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    Pantry’s New Chairman Brings Fresh Perspective

    Tad Dickson was CEO of Harris Teeter Supermarkets for 17 years.

    CARY, N.C. -- The Pantry Inc. announced today its board of directors elected Thomas W. "Tad" Dickson as its new chairman. The change went into effect April 2.

    Dickson is a new Pantry board member, elected at the company's annual meeting on March 13. He replaces Edwin J. Holman, who was chairman of the board since September 2009. Holman was voted out as a board member by shareholders during the same March 13 meeting.

    Dickson most recently served as chairman and CEO of Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc. (previously known as Ruddick Corp.) from 1997 until the company was sold to The Kroger Co. in January. Dickson also served as chairman of the board of directors for the supermarket chain from March 2006 until January.

    According to The Pantry, Dickson is an excellent choice for chairman because he brings nearly two decades of operational and management experience in the supermarket industry to the role, including his more than 15 years as a public company director.

    The new chairman also possesses broad knowledge, particularly in The Pantry's core Southeast operating region, the company noted. 

    Karen Short, director at Deutsche Bank AG, said in an analyst brief today that Dickson is a strong addition to The Pantry's board.

    "Under his leadership at Ruddick (and subsequently Harris Teeter), Harris Teeter’s EBITDA grew on average 10 percent per year, and was even up 4.1 percent in the 2008-2009 period, an extremely impressive result given the challenging economic backdrop in Charlotte in this timeframe," Short wrote. "The success at Ruddick/Harris Teeter is a testament to Dickson’s merchandising expertise and attention to detail, goal-setting and accountability, all qualities that appear to have been lacking on some level at The Pantry at the board level."

    Cary, N.C.-based The Pantry Inc. operated 1,537 convenience stores in 13 states as of April 3, primarily under its Kangaroo Express banner.

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