Bealls CEO nominated as Publix board member

twhitt@bradenton.comMarch 20, 2013 

BRADENTON -- Publix Super Markets, Inc. has nominated the chief executive officer from Bealls, Inc. to become the 10th member of its board of directors.

Knopik, 57, has been the Bradenton-based retail chain's top executive since 2006 and has been with the company nearly 30 years.

Maria Brous, a spokeswoman for Publix, said Charlie Jenkins Jr., nominated Knopik based on his "strong financial background and retail expertise."

"It makes him the perfect complement for the board," she said.

The board of directors for Publix is expected to vote on Knopik's nomination April 16. If approved he will become the 10th board member.

Knopik, who tends to be reserved, was reluctant to talk about the Publix nomina

tion, He has been with Bealls nearly 30 years and was the first nonfamily member to be tapped as Bealls CEO when he got the job in 2006.

"This is just a nomination and the actual shareholders meeting is next month," Knopik said. "Certainly, I am honored Publix would consider me. It's a firm I've always admired. I love the Florida heritage and the fact that they've grown so successfully over the years."

Both Publix and Bealls are homegrown companies. Publix started out of Lakeland, while Bealls was started as a five-and-dime store in Bradenton. Both companies have had great success in the Sunshine State and Bealls has remained a private company, while Publix is the largest employee-owned retail grocery chain in the United States.

The grocery store's net earnings in 2012 were $1.6 billion, a 4.0 percent increase over 2011. As of March 1, Publix's stock price increased from $22.50 per share to $23.20 per share. Publix stock is not publicly traded and is made available for sale only to current Publix associates and members of its board of directors.

Toni Whitt, business editor, can be reached at 941-745-7087.

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