The Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA) has confirmed that Colin Smith will assume full responsibility of the trade body from 31 December.
Smith, who was appointed as chief executive (designate) in the summer, has been working closely with outgoing executive director Kate Salmon in order to ensure a smooth handover when she steps down from the role at the end of February after leading the SWA for 35 years. She will continue to work for the SWA on a consultancy basis.
"It has been important for Colin to benefit from Kate's experience and vast knowledge of the Scottish wholesale sector. He is now ready to move our association forward as we support our members in times of change both within the trade and on the political landscape."
Smith, whose career in the wholesale sector spans more than 20 years, was Scottish regional manager for Bestway's symbol group Best-one before launching his own business, Pinkie Farm Convenience Store, in Musselburgh. He previously worked for Bellevue Cash & Carry in Edinburgh in various marketing roles and has also worked for Costco Wholesale.
"Working alongside Kate over the last few months has helped me get to grips with the plethora of challenges facing our members and suppliers, and I have also been able to use this time to meet members and forge closer relationships with suppliers and other stakeholders," said Smith.
"What is also clear is that a collaborative approach is often the best way forward when debating the key issues affecting the wholesale industry and the wider food, drink, retail and tourism sectors - and SWA is very much at the forefront of all of these important discussions.
"Wholesale is a vibrant industry offering great career opportunities and it provides suppliers with an excellent opportunity to tap into the strong route to market that our members' independent retail and foodservice customers offer - I am looking forward to helping our sector grow and evolve and giving wholesale a stronger voice."