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SANFORD, N.C. -- The Pantry Inc. has appointed Melissa Anderson to the newly-created position of senior vice president of human resources.

Anderson joins the company from International Business Machines Corp., where she served in various human resources roles during her 17-year career. Most recently, she was vice president of human resources for IBM Global Financing where she led an international group of HR professionals that created and executed a worldwide workforce management strategy to organize 3,500 employees.

Before that, Anderson was the head of IBM's human resources function in U.S. locations, including its Silicon Valley Software Development Laboratory and IBM Austin, home to 4,500 employees within 30 lines of business. There, she managed IBM's creation of a human resources shared services center, where HR services were centralized for more than 200,000 employees and retirees. Anderson was also the worldwide HR director for Tivoli software.

The Pantry chairman and CEO Peter J. Sodini said, "We are delighted to welcome Melissa to The Pantry's senior management team. As we have in several other areas over the last 18 months, we felt we needed to upgrade our human resources capabilities by adding an executive whose talents are commensurate with the scope and importance of the function -- particularly in light of the growth we expect over the next few years. Melissa's track record of superb performance and innovation at IBM made her an ideal candidate for this position."

Sanford, N.C.-based The Pantry, Inc. is the leading independently-operated convenience store chain in the southeastern United States and one of the largest independently-operated convenience store chains in the country. Its net sales for fiscal 2005 totaled approximately $4.4 billion. At the end of June, the company operated 1,499 stores in 11 states under the company's primary banner, Kangaroo Express.