The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) and the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) announced that the Distinguished Order of Zerocrats will induct three new food industry leaders into the 2023 Frozen Food Hall of Fame.
The 2023 inductees are Ed Flanagan, former president and CEO of Jasper Wyman & Son, Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI – The Food Industry Association and Dave Yanda, former president and CEO of Lakeside Foods.
Ed Flanagan served as CEO of Jasper Wyman & Son for 24 years and retired in 2017, after a 42-year career. Wyman’s, a Maine-based frozen wild blueberry and fruit products processor, grew sales and expanded operations significantly during Flanagan’s tenure and leadership. Flanagan also played a pivotal role in managing product exports to international markets. He volunteered for a range of industry organizations, including as Chairman of the Wild Blueberry Association of North America, and served multiple terms on AFFI’s Board of Directors. He was chairman of the AFFI Board of Directors from 2010-2011 and was recognized as AFFI’s Advocate of the Year in 2017. Supporting the future of wild blueberries, Flanagan also served on the Sustainable Food Lab, the Pollinator Partnership and Penn State’s Pollinator Research Advisory Board.
A seasoned veteran in the food industry, Leslie Sarasin has served as president and CEO of FMI since 2008. The association provides the voice of food retail, representing retail and wholesale, as well as the companies that supply goods and services to the industry. Prior to joining FMI, Sarasin spent 19 years at AFFI, including nine years as president and CEO. Sarasin made great contributions to the frozen food industry during her time at AFFI, where she strengthened the association’s advocacy and the representation of frozen food in Washington, D.C. She also championed the international growth of the association’s frozen ingredient trade show, creating supply chain flexibility and resiliency for the U.S. frozen food industry.
Dave Yanda’s career at Lakeside Foods lasted for more than 40 years, and he served as president and CEO from 2008 until his retirement in 2016. During his time at Lakeside, he helped grow the business into a leading international private label food processor. An expert in the areas of growing, processing, marketing, and the sales of frozen fruits and vegetables, Yanda was an advocate for the frozen food industry, serving multiple terms on AFFI’s Board of Directors and as chairman of the Board from 2014-2015. Yanda also served on the Board of the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce association. He also held multiple terms on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee.
The induction ceremony will take place at AFFI-CON 2023 on February 27, in San Diego.
The Frozen Food Hall of Fame was established in 1990 by the Distinguished Order of Zerocrats, an organization of industry members whose purpose is to maintain the tradition of promoting the image and advancement of the frozen food industry. These members nominate and vote on the newest inductees, whose dedication and hard work have greatly benefited the industry. A special industry-wide ceremony honors the imagination and innovation that have ensured the continued growth and success of the frozen food industry.