Mary M. Kasper, who most recently worked for Fresh & Easy, has joined Unified Grocers as the Southern California-based wholesaler’s SVP, general counsel and secretary. Kasper served in a similar position at Fresh & Easy, providing strategic business and legal advice to the grocer’s executive committee and private equity owners on retail strategy, third-party business development for manufacturing facilities, business development, real estate, vendor relations, corporate financing and investor relationships. Prior to that, Kasper held leadership positions in the legal field at Ralphs/Food 4 Less and Vons.
In her role at Unified, Kasper will be responsible for all legal activities affecting the company and its competitive position in the marketplace. This will include oversight of all litigation, M&A, corporate governance, securities, stock transactions with cooperative members and corporate legal matters, as well as management of the company’s records retention department and outside counsel. Kasper also will manage the company’s government relations program.
Additionally, Kasper will serve as corporate secretary and will report to Unified President and CEO Bob Ling. “Mary is an accomplished executive with extensive experience in legal matters relating to the grocery business. Unified is extremely fortunate to welcome her as a member of our officer team,” said Ling. “Mary will serve as a key advisor to the organization, interfacing with the board of directors and partnering with the senior management team members on all relevant functional and operational legal concerns. She will have a key role to play as we look to grow the business in the years ahead.”
Kasper obtained her bachelor’s degree in English, Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude from UCLA and her Juris Doctorate from the UCLA School of Law. She is a Los Angeles Business Journal Outstanding Corporate Counsel Award finalist and an active member of the California State Bar Association, Food Marketing Institute and California Grocers Association (CGA). Kasper is the immediate past chair of CGA and the chair of CGA’s government relations committee.