Darnell Allen

On a cold and snowy evening on January 13, 2011, thirty eight friends of Darnell Allen gathered at Papa Joe's Restaurant in Orland Park, Illinois to celebrate his retirement. The evening started with cocktails and a wonderful meal. Everyone had a terrific time sharing stories and fun recollections from the past. We all extend our best wishes to Darnell, Dafford, and family upon the culmination of a very successful 40 year career.


Comments from Darnell:

It is hard to believe that 40 years have flown by so quickly. Many of you may not know this but I actually began my career as a part time clerk at an Osco Drug store on the far Southside of Chicago back in November of 1966. During my time at this store I had the pleasure of working with another part timer, Terry Zaio and Hank Gust, who was a pharmacist intern at the time.


In July of 1969, I left Osco and after an 8 month break in service, I returned on February 16, 1970. Upon my return, I had two additional major life changing events that took place in 1970, I got married and the first of my two sons was born. In January of this year Dafford and I celebrated our 41st wedding anniversary. In addition to our two sons, Darnell, JR. and Dennis, we have two grandchildren. Kira 13, who lives in Chicago and Marcus 11, who lives in Denver. For now we have made the decision to remain in Minnesota, but we are keeping our options open to other geographical areas, such as Arizona or North Carolina.

From February, 1970 through October, 2010, I have held over 10 different positions and each of the positions had its own rewards and challenges. But if I had to choose which of those positions I enjoyed the most, I chose the following: District Manager, Vice President, Human Resources and Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion. I chose those positions because they allowed me the opportunity to be in meetings where I could provide my input, opinion and perspective on issues that would impact the organization.


40 years has flown by so quickly and I want to say, it has been a privilege and a pleasure working with a lot of great people, who I have built solid friendships and relationships over the years. There are many of you who I would like to personally acknowledge, but I know I will miss a few names. Therefore, I am going to err on the side of caution and say; if you are reading this story or if you know someone who I have had the opportunity to meet over the past 40 years please share and pass on this message:

“To every part time, full time associate, assistant store manager, store manager, field staff, and officer who I either worked for or with during my 40 year career, I want to thank you for playing a key role in pushing me to levels during my career which I thought I would never achieve and for making me a better person.”

Photos from Darnell's 1/13/2011 retirement celebration. (provided by Bill Kennedy)


(#1: Darnell)


(#2: Roy Brown, Ed Singleton, Tony Welch)


(#3: Tom Rousonelos, Bobbie Riley, Chris Dimos)


(#4: Lavar Boykins, Unknown, Zeke Morris)


(#5: The cake)


(#6: Darnell, Charnita Gordon)


(#7: Connie Zaio, Terry Zaio, Rex Dobey, Bob Clasby, Don Aylward, Russ Weber)


(#8: Hank Gust, Larry Botica, Tom Hayes, Paul Vladovich, Ed Cechura)


(#9: Ed Olsen, Dan Zolnowski, Roger Carpenter, Alan Kropiewnicki, Jeff Smolinski, Paul Vladovich)


(#10: Lavar Boykins, Cozetta Alcorn, and Lavonne Harvey)

(#11: Ed Olsen, Bobbie Riley)


(#12: Don Aylward, Ed Singleton, Ed Cechura)

Through the years (Alumni Archives)


(#13 1987: Deb Congdon, Maureen Maloney, Bill Bergin, Darnell (Chicagoland Advertising Specialist), Kathy MacDonald)


(#14 1992: Darnell (Chicagoland Human Resources Manager), Dave Biderman, Ed Olson, Ron Yeaton, Rob Wibbeler)


(#15 1995: Jerry LaPointe, Ron Cardarelli, John Grabowski, Richard Rounds, Darnell (Eastern Region District Manager), Ron Yeaton, Bob Cook, Larry Wahlstrom)


(#16 2009: Darnell (Supervalu Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion), Trudy Bourgeois of the Center for Workforce Excellence)

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