Lawrence H. Hayward is Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer. He joined the Company in January of 2000 as President and Chief Executive Officer and assumed the additional role of Chairman of the Board in September of 2000. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Hayward served as the President of ABCO Desert Markets, a food and drug retailer located in Phoenix, Arizona. From 1995 until 1999, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Carr Gottstein Foods Co., Alaska’ s largest food and drug retailer and wholesale provider. From 1990 to 1995, Mr. Hayward held senior level positions at Buttrey Food and Drug Co. From 1981 until 1990 he served in various corporate positions at American Stores Company headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. Mr. Hayward serves on the Board of Directors of PETCO Animal Supplies, Inc., a leading specialty retailer of premium pet food, supplies and services.
Michael L. Hatch is the President and Chief Operating Officer and has been with the company since joining as the Senior Vice President, Merchandising and Marketing of the Company in November of 2000. Mr. Hatch has more than 30 years of experience in the retail industry. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Hatch served as the President of ABCO Desert Markets, a food and drug retailer located in Phoenix, Arizona. From 1996 to 1999 he was employed by Smiths Food and Drug where he held various positions including Senior Vice President and Southwest Manager and Vice President of Sales, Merchandising and Marketing. From 1970 to 1996, Mr. Hatch held various senior management positions at Smitty’s Super Valu, Inc. located in Phoenix, Arizona, which later merged with Smith’s Food and Drug.
Steven L. Ortega, joined the company as Chief Financial Officer. Executive Vice President and Director in August, 2005. He most recently served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for BI-LO LLC, from 1999 to 2005. BI-LO LLC is a $4.8 billion leading regional supermarket chain in the southeast United States, operating 423 stores primarily under the BI-LO, Bruno's and Food World banners with locations in six states. Mr. Ortega’s responsibilities at BI-LO included the leadership and oversight of the Finance, Treasury, Accounting, Real Estate, Construction, Information Technology, Risk Management and Internal Audit functions. Prior to joining BI-LO, Mr. Ortega was with American Stores Company headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he held various positions within their supermarket and drug store subsidiaries, including Vice President - Finance and Administration, and Vice President - Logistics.
Craig A. Wright is Executive Vice President of Sales & Merchandising. Mr. Wright joined the Company in April of 2008 as Vice President of Direct Marketing and assumed the role of SVP and CIO in March of 2009. From October of 2010 to February of 2012 Mr. Wright served as Group Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Wright was the Senior Vice President of National Sales and Logistics for Millard Refrigerated Services, one of the largest third-party providers of refrigerated warehouse and distribution in the United States. From 1981 to 1998, Mr. Wright held progressive management roles with Buttrey Food and Drug Co., including Vice President of Merchandising & Distribution.
Bradley S. Smith is Senior Vice President of Procurement & Supply Chain. Mr. Smith's responsibilities include leadership and oversight of the Procurement, Merchandising, Warehousing, & Manufacturing divisions of the Company. From October of 2010 to September 2012 Mr. Smith held the position of Senior Vice President of Supply Chain. Mr. Smith has been with the company since 2002 when he joined the team as Manager of Real Estate. Since that time he has had progressive responsibilities for Business Development, Inventory Management, Supply Chain, and Procurement. Prior to joining Leslie's, Mr. Smith held various management positions within the real estate industry with Marcus and Millichap and Resortside Properties.
Brian Agnew is Senior Vice President of Retail Operations. From October 2010 to August 2012, Mr. Agnew held the position of Senior Vice President of Service and Commercial Operations. Mr. Agnew has been with the company since 2003 when he joined the team as District Manager. Mr. Agnew has over 18 years of retail management experience and held several management positions in the retail grocery industry with Jewel Foods and Albertson's Inc.
Kory Klecker is Senior Vice President & General Counsel. Mr. Klecker joined the Company in June of 2007 as Vice President & General Counsel and assumed the role of SVP &General Counsel in October of 2010. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Klecker was the Vice President and General Counsel & Assistant Secretary for Action Performance Companies, Inc. (NYSE: ATN), the leading designer and marketer of licensed NASCAR and motorsports products and souvenirs. From 1997 to 2007, Mr. Klecker held a variety of management positions with Action Performance (now known as Motorsports Authentics, Inc.), including serving as Secretary to the Board of Directors and responsibility for the all legal and licensing matters. Mr. Klecker received his Juris Doctor from the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University in 1997.
Stephen Blakeslee joined the company as Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President in February 2012. He most recently served as Senior Director in the Retail Practice at UST Global, a software development firm. Mr. Blakesle's roles included leading development projects, portfolio management, and retail solution consulting from 2005 to 2011. Prior to joining UST, Mr. Blakeslee served as Vice President of Finance at Royal Ahold in Amsterdam, and held various leadership positions in Technology, Finance and Distribution with Albertson's and American Stores.
Tony Gonzales joined the Company as Senior Vice President of Commercial and Service in November 2012. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Gonzales led the retail segment of LSG Sky Chefs where he was responsible for the Outside Sales, Business Development, Procurement, Finance, and Operations divisions. Previous to LSG Sky Chefs Mr. Gonzales worked for Dean Foods, a leading beverage and dairy producer where he held progressive management positions focused on cultivating customer relationships with large retailers across the United States.