Greg Suszczenia

Tributes have been paid to former Parfetts joint MD and trading director Greg Suszczenia, who died at the weekend.

Suszczenia was diagnosed with a stage four glioblastoma brain tumour in November 2021, subsequently retiring in order to fight the illness.

In the last few months of his life, he worked to support The Brain Tumour Charity, raising over £33,000 to fund research into treatment and cures.

In March, Suszczenia received the Outstanding Achievement award at the Unitas Wholesale annual member awards to a standing ovation, reflecting his contribution to the industry.

He first joined Parfetts as general manager in 1998 before leaving to set up his own business Greenhill Retail in 2004 with his wife Bev.

He returned to Parfetts in 2009 as trading director, playing a key role in the development of the GoLocal brand.

In 2014, he became the business’ joint MD, helping to drive the transition of Parfetts from a small cash & carry to a national employee-owned wholesaler.

Guy Swindell, joint MD of Parfetts, led the tributes to Suszczenia.

“Greg was a dedicated colleague who will be remembered fondly by everyone at Parfetts,” he said. “He led Parfetts through a period of sustained expansion and had a passion for the industry that was clear to everyone he met.

“He retired last year from the industry after a career that spanned buyer, depot manager, trading director and joint MD at Parfetts. Greg helped oversee the successful transition from a family-owned to an employee-owned business and also served on the Unitas board. He was a respected voice in the wholesale sector. We share our condolences with his wife, Bev and two sons, Michael and Kristian.”

Parfetts founder and former chairman Steve Parfett said: “It was a privilege to employ and work with Greg during his two spells with Parfetts. A quick learner, avid for new opportunities, he made his mark as a buyer and depot manager. When Bill Pace retired, we were very fortunate to be able to persuade Greg to return as trading director.

“In my opinion he was up with the very best of the industry in this role, and latterly as joint MD. The Parfett family will always be grateful for the outstanding contribution Greg made during family and latterly employee ownership.

“His loss at such a young age is a huge tragedy for his wife Bev and his boys, but also for colleagues in both Parfetts and the wider industry who held him in great affection.”

Unitas MD John Kinney said: “Greg was a passionate wholesaler whom I had great respect for, having had the pleasure of getting to know and work with Greg over recent years. My thoughts are with his family at this sad time.”

Unitas chairman Mark Aylwin said: “Greg was an outstanding wholesaler who contributed so much to our industry, as well as to Parfetts, where he was instrumental in building the business into the success it is today. Greg will be sorely missed by all his many friends in wholesale.”

Donations to The Brain Tumour Charity can be made via a JustGiving page created by Suszczenia here.