(March 25, 1:20 p.m.) Kansas City, Kan.-based Associated Wholesale Grocers has named Jerry Garland president and chief executive officer.

The announcement came at the company’s annual meeting March 22, according to The Kansas City Star. Garland, who had been Associated’s executive vice president of merchandising, succeeds Gary Phillips, who is retiring after eight years at the helm.

Also at the March 22 meeting, the company named Mike Rand chief operating officer.

Associated supplies more than 1,800 grocery retailers in 21 states, making it the second-biggest wholesale cooperative in the country.

The company posted net sales of $6.85 billion in 2008, up 20% from 2007.