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Choices Markets names new CEO


Choices Markets is getting a new CEO. Ishkandar Ahmed (photo above) is assuming the top job at the B.C. grocery chain Feb 1.

Ahmed takes over from longtime CEO Mark Vickars, who is retiring.

In his resignation letter, Vickars said he and his wife, Lesley, would be devoting more time to their lifelong commitments of volunteerism, social activism and continuing education. Vickars' wife won $25 million in the B.C. lottery last fall.

Vickars (photo below) announced he would also be stepping down from his role as the current chair of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers on Feb. 22.

Ahmed joins Choices after more than 25 years in the natural food trade as owner of a wholesale, importing and distribution business.

He was a founding managing director of Jentash Specialty Foods in 1985.

In the appointment letter, Choices Markets' owners noted that Ahmed has been an industry pioneer, specializing in international imports and wholesale distribution.

He has also been responsible for implementation strategy for the distribution and marketing of natural and organic foods, from manufacturing to retail.

Ahmed, a graduate of Queens University with a bachelor of science in biochemistry and physiology, also holds an executive MBA from the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management.

Choices Markets' owners Wayne and Lloyd Lockhart and Salim Ahmed, said they are pleased Ahmed is joining the company, “where his unique skills, expertise and relationships will continue to strengthen Choices’ position as Western Canada’s leading natural and organic food retailer.”

Choices Markets opened in 1990 and has seven locations in B.C., including a rice bakery specializing in wheat-alternative baked goods. It is known for its natural, organic offering and support of local food producers.

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