Grandson of King Kullen founder is new board chairman

The grandson of King Kullen’s founder is the new chairman of the supermarket chain’s board.

King Kullen Grocery Co. Inc.’s board of directors appointed James A. Cullen Jr. chairman, the company said in a statement this week. His appointment follows the retirement of Ronald Conklin, who previously served as chairman and became co-chairman of the board in 2006.

Conklin will remain on the board as chairman emeritus.

For many years, Cullen “headed up King Kullen’s real estate department and helped steer the company’s growth. As chairman, he will continue to guide our organization through a number of strategic initiatives,” King Kullen president and chief operating officer Joseph W. Brown said in the statement.

King Kullen declined to disclose what those “strategic initiatives” are, but the company said they are geared toward “strengthening King Kullen’s position in the market.”

Cullen is the grandson of Michael J. Cullen, who founded King Kullen on Jamaica Avenue in Queens in 1930.

Conklin’s father-in-law was John B. Cullen, who was a son of the company’s founder and a King Kullen board co-chair.

King Kullen markets itself as “America’s first supermarket,” a claim confirmed by the Smithsonian Institution.

Headquartered in Hauppauge, the company has 29 King Kullen supermarkets and five Wild by Nature natural food stores, all on Long Island.

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