Passing of the Torch
Wayne Lockhart, Lloyd Lockhart, Salim Ahmed and their families announce the retirement of Mark Vickars, our long serving and well respected Chief Executive Officer. Mark’s retirement was effective February 1, 2013. Mr. Vickars started on the shop floor in our original West 16th Avenue store in 1994 and worked his way up in our system until he officially became our CEO in 2002.
During Mark’s remarkable tenure, he ably guided the company through our extraordinary expansion from one to seven stores. As well, Mark oversaw the acquisition of our warehouse, commissary and two bakeries. His inclusive management style, head for numbers and caring demeanour will be missed.
We wish Mark the very best as he begins the next phase of his life. But we are very glad that he and his wife Lesley will now have more time to devote to their lifelong commitments of volunteerism, social activism and continuing education.
Announcing Our New CEO
The owners of Choices Markets are pleased to announce the appointment of Ishkandar Ahmed to the position of Chief Executive Officer; Mr. Ahmed’s appointment is effective February 1, 2013.
Ishkandar joins Choices after more than 25 years in the natural food trade as both an owner and operator of a wholesale, importing and distribution business. Since being a founding managing director of Jentash Specialty Foods in 1985, Ishkandar has been an industry pioneer, specializing in international imports and wholesale distribution. He has also been responsible for implementation strategy for the distribution and marketing of natural and organic foods, from manufacturing to retail.
Ishkandar is a graduate of Queens University with a BSc in Biochemistry and Physiology and he holds an Executive MBA from the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management. His innovative leadership style, combined with his industry experience, align with Choices’ core commitments to community engagement, environmental best practices and staff development. The ownership is pleased that Ishkandar is joining Choices Markets, where his unique skills, expertise and relationships will continue to strengthen Choices’ position as Western Canada’s leading natural and organic food retailer.
First opened in 1990, Choices has seven locations and a rice bakery specializing in wheat-alternative baked goods. While establishing a presence as a natural, organic grocer, Choices has also gained recognition as an advocate of local food producers, setting aside time to get to know the people who grow and produce the foods that go home with its customers. Choices has also been a strong supporter of local organizations that work toward building healthy, sustainable communities, whether through food, education, health or environmental initiatives. Fully Canadian owned and operated by brothers Wayne & Lloyd Lockhart and Salim Ahmed, Choices Markets is proud to be a part of BC communities.