading worldwide designer and marketer of sports, fitness and casual footwear, apparel and equipment, and Maidenform Brands, Inc., an intimate apparel retailer. Mr. Axelrod has provided consulting services to certain Ares Management entities. Mr. Axelrod received a B.S. in Management and Marketing from Lehigh University where he graduated summa cum laude and an M.B.A. from New York University. Mr. Axelrod's vast experience led to the conclusion that he should serve as a member of our board of directors.
Andrew Giancamilli has served as a member of our board of directors since March 2013. Mr. Giancamilli has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Katz Group Canada Ltd., the Canadian subsidiary of the Katz Group of Companies, operators of over 1,800 traditional drug stores in Canada, from October 2003 to February 2012. Prior to joining Katz Group Canada, Mr. Giancamilli was with Canadian Tire Corporation Ltd., a Canadian retail conglomerate, from 2001 to 2003. Mr. Giancamilli also held several positions, including President and Chief Operating Officer, at Kmart Corporation, a discount retailer, from 1995 to 2001. From 1993 to 1995 he served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Perry Drug Stores, Inc., a U.S. based drug store chain. He began his career at Perry Drug Stores in 1975. Mr. Giancamilli currently serves as a director of the parent entity of 99 Only Stores LLC, a deep-discount retailer. Mr. Giancamilli also has served as a member of the board of GS1 Canada, and as a member of the board of directors, and Chairman of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores, the Canadian Opera Company and Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Center, and has served as a Trustee of the Detroit Opera House. With his more than 30 years of experience and strong record of performance in the retail industry, Mr. Giancamilli brings to the board extensive knowledge and expertise in the industries in which the Company operates.
Dennis Gies has served as a member of our board of directors since November 2012. Mr. Gies is a Principal in the Private Equity Group of Ares Management, our principal stockholder. Mr. Gies joined Ares Management in 2006 from UBS Investment Bank where he participated in the execution of a variety of transactions including leveraged buyouts, mergers and acquisitions, dividend recapitalizations and debt and equity financings. Mr. Gies currently serves on the boards of directors of the parent entities of 99 Cents Only Stores LLC, a deep-discount retailer, and Sotera Defense Solutions, Inc., a national defense information technology contractor. Mr. Gies graduated with a MS in Electrical Engineering from University of California, Los Angeles and magna cum laude with a BS in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech. Mr. Gies brings to our board of directors financial expertise, as well as experience as a private equity investor evaluating and managing investments in companies across various industries.
Paul Hopkins has served as a member of our board of directors since September 2015. Mr. Hopkins is the former Chairman of the board of directors of Farmers Group, Inc. and served Farmers Group in a wide range of executive leadership roles from 1978 until his retirement in 2011. Mr. Hopkins served as the President of US Personal Business of Zurich Financial Services, the parent company of Farmers Group Inc. and was a member of its Group Management Board since December 2004 and Group Executive Committee in 2006 in addition to oversight of global growth activities. In 2009 he was promoted to Chairman of the Americas, responsible for governing all of Famers Group Inc. and Zurich Financial Services operations in the Americas and named chairman of Zurich Holding Company of America Inc. Mr. Hopkins served as a member of the Executive Management Cabinet Board of General Agents and Managers Association (GAMA). He also served as a member of the Board of Trustees for the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (AICPCU) now referred to as The Institutes. Mr. Hopkins is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University and the advanced executive education program of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business. He also holds an honorary doctorate from Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business and Management. Mr. Hopkins brings to the board more than 35 years of experience and a very strong track record in positions of increasing responsibility, including significant expertise in the sales and marketing area.
Joseph Tesoriero has served as a member of our board of directors since July 2014. Mr. Tesoriero was most recently engaged as a financial advisor for Dole Asia Holding, Ltd. Pte, a wholly owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Corporation, from April 2013 to October 2013. Prior to this consulting engagement, Mr. Tesoriero served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Dole Food Company, Inc. ("Dole"), a producer, marketer and distributor of fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and packaged food products, from February 2010 until April 2013, and as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from August 2004 until February 2010 and Vice President of Tax from September 2002 until August 2004. While serving as a principal financial officer at Dole, Mr. Tesoriero was responsible for overseeing the financial performance of Dole in preparing and evaluating its financial statements. Mr. Tesoriero holds a B.S. in Accounting from Villanova University, a J.D. from New York Law School and an L.L.M. in Taxation from Boston University. He has been a member of the New York State Bar since 1978. Mr. Tesoriero brings to the board of directors over 30 years of experience working for publicly held companies, including significant experience as a senior financial executive in the food industry, engaged in globally sourcing, manufacturing, distributing and marketing a wide variety of branded and private label fresh produce and grocery items.
Kenneth Tuchman has served as a member of our board of directors since September 2015. Mr. Tuchman is currently the Vice Chairman of Bank of Montreal Capital Markets’ investment and corporate banking groups, a role he has held since 2010. Most recently, he served as Vice-Chairman at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, where he focused on investment banking in the consumer and retail sector. Previously, he was Chairman of Global Banking for the Americas at Dresdner Kleinwort Ltd. (Wasserstein Perella Group). Prior to Wasserstein, Ken spent more than 16 years at Lehman Brothers where he was a Managing Director and Co-Head of the Global M&A Group. Mr. Tuchman received a Bachelor’s of Science in Management from the State University of New York at Buffalo, Magna Cum laude with highest Distinction, Beta Gamma Sigma and holds MBA and J.D. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Tuchman also serves on the board of Gordmans Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq: GMAN), a department store chain. Mr. Tuchman also served as a Director of Parisian Department Stores, and previously was a member of the Board of Overseers at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. In addition he currently serves as a Director of the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation in Atlanta. Mr. Tuchman, a Wall Street investment banking veteran, brings to our board of directors over 35 years of experience. He is a veteran Board member, who has worked with public and private, large and mid-cap company management teams to facilitate growth, funding and competitive positioning, using growth and buy-and-sell strategies.