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Former Jewel-Osco, SuperValu leader: Spring 2011 WIU CBT Executive in Residence

February 21, 2011

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MACOMB, IL - - Western Illinois University alumnus Edward McManus, a former senior vice president for SuperValu Inc., the largest wholesale food supplier in the U.S., has been selected as the WIU College of Business and Technology (CBT) Spring 2011 Executive in Residence. McManus will speak to classes and provide business expertise on Western's Macomb campus this week, through Wednesday, Feb 23.

Originally from Peoria (IL), McManus graduated from WIU with a bachelor's degree in business in 1973, and soon found that his college job of sacking groceries in Burlington (IA), at Benner Tea Co. (later acquired by ALDI foods), turned into a career opportunity. McManus took on the responsibilities of serving as personnel and district manager and director of distribution for Benner/ALDI.

McManus went on to spend the bulk of his career (from 1978-2000) at American Stores Company, which included stores under Jewel-Osco and other names, and was then the third largest food and drug-store chain in the country. His career with American Stores included serving as senior vice president of Jewel Distribution (1991-1995), during which time he helped re-position the Jewel marketing strategy by improving the handling of fresh food, and as president of Jewel-Osco (1995-1997), when he was responsible for the overall performance of 210 retail food- and drug stores under the Jewel and Osco names. As chief operating officer of marketing, logistics and technology (1997-2000), he was responsible for guiding all of the company-wide innovation, development and implementation in his division. He was recognized for his achievements with the CBT Distinguished Alumni award in 1998.

From 2000-2006, as senior vice president of SuperValu Inc., the company was the largest wholesale food supplier in the country. He was responsible for the central marketing functions supporting seven retail companies in the eastern U.S. McManus retired in 2010 as president/CEO of Hawk Operations and Acquisitions, which purchased 26 Cub Foods stores in the Chicagoland area in 2006. Under his leadership, the Cub stores were the third-highest market share leader in Chicago behind Jewel-Osco and Dominicks.

During his return to his alma mater, McManus will speak with students taking courses in supply chain management and marketing, providing expertise on topics ranging from the importance of finding a mentor, to the difference between managing "things" to managing and leading "people," to the impact of the current economy and setting new expectations.

The CBT Executive in Residence program was initiated in 2005 by former professors Jim and Carolyn Tripp, according to Tom Erekson, CBT dean. Since then, the program has allowed for visits by executives representing businesses and organizations ranging from the CME Group to The Boeing Company to Caterpillar, Inc. Erekson noted that alumni and friends of the college are invited to share how they have charted successful careers.

"This program provides our students with a marvelous opportunity to speak on a personal level with business executives who possess stellar experiences and connections," he said.

For more information on participating in the program, contact Becky Paulsen, CBT director of development, at (309) 298-2442 or

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