David Wilkes leaving Retail Council of Canada

Association veteran who led RCC’s grocery division is leaving to become president and CEO of Building Industry and Land Development Association

David Wilkes is leaving the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) to take the helm as president and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), a position he starts in the New Year.

Wilkes joined RCC in 2011 as senior vice-president of RCC’s new grocery division, which works with industry partners on issues such as food safety, the environment, health and wellness, and supply chain. The grocery division was formed after the closure of the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors (CCGD).

Prior to joining RCC, Wilkes had spent 12 years at CCGD. In 2014, he was promoted to senior vice-president, government relations and grocery division at RCC.

“David brought an enormous amount of knowledge about the grocery sector to the Retail Council,” said Diane Brisebois, president and CEO, in an interview with Canadian Grocer.

“He also brought generous sharing … For him, it was important that everybody in government relations , including me as the CEO, truly understood the nature of the grocery industry and the issues impacting the sector. So, he brought rich and deep knowledge, but he also spread his passion like a virus throughout the organization.”

Wilkes told Canadian Grocer that his new position is an opportunity to apply the skills he learned at RCC in a new environment. But, he added, “ is an industry that I’ve grown up in and it’s an industry that I have great respect and passion for … It was a decision that I considered carefully and I will look back on the time I have spent serving the Canadian retail and grocery industries with great pride and great fondness.”

Wilkes’ last day with RCC is Dec. 22. In terms of a replacement, Brisebois said that because Wilkes built a strong team that works on key grocery issues across the country, RCC is able to take a step back and determine how best to continue serving its members.

“Because we have really knowledgeable and strong folks throughout the organization, that allows us time to look at the structure and talk to the grocery members and figure out what should our next step be,” she said.

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