Longo’s organizational update includes new marketing leaders

The changes kick off a 10-year growth plan to improve online and offline experiences.

Just over one year after it was purchased by Empire in part as an ecommerce business growth play, Longo’s is making a slew of changes to its leadership team.

It’s part of what the grocery banner is calling an “ambitious 10-year plan” to drive long-term growth. That plan will include significant investments into technology and processes, but it’s beginning with the third pillar of the plan: its people.

That began with naming Deb Craven, longtime SVP finance for Canadian Tire’s FGL Sports and Mark’s, as COO in February. Craven will be responsible for the Grocery Gateway delivery service, in addition to broader store operations and supply chain. According to Longo’s, aligning operations under Craven will help it realize one of the key aims of the 10-year plan, which is “providing remarkable in-store and digital experiences.”

On the marketing front, CMO Alex Green, who led the company’s new brand positioning in 2017, is assuming the new role of chief experience officer. Green will lead the creation and execution of an integrated omnichannel guest experience. He will also lead Longo’s strategic planning process and guest experience roadmap, paired with integrated marketing, communications and loyalty strategies.

KC Shendelman, who joined Longo’s as senior director of marketing in 2020, is assuming a VP marketing role. She has been specifically tasked with increasing the leadership and impact of the grocer’s brand storytelling and experiences.

On the online front, senior director of digital Mark Sheehan will add ecommerce duties to his remit, reporting to Craven.

When Empire announced it was buying a majority stake in Longo’s last year, CEO Michael Medline noted that – in addition to the ecommerce benefits through Grocery Gateway – it would accelerate the Empire presence in Ontario. Part of the 10-year plan is executing on what the company says is an ambitious real estate strategy to enter new markets and solidify its position in existing ones. To that end, the company has named Joseph Longo – son of company co-founder  Antonio Longo Sr. – as VP of real estate and general counsel to focus on these growth pillars.

Longo’s has also made some changes to its merchandising team, promoting both Mimmo Franzone and Joey Bernaudo to VPs of merchandising. Roger St. Onge is being promoted to senior category manager of meat and seafood and George Maia will be promoted to director of merchandising for grocery, dairy and frozen.

Longo’s leadership has also had some departures recently. Last month, Tressa Scorziello, director of grocery, dairy and frozen left to become director of business development at United Grocers. Brian Langley, director of meat and seafood, has also announced his retirement, but will continue to support the Longo’s team in an advisory capacity for the next fiscal year.