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April 23, 2019

Imperial Distributors names new CFO, EVP as it eyes leadership succession

Photo | Google Imperial Distributors' Worcester location
Colleen Peloquin
Joe Kirby
Naomi Sleeper

Worcester distribution and merchandising firm Imperial Distributors has promoted a new chief financial officer and new executive vice president as the company prepares for leadership succession.

Colleen Peloquin, a 23-year employee of the company, will become CFO, succeeding Herb Diatch, who will transition out of his day-to-day duties as president and CFO after 30 years in leadership positions with the company. In addition to leading the finance team, inventory control and IT will report to Peloquin.

Diatch will continue to serve as an advisor and board member.

Joe Kirby has been elevated into second in command at Imperial after CEO Michael Sleeper. Kirby will take the title of executive vice president after 16 years with the company after starting as a category manager and most recently rising to senior vice president of sales. The category management and sales and service teams report to Kirby, who will continue to develop and oversee merchandising, in-store service, strategies and plans for the company’s retail partners.

Kirby will oversee distribution and warehouse operations. 

Naomi Sleeper, Michael Sleeper’s daughter, will become vice president of continuous improvement and strategic initiatives after spending six years with the company in sales, category management and distribution positions. Her role will seek to improve productivity and quality in the distribution center and in purchasing.

In a statement, Michael Sleeper said the company has been preparing for leadership succession for several years.

In 2017, the company opened a new $29-million, 325,000-square-foot distribution facility off of Route 146 in Worcester.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly said Naomi Sleeper will succeed her father Michael Sleeper as CEO sometime in the future. Although that is a possibility, the company has no definite succession plans in place, as Michael Sleeper has no retirement plans. Read more about those plans here.

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