Food distributor Nash-Finch Company has announced that William R. Voss has been named the non-executive chairman of the Nash Finch Board of directors, succeeding Allister P. Graham who continues as a director of the company and has been named chairman emeritus.

Voss, 52, has been a director of Nash Finch since November 1998, including as a member of the audit, corporate governance and compensation committees of the board, serving as chairman of the first two committees.

Voss is founder and managing director of Lake Pacific Partners, a private equity investment firm primarily focused on consumer products, consumer services, and related industries.

Previously, he was founder, chairman and CEO of Natural Nutrition Group. He has also served as CEO of McCain Foods , president of Pilgrims Pride Corporation and as a principal with Booz, Allen & Hamilton management consultants.

“On behalf of everyone at Nash Finch, we thank Al for the strong and steady leadership he has provided over the years. I have enjoyed working alongside him and share his dedication to building on Nash Finch’s 100-year history as an industry leader,” said Voss. “I appreciate the opportunity to serve as chairman and look forward to working closely with our recently appointed president and CEO, Alec Covington, to enhance Nash Finch’s competitive advantages, strengthen operations and deliver value to shareholders.”

Graham has been a member of the Nash Finch Board since 1992. He was named non-executive chairman in March 2000. He served as interim CEO of the company from February 2006 until Alec Covington was named president and CEO on 1 May.

Graham said: “Because I have been planning to retire from the Nash Finch Board in 2007 at the end of my current term, the other directors and I agree that now is the ideal time to name a new chairman, while I am readily available to assist in the transition. Bill Voss is a dedicated member of the Board and an excellent choice to serve as chairman.”