Kum & Go COO Folden to Retire
Industry vet departing "at height of career" after more than 40 years
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- After more than four decades with the retailer, Kum & Go LC chief operating officer Dennis N. Folden announced to associates on Wednesday his plans to retire from the company later this summer, saying the timing was "perfect."
"I have been honored to serve Kum & Go for more than 40 years. The future of this company is strong and it is in the best possible position. There is a talented leadership team in place. This decision was not taken lightly. But, I wanted to embark upon new endeavors at this point in my life," Folden said.
The company has is launching an internal and external search for a new COO. Folden plans to work closely with Kum & Go to ensure a timely and smooth transition.
"I have truly enjoyed my time at Kum & Go. We have great teamwork and caring here. This company has a strong history and keen focus on taking care of the customer. There's a level of passion for retail that is truly special. I feel fortunate to have worked with so many incredible people and three generations of the Krause and Gentle families," he added.
Kum & Go president and CEO Kyle J. Krause had these words for associates: "As many of you know, I strongly value the close working relationship that Dennis and I have developed over the years. Dennis is choosing to leave Kum & Go at the height of his career. He has been instrumental in driving the strategic direction of the company and positioning us for growth. His legacy at Kum & Go will be his passion for retail and operations, not to mention his drive for the highest level of customer service."
Krause added, "Dennis has developed and mentored an incredible number of individuals throughout our organization. We are deeply appreciative for Dennis' dedication and contributions to Kum & Go."
Folden first joined Kum & Go in November 1970 as a part-time retail associate who saw early on the full potential of the company. He quickly gained the respect of the co-founders, Tony Gentle and Bill Krause, as well as Kyle J. Krause.
Folden has had a successful career path progressing through the ranks for Kum & Go. He advanced to the positions of sales manager, general manager and supervisor. Following that, he spent time leading Kum & Go's operations, marketing and real-estate departments. He later was named senior vice president of marketing. He was Kum & Go's executive vice president prior to being promoted to COO in 2005.
(See Folden's official biography, attached below.)
Folden also is an active and dedicated community business leader. By combining his personal passions with that of Kum & Go, he has exhibited the core values of what it means to be a Kum & Go associate, the company said. He has been a dedicated leader not only within Kum & Go, but throughout the communities it serves. Currently, he volunteers his time to Hope Lutheran Church Missions board and the Cambio Breakfast Club.
Kum & Go is planning a special event later this summer to recognize Folden for his service.
West Des Moines Iowa-based Kum & Go operates more than 400 convenience stores in 11 states (Iowa, Arkansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming). In addition to a wide selection of products, Kum & Go provides customers a proprietary mix of products under the Hiland brand. Other proprietary products include Java Ridge Premium Coffee, Napa Creek and Sea Ridge wines, Go Fresh Market sandwiches and Nuclear energy drinks.