Tacker’s retirement ends life-long grocery career

Betsi JamesOur Town Eats

Following a life-long career in the grocery industry, Ron Tacker, executive vice president of operations for Food City’s Knoxville division, has announced plans to retire from the company, effective March 1, 2024.

“Ron has been a valuable asset to our company, the grocery industry, his colleagues, and the entire Knoxville community. His service in this critical role has enabled our company to significantly advance and improve our store operations and customer service initiatives. We certainly wish him and Debbie all the best for a well-deserved retirement and more time to spend with family and friends,” says Steven C. Smith, Food City president and chief executive officer.

Tacker began his career in the grocery business at an early age, working for a large national grocery chain during high school. At 21, he was promoted to assistant store manager and worked in retail locations in urban, rural and large metropolitan areas, enhancing his grocery and management skills.

He became a store manager at age 25 and was promoted to district manager within five years. He later advanced to a number of senior level positions, including vice president of retail operations, vice president of retail merchandising and division vice president for two large retail chains. Tacker joined the Food City team in 2017 as executive vice president of operations for the Knoxville division.

Since joining Food City, Tacker has had oversight of store operations for 50 Food City locations, their accompanying pharmacy and fuel centers, and one wine and spirits store.

Tacker is also active within the community, having served in a leadership capacity for several charitable/civic boards and industry associations, including Easter Seals and DECA. He attended Southwestern University in Waxahachie, Texas, and has completed numerous private industry training programs. A native of Arizona, Tacker and Debbie, his wife of 48 years, currently reside in Maryville, Tennessee. They have one son and two grandchildren and are passionate about their faith and family. Tacker’s personal moto is “Right Always Wins.”

Katie Penny will assume the role of executive vice president of operations for Food City’s Knoxville division upon Tacker’s retirement.

On a personal note, I have enjoyed working with Ron and am really going to miss him. It has been such a pleasure learning from Ron and getting to know him. I might not miss the 6 a.m. emails, but I will miss him.

I am exciting for him to get to travel and spend more time with his family. We all are better associates for having been able to work for him.

Betsi James is special events manager for Food City’s Knoxville and Chattanooga divisions.


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