Strack & Van Til CEO Jeff Strack to give talk at bank

Jeff Strack, CEO of the Strack & Van Til supermarket chain, stands at company headquarters in Highland. He will give a talk at First Financial Bank's Morning Business Hour on Wednesday.

Indiana Grocery Group President and CEO Jeff Strack will give a public talk at a Crown Point bank Wednesday after mounting a successful bid to buy back the Strack & Van Til his grandfather helped found nearly six decades ago.

Strack will give a talk titled "Who Moved My Cereal?" from 8 to 9 a.m. Wednesday at First Financial Bank at 11890 Broadway in Crown Point. 

"With over 25 years of experience rooted in Strack & Van Til's history, Jeff has contributed to the success and growth of the brand," First Financial Bank said in a news release. "Jeff is known for his operational excellence, having grown up in the industry, he is innovative, forward thinking and is committed to focusing on the values and principles that has made this company what it is today."

He was originally slated to give the talk in April but it was postponed after Strack & Van Til's parent company Central Grocers announced it would close nine stores and sell out the remaining 22 Strack & Van Til, Ultra and Town & Country Market stores. The troubled cooperative filed for bankruptcy shortly after.

Strack assembled a group of investors, including members of the Van Til family and former CEO Dave Wilkinson, and bought back the remaining stores in the landmark grocery chain, the largest remaining independent grocer in the Calumet Region. Highland-based Indiana Grocery Group now operates 18 Strack & Van Til stores across Northwest Indiana and two Town & Country Market supermarkets in Portage and Valparaiso.

To attend, RSVP by contacting Judi Mariola at Judith.Mariola@bankatfirst.com.

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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.