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.
Richard Phegley has served as our Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since May 2001, and joined us in September 1996 as Vice President and Treasurer. Prior to joining us, Mr. Phegley served in senior treasury, strategic planning and financial management positions with Atlantic Richfield Company, an international oil and gas company. He holds a master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and is a graduate of Humboldt State University. Mr. Phegley is an associate member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Leland P. Smith has served as our Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary since January 2016. Prior to joining us, Mr. Smith served as the Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Douglas Emmett, Inc., a NYSE-listed REIT, from 2012 to 2015. From 2003 to 2011, Mr. Smith served in several senior positions, including as the Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel, for Guitar Center, Inc., a musical instruments retailer. From 1998 to 2002, Mr. Smith served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary for Equity Marketing, Inc., a marketing services company. From 1994 to 1998, he was the Assistant General Counsel and Secretary for Mattel, Inc., a designer, manufacturer and marketer of toys. From 1989 to 1994, Mr. Smith was an associate in the corporate department of Riordan & McKinzie. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and a juris doctor and a master’s in business administration from the University of Southern California.