Johnstown native Metzger picked to head state Liquor Control Board

| Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

John E. Metzger was named acting executive director of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board on Wednesday, filling a vacancy left by the retirement of former CEO Joe Conti in February.

Metzger, 59, a native of Johnstown, has been the PLCB's supply chain director since 2010 and led the implementation of a new warehouse inventory system that saved the state more than $100 million in inventory costs. He also is responsible for improving product forecasting, in-stock levels at Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores and the warehouses and streamlining overall warehouse operations.

“I appreciate the board giving me this opportunity,” Metzger said in a statement. “I'm looking forward to working with the great team we have in place to continue to improve efficiencies within the agency and service to consumers.”

In naming Metzger, the board changed the title from chief executive officer to executive director.

Gov. Tom Corbett has been critical of the need for a CEO at the agency that regulates distribution of beverage alcohol and operates more than 600 Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores statewide.

“The governor is looking forward to meeting and working with him to improve convenience and competition in Pennsylvania,” Corbett spokesman Jay Pagni said.

In his new role, Metzger will direct the administrative and business operations of the agency and management of the executive team. He also will provide leadership and strategic planning recommendations for agency initiatives.

Prior to joining the PLCB, Metzger was the executive vice president of administration for Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., an $11 billion grocery retailer with more than 700 stores in the U.S. and Canada.

He was responsible for restructuring the company and simplifying processes to reduce overhead by more than $70 million in one year, reduced supply and logistics expenses by $40 million and led the company's return to business after Hurricane Katrina.

Metzger began his career with Nabisco Foods Group before moving on to Darden Restaurants, the operator of Red Lobster, Olive Garden and Bahama Breeze restaurants; CS Integrated LLC-ProLogis Trust; and Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co.

“When we hired John Metzger a little more than three years ago, we knew he would be an incredibly valuable asset to the board because of his extensive knowledge of supply chain management,” said PLCB board member Robert S. Marcus. “With his retail business experience and leadership abilities, I have no doubt he will be very successful leading the agency and increasing revenue to benefit the General Fund.”

Craig Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5646 or

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