“Truly one of the Good Guys”

“Truly one of the Good Guys”


Michael Sleeper CEO Imperial Distributors

Michael Sleeper
Imperial Distributors



“Truly one of the Good Guys”


“He is truly one of the good guys,” an industry leader said about one of Imperial’s key Senior Managers. I couldn’t agree more. David Dulude, Imperial’s VP, Sales for Independent Retailers is retiring at the end of this year, and I dedicate this month’s column to him.

David has worn many hats for Imperial over the course of his long and distinguished career spanning nearly 40 years. He joined Imperial when we purchased Herman Inc. He hit the ground running—and never stopped. In his current role he oversees more than 700 supermarkets in 15 states.

Working with Dave has been a joy for me, and I have always admired and valued his tremendous commitment to our retail partners. Determined, focused, and vigilant are a few of the words that come to mind when I think about Dave. He starts his day before most of us are awake and the emails continue long into the evening. “Why can’t we do this?” or “Let’s just get this done” are familiar refrains. Among our retailer partners with whom David has worked most closely over the years are Shaw’s, Trucci’s, Crosby’s, Donelans, Caraluzzis, Pennington, Piggly Wiggly and Foodtown.

Leeann Dias, Director, Marketing for Shaw’s/Star Market said about David: “I always found Dave to be the “consummate” professional in all my dealings with him. We all know that retail can be an ever evolving business (especially the seasonal area) and Dave was always the first one to ask what he could do to help (and he really meant help). He would always put our interests first, which I found extremely refreshing. He was always about building long term relationships, which is the kind of relationship he built with me. He is truly one of the good guys”.

Mike Rothwell, Owner and General Manager of Pennington Quality Market said: “What I appreciate most about Dave is his ability to learn and understand the needs of the retailer. His flexibility and willingness to compromise in negotiations for the mutual success of both companies was genuine and sincere. He always conducted himself with great personal integrity earning my respect as a business partner and as a friend”.

David has been a mentor to dozens of Imperial team members including Derek Potter who started as a Service Representative is now our Vice President, Sales Service Operations. Derek attributes his success in large part to David’s support and coaching: “Early in my career he saw the talent and abilities within me and he helped bring them out. While always supportive, Dave regularly pushed me out of my comfort zone which has been a big part of my success.”

Another one of our team members said it best when describing Dave: “If I could choose one person to be in a fox hole with me – someone I knew I could trust implicitly to have my back – it would be David Dulude”. Loyalty runs through David’s veins and we have all been blessed to know and work so closely with him for so many years. Because David gave us plenty of notice about his retirement plans, we are pleased to have his successor firmly in place.

David has won every award at Imperial, including our most prestigious Founders Cup given to a person who made a major impact in our company the previous year.  David received this award twice, in 2007 and again in 2017.

While Imperial has been an important part of his life, nothing makes David happier, or matters more to him, than his wonderful family. Joyce, his wife of 43 years, his two children Jamie and Nicole, their spouses Alyssa and Keith and his two grandchildren Emmy and Harper. The best part of retirement is that he will have more time to spend with all of them, and for some of the year will live close to his Mother in Florida – and on a golf course!

While we will all miss him, we wish him the very best in his well-deserved retirement.

David Dulude: You are not just one of the good guys. You are one of the best!