The Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society announced today that it has offered the position of General Manager to Paul Guidone, who currently serves as Interim GM. Mr. Guidone has accepted the offer.
“The Board of Directors is very pleased that Paul has agreed to become the General Manager,” said Jessica Saturley–Hall, the acting President of the Society. “When Paul took on the duties of Interim GM earlier this year, there was tremendous uncertainty throughout our region, the nation, and the world. The grocery business also faced a number of new and novel challenges. Paul has successfully navigated us through the obstacles our organization has faced so far, and we believe he is the right person to manage the business going forward.”
Paul Guidone joined the Co-op in 2016 as its Chief Financial Officer. He brought decades of experience in the investment management business, holding executive positions in organizations in both the U.S. and abroad. In 2018, he became Strategic Advisor to then-General Manager Ed Fox. When Ed moved on to another position in early 2020, the Co-op’s Board of Directors appointed Paul to be Interim General Manager.
Paul took on the responsibility of heading the Co-op on March 8, 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic began to change everyone’s lives. Working closely with his leadership team, Paul faced unprecedented challenges with ease and grace and a clear vision for what needed to be done. He quickly recognized and addressed the need to provide Co-op members and customers with a safe shopping experience, instituting new services such as curbside pickup for groceries, and ensuring appropriate sanitation and social distancing measures in all Co-op locations. At the same time, he worked to ensure the Co-op’s financial stability by arranging to refinance the cost of the Hanover store renovation and procure additional funds for needed infrastructure improvements in all locations.
“I am very proud of the Co-op’s accomplishments over the past few months. Working with our employees and serving our members has been a very satisfying and humbling experience. I look forward to continuing to help the organization confront and overcome the challenges posed by a pandemic-affected world,” said Mr. Guidone.
The Hanover Co-op has a long history of serving consumers in the Upper Valley. In January of 1936, 17 Hanover, New Hampshire, and Norwich, Vermont, residents formed the Hanover Consumers Club—bringing the cooperative movement to the Upper Valley. Initially, members of the fledgling co-op pooled orders for potatoes, oranges, and maple syrup and arranged for discounts of gasoline and fuel oil with local suppliers. A year later, Co-op members incorporated as the Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society and opened a small retail store in a basement on Hanover’s Main Street. Annual sales that year reached $11,404.
Today, the Co-op employs close to 400 people and serves more than 20,000 member households via three grocery stores, one community market, and two auto service centers located throughout the Upper Valley. Sales in 2019 topped $75 million.